THE MERCHANT OF THE MASKS (REAL PHOTO FRENCH POSTCARD BY ALBERT BERGERET)

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This spectacular vintage real photo postcard features a pretty young woman posed as a seller of theatrical masks.  Note the detail of the facial features of each mask. The masks are absolutely beautiful, as is their purveyor. This RPPC was produced by celebrated French artist Albert Bergeret (1859-1932) and published in Nancy, France. Included in Bergeret’s body of work is his series “Women of the Future”. In 1902 he designed a series of postcards depicting women at work in traditionally male professions. Seen below are some examples of these cards. We see a journalist and a soldier. Other cards included a physician, lawyer, and a military general. Bergeret was no feminist. In fact, many of his depictions in the series involved women in skimpy clothing. The pictures were more like pin-ups than a call for equal employment rights for women. Bergeret was a successful businessman. His studio became the leading postcard producer in France. In 1900 he produced 25 million cards and by 1903 he published 75 million postcards. He knew how to grow a business.

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REVERSE OF THE MERCHANT OF THE MASKS POSTCARD

PORTRAIT OF A TEENAGE GIRL IN DEWSBURY, ENGLAND (CARTE DE VISITE)

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A teenage girl poses for her portrait at the J. Garratt studio in Dewsbury. Where is Dewsbury? There are a number of towns sharing that name but Garratt’s Dewsbury is in England. John Garratt had studios in Dewsbury and West Town. He is cited in the Journal of Photography (1877) and in the British Journal of Photography (1880 and 1881). Next to Garratt”s name is the phrase “From Saronys” and the phrase is printed above the word “Scarbro”. Is there a connection between Mr. Garratt and Napoleon Sarony?  At first I thought that Garratt might have worked for the celebrated photographer in New York City, Napoleon Sarony. Preliminary research provided me with an answer.  “Scarbro” is an abbreviation for Scarborough, a town in North Yorkshire, England. A well known and commercially successful photographer in Scarborough was a man named Oliver Sarony. His studio had 98 rooms and at one point he had 110 employees.  He was born in Quebec in 1820 and he came to England in 1843. He worked as a photographer in several English towns until he settled in Scarborough in 1857. He died in 1879. The business continued into the 20th century under the name Sarony & Co. The business was initially managed by Samuel Waind Fisher the husband of Oliver’s niece, Jennie. Interestingly Jennie was the daughter of Napoleon Sarony. To make a long story longer, it certainly appears that John Garratt was once employed by Oliver Sarony.

 

 

 

A YOUNG WOMAN PROJECTING A SERIOUS DEMEANOR IN YORK, PENNSYLVANIA (PHOTO BY SWORDS BROTHERS)

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This cabinet card portrait features a young woman with dark eyes and long curly hair. She appears to be in her teens. She projects a serious demeanor as she looks at the camera. Preliminary research found some information about the Sword Brothers contained in “The History of York County Pennsylvania” (1907). William H. and George A. Swords were partners in a photography firm in York, Pennsylvania. William was born in Maytown, Pennsylvania in 1865. He learned the photography trade in Columbia, Pennsylvania and then established a studio in York. For a time, he was the junior partner in a firm called Pentz & Swords. In 1889 he partnered with his brother George. William had two marriages. He was widowed in his marriage to Adelaide Doffler and then married Jennie Fassett. William Swords was born in Maytown in 1860. He began his photography career working with a photographer named Jefferies and later bought out Mr. Pentz to become his brother’s partner. In 1885 George married Jennie Wampler.

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PRETTY WOMAN WITH A TERRIFIC SMILE (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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This vintage real photo postcard features a very pretty woman with a wonderful smile and luminous eyes. She is beautifully dressed and adorned by a necklace and flowers. Note her attracive and very detailed headpiece. The image is colored (hand tinted) and numbered (23) so is obviously part of a series. The name “Watteau” is scripted on the bottom right hand corner of the postcard. My preliminary research could not ascertain whether “Watteau” is the name of the beautiful model seen in this image or if it’s the name of the photographer. My hunch is that it is the name of the model. The reverse of this RPPC is blank, save lines for an address. Therefore, the publisher of this postcard is unknown.  (SOLD)

 

Published in: on November 16, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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MRS M. WHITEHILL: A PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

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Mrs M. Whitehill posed for this cabinet card portrait produced by the Cook studio in Boston, Massachusetts. She was a nicely dressed and pretty young woman. Her name was gleaned from information possessed by the previous owner of this photograph. I could not find further information about her without knowing her full first name. L. W. Cook was a prolific photographer who began his career during the cdv era. City directories reveal that Cook had various addresses in Boston over the span of his photographic career. He used the 145 Tremont studio at least between 1874 and 1884. He also occupied three other Washington Street addresses besides the Washington location listed on this image.  (SOLD)

Published in: on November 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A LITTLE GIRL WITH AN INFECTIOUS SMILE IN PORTLAND, MAINE

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This cabinet card portrait features an adorable little girl with cradling her head in her hands. She is displaying a terrific smile that would easily light up a room. She has flowing light colored hair. The photograph comes from the studio of Joseph Harrison Lamson which was located in Portland, Maine. To learn more about him and to view more of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Lamson”.  SOLD

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Published in: on November 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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ROMANTIC SCENE FROM THE PLAY “HAVANA” (1908): VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD

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This vintage real photo postcard captures a scene from the the stage production of “Havana” which appeared in 1908 at the Gaiety Theatre in London. The play ran for 221 performances before going on the road around England. The show later played in Berlin, Philadelphia and New York City (The Casino Theatre). Interestingly, future star, Gladys Cooper appeared in the chorus. The play’s plot was that Evie Greene was the daughter of a cigar store owner who also happened to be the mayor of Havana. She was promised to her cousin in marriage but was in love with an English yachtsman (McKay). To complicate matters, the McKay was suspected of being a revolutionary. The actors in this image are Evie Greene and Leonard McKay. Edith Elizabeth (“Evie”) Greene (1875-1917) was an English actress and singer who played in Edwardian Musical Comedies in London and on Broadway. She was quite beautiful and was often photographed. She was most known for starring in the international hit musical “Florodora” (1899). She sang in the cast album of the show which was historic because it was the world’s first original cast album. This postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no. 7431 F). It was printed in England. The photograph itself is by “Play Pictorial”. “Play Pictorial” was an English theatre magazine published in London between 1902 and 1939. The publication provided a pictorial presentation of West End theatrical productions with each issue focusing on just one play.  (SOLD)

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ROMA HISTORY: PORTRAIT OF A LITTLE PRINCESS

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This post cabinet card era photograph features a “little princess” bedecked with exotic jewels and headpiece. She is holding a fan and looks bedazzled by her experience of being photographed in her costume. That brings up a question. Is she playing “dress up” and wearing a costume or is she dressed in a way that is normal for her position and culture? Hopefully, some cabinet card gallery visitors will leave their opinion about this matter. Although the identity of this adorable little girl is unknown there is an inscription on the reverse of the image. The phrase “Photo. Roma” can mean countless things. Here is my opinion. The little girl in the photograph is a member of a Roma community. The Roma (Romani) people are an ethnic group living predominately in Europe and who originate from Northern India. However, it is estimated that there are about one million Roma in the United States. They are often known by the term “Gypsies” but many consider the term prejudiced as the word gypsy has become associated with meaning illegal or irregular (ie gypsy cab). This image is pretty and thought provoking. The photograph measures about 3 1/2″ x 5 1/4″ and my estimate is that it dates back to the 1920’s.

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Published in: on November 12, 2015 at 12:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF AN OLDER GENTLEMAN IN PORTAGE, WISCONSIN

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This cabinet card portrait features an older gentleman with grey hair and a long wiry hair. His mouth is camouflaged by his bushy beard and mustache. Watching him eat must not have been very pleasant. The man is dressed formally and has intense piercing eyes. Sherman L. Plumb’s studio in Portage, Wisconsin produced this photograph. Plumb was born in 1841 in Connecticut. By 1863 he was working as a fireman in Portage. The 1870 and 1880 US census lists his occupation as photographer. In 1872 Plumb married Alice Stanton (1852-?). Plumb was not a man who was consistent occupationally. The 1900 census found him working as a dairy farmer while the 1910 census listed him as running a grocery store in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A 1912 directory reported that Alice was a widow.  SOLD

 

 

Published in: on November 11, 2015 at 3:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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SERIOUS LOOKING YOUNG GIRL WEARING A CROSS IN YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN

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This cabinet card portrait features a young girl intensely staring at the camera in a studio in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The child is wearing a dark dress accented by lace. She is also wearing earrings and a necklace with a cross. The photographer is J. J. Stephenson. Jerome J. Stephenson was born in 1847 in Michigan. He married Betsy Frazier in 1871 and bought Edwin P. Baker’s studio in 1872. He operated his studio in Ypsilanti until he sold it to Frank P. Ford in 1903. At one point during his operations, for a limited time he offered a free cabinet card photograph to anyone over sixty years of age. It seems like he was a man before his time by being one of the pioneers of  “senior discounts”.  SOLD

 

Published in: on November 10, 2015 at 10:08 pm  Comments (1)  
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