The adorable stage actress featured in this vintage photo postcard is Madge Temple (1875/80-1943). She was an English actress, vocalist, and music hall comedienne. Temple’s first appearance in pantomime was at West London’s, Lyric Theatre, at Christmas in 1900. She then went on tour and in 1905, she began playing on the variety stage. She then successfully toured music hall theatres with such songs as “Come , Be My Rainbow”, “He’s a Very Old Friend of Mine”, and “I’m Looking for Mr. Wright”. In 1909 and 1910 she made a series of of recordings for Pathe. She was a popular performer on the British stage and became a star in Australia when she toured there in 1913-1914. Madge Temple was married to Herman Darewski (1883-1947),  a successful composer of many popular songs.  The pair had at least one child. The story of Neville Lawrence Darewski is told in a book entitled “SAS Italian Job: The Secret Mission to Storm a Forbidden Nazi Fortress”. He was known as “Major Temple”, adopting his mother’s last name as his nom de guerre. He was a member of a an elite “Special Duty” unit and was involved in secret missions during World War II. He was a member of Churchill’s “Ministry for Ungentlemanly Warfare”. In 1943 he was dropped behind enemy lines in Italy.  He commanded a unit of five hundred Italian partisans. The group did a great deal of damage to the Italian and German military in Italy. They attacked a airbase and destroyed eighty-nine Italian planes. Unfortunately, Major Temple did not survive the war. He was killed in a truck accident as he was trying to escape the German army which after much time and effort, had surrounded his unit. This postcard is postmarked 1907 in Kilburn which is likely the Kilburn that is a section of London. The photographer of this portrait of Madge Temple is Ian Douglas Campbell-Gray. He is associated with ten portraits in the United Kingdom’s National Portrait Gallery. The British Journal of Photography (1910) printed a photograph of a commercial truck that advertised Campbell Gray’s photo studio. His creative flair is evident because the back half of the truck looked exactly like a camera. This postcard has a message which discusses the photograph on it’s front. The writer apologizes about her inability to find a photo card of “G.R.?” and claims that such cards are scarce because the performer was not active when the postcard was written. Could she be referring to “Gaynor Rowland”? This specific Madge Temple photo postcard is uncommon. The postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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hotchkiss 3

hotchkiss 4 The young girl posing in this photograph has the appearance of a very intellectual child. She is standing next to two books atop a table and her hand rests upon a stereoscope. She is wearing a pair of glasses. The photograph was published in 1887. The girl is identified on the reverse of the photograph as  Lena Sage, age 12. According to census data, Lena A. Sage was born around 1876. Her father, George, was a farmer. Her mother, Harriet, kept house. Lena was still living at home with her family at the time of the 1905 New York census. She was 28 years old and unemployed. Her younger brother, Daniel also lived in the household. He worked as a telegraph operator. As stated earlier, this photo includes a fantastic view of a stereoscope. Stereoscopes were a popular way to view photographs in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. A popular later version was invented by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.. Stereoscopes are used to view stereographic cards. These cards have two separate images printed side by side. When viewing these images through the stereoscope, the focal points becomes more distant, the card image is magnified allowing the viewer to see more detail, and the resulting image is 3-D. The photographer of this cabinet card is Alston E. Hotchkiss ( c 1846-1907) of Norwich, New York. A. E. Hotchkiss came to Norwich in 1872 at the age of twenty-six. He ran the most popular photo gallery in town and it is reported that he took on the persona of an artistic and cultured gentleman. His wife played a major role in his running the studio and at one point, he employed at least twenty workers. At this point in time, the Cabinet Card Gallery has three photos by this excellent photographer. This cabinet card portrait is in very good condition  (see scans) and is quite special. The child’s glasses and the stereoscope are enhance the photograph and the fact that the girl is identified is definitely a bonus.   SOLD         

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This snap shot photograph tells a story. It may go something like this. It is a cool winter day in France. Its 1966. A handsome father puts on his winter coat and scarf, bundles up his two adorable children, and the family goes for an enjoyable brisk walk down the boulevard. They are not alone. A number of pedestrians are occupying the sidewalk. The man and his children are well dressed and appear fairly affluent. An inscription, written in French, can be found on the reverse of the photo. Perhaps a visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery will be able to translate the inscription for the rest of us. The photograph measures about 2 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ and is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on December 29, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  


Margaret Leahy (1902-1967) was a British actress. She was born in London. At the age of eighteen, she set up a costume shop and designed women’s clothing. She also modeled her designs for her customers. The story of how she got her start in acting is an interesting one. After winning a beauty contest, she seemed destined for stardom. Unfortunately, despite her rapid launch into filmdom, her career quickly crashed.  She made only one film in her short-lived career. The beauty competition occurred in 1922. Actresses, Constance and Norma Talmadge, Joseph Schenck (film studio executive), and Edward Jose (film director) held a beauty contest in England. It’s purpose was to find a new leading lady. The “Daily Sketch”, an English newspaper, offered a starring role in a major Hollywood film to the winner of the contest. Eighty thousand women entered the contest and three girls were chosen to the final competition. The finals were held in Hollywood and Miss Leahy was the winner.  Norma Talmadge described Leahy as “the most ravishing girl in England”. Leahy’s start in films was a disaster. She was dismissed from “Within the Law” (1923). The film’s director found her acting talent was nearly non-existent. He threatened to quit unless Leahy was terminated. The year 1923 wasn’t all bad for Miss Leahy. She was named one of thirteen WAMPAS Baby Stars. Evelyn Brent, Eleanor Boardman, and Laura La Plante were among the thirteen. All but Leahy became successful film actresses. Between 1922 and 1934, WAMPAS association supported a promotional campaign that named thirteen young actresses thought to be destined to become stars. Margaret’s next stop was an appearance in a Buster Keaton comedy, “Three Ages” (1923). Leahy received little attention for her role in the movie and her career was stopped in it’s tracks. Leahy did not return to England. Instead she got married and remained in California. She became an interior decorator and was known to despise the movie industry. In fact, she burned all her movie related scrap books. Sadly, Leahy committed suicide at the age of sixty-four in California. This vintage postcard was published by Rotary Photo and printed in England. The postcard is part of a series (no. 5.76.2).  The postcard is in very good condition (see scans).     SOLD


fort wayne

fort wayne 1A pretty woman poses for her portrait at the New Hamilton Art Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She looks quite fashionable in her dark dress and wonderful hat. The feathers on the hat are neatly divided into halves of black and white. She is wearing a necklace and is leaning on a high backed chair. She looks very pensive. Advertising on the reverse of the photograph reveals that the studio was located on the corner of Calhoun and Columbia Streets. In addition, the advertising lists the cost of cabinet cards as being 2 dollars per dozen. As an added marketing technique, the studio would do a free 25 dollar oil portrait for one of every thirty customers. Apparently the photographer who operated this studio was a creative marketer as well as a creative photographer. This cabinet card is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on December 27, 2019 at 12:51 pm  Comments (3)  
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This vintage real photo postcard features a theatrical performance in progress. The name of the theatre, play, and players are unknown. The gentleman leaning on the chair seems very forlorn. The photographer of this image is Marie Podmore. She operated a studio in the town of Colne in Lancashire, England. Preliminary research reveals that she was active at least from the early 1920’s until 1938. The stamp box indicates that the postcard was made by Crown Studios sometime between 1913 and 1929. This vintage theatrical postcard is in excellent condition.

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Two lovely young women pose next to an open picture book which is sitting atop a stool-like table. The woman are nearly identically dressed. Their style of fashion is conservative. Their heads are close to each other and tilted toward each other. This pose suggests that there is some intimacy between them. Perhaps they are sisters. The photographer of this image is W. Gerlich and some of his photography medals are exhibited at the bottom front of this photograph. The medals are from exhibits held in 1900 and 1901 and this image likely was produced shortly after that time. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph indicates that the photo is from 1905. W. Gerlich conducted his photography business in “Neu Ruppin”, which was a Prussian town in Brandenburg, Germany. The studio was located on a street named for “Paradeplatz”, or Parade Square, which was located in downtown Zurich, Switzerland. This cabinet card photograph measures about 8″ x 4″.   (SOLD)


Published in: on December 24, 2019 at 12:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This vintage real photo postcard is a wedding portrait. The bride and groom are an attractive and well-dressed couple. The pair appear to be intensely serious in this photograph. The photo was taken in 1928 in Sofia, Bulgaria. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on December 23, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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This vintage real photo postcard features stage actress Kathleen Courtney. Preliminary research yielded little information about this pretty theatre actress indicating that she was likely a minor player. However, Britain’s National Portrait Gallery has five photographs of Miss Courtney in their collection. Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (1901) mentions that Kathleen Courtney, at age thirteen, understudied for adult actress, Ellaline Terriss in a theatre production. Tattler: An Illustrated Journal of Society Drama and Sport (1917) reports that Courtney was appearing in “Maid of the Mountains” at Daly’s theatre. These two articles disclose that Kathleen Courtney began as a child actress and that her career lasted at least 16 years. Given that we know that Kathleen Courtney was thirteen years of age in 1901, we can extrapolate that she was about seventeen years old at the time of this photo. More extensive research is required to illuminate the details of Courtney’s personal and professional life. This postcard was published by the Rapid Photo Company as part of a series (no. 1363). The company existed between 1901 and 1910. It was located in London. The company is best known for their portraits of actresses. The card was printed in London, England. The 1905 postmark is from the town of Milnrow, which is located in Greater Manchester, England. The recipient of the card lived in Blackpool, a seaside resort on the Irish Sea coast of England.   SOLD


This vintage real photo postcard was mailed in 1903 and features Miss Alex, a lesser known actress or dancer of the Belle Epoque era. She was quite pretty. Many entertainers such as Miss Alex, were more or less prostitutes or “kept women”. Certainly, not all of these women were involved in such a lifestyle, and it is unknown how Miss Alex supported herself. The “Ambassadeurs”, a Paris music hall, is printed on the top right hand corner of the front of the postcard. Miss Alex was probably part of the Ambassadeur’s company of entertainers. This portrait postcard was photographed by Lucien Walery. He was a celebrated Paris photographer known for his portraits of artists and cabaret dancers from the city’s music halls. He is very well known for his portraits of Mata Hari and Josephine Baker. Walery did a lot of work in the genre of nude/erotic photography. He photographed the beautiful women of Paris between the early 1900’s and the 1920’s. This “risque” postcard is part of the Etoile 11 series and is in good condition (see scans).                                               

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