PORTRAIT OF THREE BEAUTIFUL WOMEN DRESSED IN THE FASHION OF THREE DIFFERENT CULTURES

This vintage postcard is another one of those images that immediately piques my interest. I wish I knew what brought these three women together and why they are dressed the way that they are. It seems to me that the women are dressed in a fashion to represent the clothing of different ethnicities. The woman wearing the beads represents gypsies. The woman with the parasol and kimono represents the Japanese culture. The woman with a flower in her hair, represents Spain. Perhaps these ladies are dressed to go to a party. Note the cat sitting next to Miss Spain. This image is from a private studio. There is a studio name and location lightly embossed on the front of the postcard. This intriguing photo was taken at a studio located in Constanta, Romania. The city is located in the Dobruja region of Romania, on the Black Sea coast. The stamp box in this postcard indicates that the postcard was produced by K Ltd., sometime between 1918 and 1936.This photo postcard is in very good condition. 

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Published in: on June 30, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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PORTRAIT OF A LOVELY COUPLE IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

This cabinet card portrait features a lovely couple posing for their portrait at the Philadelphia Gallery in San Francisco, California. The gentleman is wearing a three piece suit and a pocket watch. He has a handsome mustache and is holding a walking stick. The woman is well dressed. She is wearing a collar pin and earrings. She is holding a small bouquet of flowers. This cabinet card has great clarity and is in very good condition.

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A STREET SCENE IN AGUA PRIETA, SONORA, MEXICO (BEFORE THE FIASCO)

down mexico way 1

Welcome to Agua Prieta. The town’s name is not very appetizing. In English, the town’s name is “Brown Water”. According to the postcard’s AZO stamp box, this street scene photo was taken between 1924 and 1949. The photo shows “Avenue 3” in Agua Prieta. Note the signage in the photograph. There is a restaurant, a cafe, and the Silver $ Dollar Bar. Further down the avenue are some old cars.  The town is located in the northeastern corner of the Mexican state of Sonora. It is a border town and is adjacent to the town of Douglas, Arizona. Agua Prieta was developed at the end of the 19th century as railroads were built between Douglas and the Mexican town of Nacozari. The trains would transport minerals and other goods. The first settlers in Agua Prieta were employed by the US mining company Phelps Dodge Corporation. The company was based in Douglas, Arizona. The town of Agua Prieta was unofficially founded in 1899 but did not become an independent municipality until 1916. This photograph was taken long before the fiasco of the current US immigration policy. Today, Douglas has a population of about 16,500 people. Although the town is depressed, the border crossing remains busy. According to US Customs and Border Protection records for 2016, more than 3.8 million people passed through the town’s port of entry on foot, or by car. It is important to note that many of these people were going between Mexico and the US to visit family, conduct business, or shop. Therefore, their visits were of short duration. I hope that Congress will be able to formulate and pass a more rational, humane, and constructive immigration policy; and do so in a timely fashion.  (SOLD)

PORTRAIT OF A FAMILY IN NORWAY, MAINE BY A MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARING PHOTOGRAPHER

This cabinet card features a family portrait by the Swan & Stone gallery in Norway, Maine. The composition of this family seems to include an older couple and their adult daughter. The women are well dressed in black dresses and the gentleman is wearing a vested suit. The older woman is wearing a collar pin and has a newspaper or magazine on her lap. The younger woman has a ribbon on the upper part of her dress. The older man is wearing a pocket watch and chain. Perhaps this image is a mourning photograph. Research revealed some information about the photographers of this photo. To view additional photographs by Swan, place his name in this blog’s search box.  John Wesley Swan (1857-?) appears in the 1884 Portland, Maine city directory as a photographer. The 1900 US census reveals that Swan was Canadian born and lived in Norway with his wife (Annie) and their two daughters. Swan married his wife in 1883. According to Anthony’s Photographic Bulletin (1900), Swan’s studio was destroyed by fire and he lost a large number of valuable negatives of scenery in the area of Norway. The journal also states that the “loss was large and the insurance is said to be small”. Swan was the official photographer of the Grand Trunk Railway system. He won a gold medal at the Paris Exposition according to Photo-Era magazine (1900). At one point in his career in Norway, Swan had a partner in his business (Swan & Cobb). John Wesley Swan was involved in a bizarre incident that made the annals of the history of Norway. The book,  “A History of Norway, Maine: From the Earliest Settlement to the Close of the Year 1922”, tells a  mysterious story about Mr. Swan. While on a trip to Boston in 1893, Swan disappeared for a period of about six months. The writer states that Swan “claimed to have been sand-bagged and robbed in Boston and when he partially recovered consciousness found himself in New Orleans”. His memory had “left him” and he wandered around until his memory returned while he was in Texas. Swan returned to Norway and explained his disappearance to his friends and family, and community. According to the writer, many doubted the validity of his explanation. I found less information about photographer, George F. Stone (1856-1924). He is listed as a photographer in the 1910 and 1920 US census. Business directories list report that he was a photographer at least between 1915 and 1922, He was listed as a painter in the 1889 directory. This cabinet card is in excellent condition (see scans).

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Published in: on June 26, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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ANNY ONDRA: BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED ACTRESS AND WIFE OF BOXING CHAMPION MAX SCHMELING

This risque vintage real photo postcard features actress Anny Ondra. The postcard was published by Iris Verlag. The photograph is by Verleih Norbert & Co.. The postcard is part of a series (no. 5446). The photo seen on this postcard captures Ondra in a scene from the movie “Blackmail” (1929). This particular postcard is rare. I have searched extensively and have not been able to locate this particular image elsewhere. Anny Ondra (1903-1987) was a Czech film actress. She was born in Tarnow, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (now Poland). She was active in the movie industry between 1914 and 1957. She acted in Czech, Austrian, and German films in the 1920’s. She appeared in some British dramas, most notably, Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Manxman” (1929) and “Blackmail” (1929). The IMDb credits Ondra with over 90 acting credits between 1914 and 1957. She appeared in more than 40 films in the sound era. However, her career in British films was hurt by her thick accent. Check out the youtube video below. In this “test film”, Hitchcock “interviews” Ondra and makes her visibly uncomfortable and embarrassed by asking her very personal questions. She was married to German boxing champion Max Schmeling between 1933 and 1987. Schmeling was the world champion between 1930 and 1932. He is  well known for his fights with African American fighter, Joe Lewis. Ondra’s father was a Czech, Austro-Hungarian military officer and she grew up in Tarnow, Pula, and Prague. At the early age of seventeen, she acted in the theater as well as in a film. When her family learned that she had acted in a film, they were extremely angry. In fact, she reported that she was given a beating by her father. Post World War I was a time, for many people, that being an actress was akin to being a prostitute. Ondra began to live with her boyfriend (her debut film’s director) but after some time, the relationship ended because she wanted a family and he wanted nothing to do with marriage. In 1933, after a three year romance, Anny married Max Schmeling. She had been in a film with the boxer (“Knock-Out”, 1935). It was a “happy” marriage and the couple remained together until her death in 1987. Ondra and Schmeling were hot names in Nazi Germany. German fascists tried to exploit them in order to popularize their movement. Schmeling was seen as a German superman while Ondra represented the blonde Aryan type. The two celebrities refused to collaborate. Schmeling turned down honors and even helped hide two Jewish children, saving their lives. However, because of Nazi propoganda, many believed that the couple had collaborated. As a result, Schmeling and Ondra suffered financially for their fictional cooperation with the Nazis. Ondra was portrayed in two modern day movies, “Ring of Passion” (1978) and Joe and Max (2002). This vintage postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

SOLD

 

ADORABLE CHILD SITTING ON A BENCH IN PONTIAC, ILLINOIS

 

This vintage photograph features an adorable child sitting on a bench and flashing a wonderful smile. The photographer of this image is the Lucas Studio, located in Pontiac, Illinois. This photograph measures about 5″ x 7 1/2″ and is in good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on June 24, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF “SOLDIER SON”: SENT TO HIS DEAR MOTHER WITH LOVE

This vintage real photo postcard features a young uniformed soldier. He is holding his rifle in front of him and he appears to be ready for action. Note his multi faceted utility belt and his boots. The young man wrote a message to his mother on the reverse of the postcard. He proudly presents himself as his mom’s “soldier son”. His message also reveals that the soldier’s name is “Herbert”. The “AZO” stamp box indicates that this photo postcard was published sometime between 1918 and 1930. Interestingly, World War I ended in 1918. Perhaps Herbert was a soldier in the “War to end all Wars”. This postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).      SOLD

Published in: on June 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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PORTRAIT OF YOUNG AND ADORABLE SIBLING SAILORS IN MONROE, MICHIGAN

The two boys featured in this vintage photograph are absolutely adorable. They appear to be siblings, perhaps even twins. The boys are wearing sailor outfits. Note the insignia on the sleeve of one of the boys. This photo was taken at the Beck  studio in Monroe, Michigan. To view additional photographs by Beck, click on “Photographer: Beck” in the Category section. The photograph measures about 5 1/2″ x 8″ and is in good condition. The photo is in a soft cardboard mount and has some edge wear (see scans).

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Published in: on June 22, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

A DAY AT THE BEACH WITH A PRETTY WOMAN IN A FASHIONABLE STRIPED BATHING SUIT

The pretty young woman seen in this vintage real photo postcard is wearing a flashy striped bathing suit. This fashionista accessorized her bathing suit with a large matching hair bow. It was published by “NPG” (Neue Photographische Gesellschaft). The company was a leading bromide photo printing company for many years. The stamp box of this particular postcard has an interesting story. “NBC” (Neue Bromsilber Convention) was price cartel established in 1909 that continued until the 1930’s. The purpose of the cartel was to ensure that the minimum price charged for postcards was kept at a sufficiently profitable level. A number of postcard publishing companies joined the cartel in an effort to stave off the effect of competition on the pricing of postcards. This postcard is part of a series (no. 7194/5). The postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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PRETTY JAPANESE WOMAN WEARING A KIMONO IN TOKYO JAPAN

This vintage photograph features a pretty Japanese woman wearing a kimono. I am curious about why her hair is styled in such a perfectly coiffed straight up fashion. My guess is that the hair style’s purpose is to show the woman’s complete facial beauty. Just a guess on my part. The previous owner of this photograph identified the year it was taken as 1915. It is likely that this date is printed (in Japanese) on the front of the photograph. At the very least, this image is from circa 1915. The photo was taken by Tanaka who operated a studio in Tokyo, Japan. This antique photograph measures about 6 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ and is in very good condition (see scans). Residue on the reverse of the photograph indicates that it once resided in a photo album.

SOLD

Published in: on June 22, 2018 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  
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