Marion Winchester (1882- ?) is the subject of this real photo postcard portrait. She was born in California. She began her professional career in 1899. She was trained at the Alviene Stage Dancing and Vaudeville School of Acting, at the Grand Opera House in New York. Winchester’s London premiere occurred in 1903 when she performed at the Oxford Music Hall where she was billed as the “World’s Champion Cake Walker”. She left London to appear in Paris where she received accolades for her dancing ability. In 1921, she applied for an emergency passport at the American Embassy in Paris. Her paperwork indicated that she resided in Paris where she studied music. She later married Italian pianist and composer, Count Aldo Solito de Solis (1905-1973). The pair divorced in 1940 and De Solis then married actress Gale Page. A photograph of Miss Winchester can be found in England’s National Portrait Gallery. Marion Winchester has appeared on Broadway four times between 1900 and 1902 and once again in 1934. She was mainly active within her career between 1899 and 1908. She was known for being a specialty dancer. An article in “London Week by Week” (1904) tells an interesting anecdote about Winchester. The article refers to the actress as the “Sugar Queen” and explains the origin of this nickname. It is reported that one day she was in the corridor of a fancy hotel and she was sucking on a piece of candy. She happened on the path of the “Emperor of the Sahara”, Jacques Lebaudy. The eccentric sugar magnate said to her, “Give up sugar-stick, and buy sugar stock”. It is said that she took the tip, and made a great deal of money, keeping her well stocked with furs, beautiful dresses, and diamonds. 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. Walery does an excellent job of capturing Miss Winchester’s loveliness. Note her beautiful long hair. This postcard is part of a series (no. 2200). (SOLD)


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