DAISY JEROME : SCANDALOUS STAGE ACTRESS WHO WAS VIEWED AS RAUCOUS, VULGAR, AND “AN ACQUIRED TASTE”

This rare vintage real photo postcard features the red headed actress that electrified the Australian stage. She was noted for her famous wicked wink. The life and times of Daisy Jerome can best be described as scandalous. She arrived in Australia in 1913 for a three year stage tour.  Feminism was rising in the western world. Suffragettes were marching for the right to vote. Women were smoking, driving, wearing less conservative fashion, and even dancing the tango with it’s sexual overtones. She arrived in Adelaide adorned with an excess of jewelry. She was born in America but raised in England. Her place of birth was New York and she was born Daisy Witkowski in 1886. Daisy reported that she was raised in a multilingual household that had been visited by Presidents Lincoln, McKinley, and Roosevelt. After experiencing financial problems, her father moved the family to England. Money was needed and Daisy followed her sister onto the stage. She played the Palace and toured with companies that gave her a chance to do comedic singing and pantomime. Her performances were considered to be amusing and irreverent. She was a comedienne. Her humor has been described as “vibrant” and “wicked”. Daisy was described as “feisty”, “cunning”, and “independent”. She was small and dainty and had compelling eyes and an expressive face. Her performances had a risque tone and she had a hoarse, sensual voice. She could toe dance and wooden shoe dance, but was most known as a mimic and comnic singer. After a year of marriage, she deserted her first husband to live with another man. In 1910, she took a journalist to court for libel. The reporter had accused her of performing encores when audiences had not requested them. She claimed that her professional reputation had been damaged. The court case was a circus. The defense ridiculed one of her songs which caused her to break into tears in the witness chair. She won the case but was barely compensated. When she began her tour of Australia, she was recognized as raucous, vulgar and “an acquired taste”. She quickly charmed those that were hesitant to appreciate her and she soon received a warm welcome and a complimentary nickname, “The Electric Spark”. Her carrot red hair became the subject of much debate. She claimed it was her natural color but most people were not believers of her claim. One day, an Australian comedian told her that a gentleman had taken offence to her hair. The comedian said that the offended man would visit her that night. The comedian then informed the local fire chief that there was great risk of fire during Daisy’s time on stage. The worried fireman came to the theatre and when he saw Daisy’s red hair, he realized he had been a victim of a joke. He kept the joke going when he said that he agreed there was risk of fire and he ordered the scenery to be fireproofed immediately. During Daisy Jerome’s era, there was a bias against redheads. They were considered to be hot tempered and sexually wild and uninhibited. Her theater/music hall background only magnified some people’s negative view of Daisy. After completing her touring contract in Australia, she signed another one. This time she performed on a vaudeville stage which allowed her to showcase her bawdy songs. In 1914 she sang a feminist style song called “The Press, the Pulpit, and the Petticoat”. This song argued that women were more powerful and influential than the media and the church. Daisy was a woman who had unconventional ideas. She would not restrained by political correctness. She stated in a 1914 interview that “I refuse to regulate my acts to accepted rules of conduct”. Despite her views, she remained popular with Australian audiences. She left Australia in 1916 and returned in 1922 for another successful tour. Later, she was involved in another court case which this time involved her suing her maid over missing jewels. With the arrival and subsequent popularity of films, Daisy Jerome faded out of the public’s focus. Two photo portraits of Daisy Jerome can be found in England’s National Portrait Gallery. This vintage postcard was published by J. Beagles & Co. of London, England as part of a series (No. 109 A). The company was started by John Beagles (1844-1909). The company produced a variety of postcards including an extensive catalog of celebrity (stage and screen) portrait postcards. After Beagle’s death, the business continued under it’s original name until it closed in 1939. Miss Jerome’s portrait was taken by the Hutchinson & Svendsen studio. The National Portrait Gallery asserts that this pair of photographers were active in London between 1905 and 1906. This vintage photo postcard is in excellent condition (see scans). This postcard portrait of Daisy Jerome is absolutely beautiful and very uncommon.  (SOLD)

 

 

PORTRAIT OF A SWEET YOUNG WOMAN IN AUSTRALIA

This vintage real photo postcard was taken at an unidentified studio and not mass produced. The young woman posing for the photograph is wearing a plain dress, pearls, and earrings. She dressed up for the photo but no one would accuse her of being a fashionista. The woman used the post card to transmit Christmas and New Year’s greetings. The message on the reverse of the card was written in 1933. The stamp box on the verso indicates that the postcard used Kodak of Australia paper. This postcard has excellent clarity and is in excellent condition.

Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2503

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$21.50

Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) #2503

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$29.50

 

Published in: on August 19, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  

PORTRAIT OF A “CUTIE PIE” IN BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

Let me introduce you to cousin Betty Hudson. She is a cutie pie. This vintage real photo postcard of Betty was taken by a studio in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The photographer used lighting in creating this photo that is reminiscent of the work of artist Coles Phillips. An inscription on the reverse of the postcard indicates that this photograph was taken in 1917. This photo postcard is in good condition (see scans).

Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping to the US) #2436

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$21.50

 

Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) #2436

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$29.50

 

Published in: on June 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (5)  

PORTRAIT OF A HANDSOME SOLDIER IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA

This cabinet card provides a portrait of a handsome uniformed Austro-Hungarian soldier. He is posing at the Rudolf Denk studio in Vienna, Austria. Note his high boots, sabre, and wrist watch. The soldier is wearing a couple of medals on his chest. His cap is on the table beside him. He is wearing a whistle which can be seen between his two breast pockets. The soldier is holding an open book. It is likely that this young man saw military action. World War I was not many years away from the time that he sat for this photograph.

Published in: on May 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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JENNIE WINSTON: INTERCONTINENTAL COMIC OPERA ACTRESS

gambier

The top cabinet card features early theatre actress, Jennie Winston. Unfortunately, biographical information concerning Ms. Winston appears to be sparse, and further research is necessary. An 1881 publication reveals that Jennie Winston was a native of Scotland and moved to Australia to join W. S. Lyster’s Italian Opera company. Her tenure with this company was seven years. She next went ot America under engagement to “Mr Maguire”, for whom she worked for one season’s duration. She then formed her own traveling opera company which journeyed to the western United States and British Columbia. The “Dramatic News” described Winston as “unsurpassed as a comic-opera artist by anyone in this country”. The photographer of this portrait was the studio belonging to Gilbert & Bacon. This studio was well known for their quality work as well as their work with local and visiting celebrities. To view other photographs by this studio, click on the category of “Photographer: Gilbert & Bacon”.

The second photograph, also by Gilbert & Bacon, captures a costumed Jennie Winston playing the mandolin. Note the backdrop  used in this photograph. The backdrop was an excellent choice for the photograph as it is compatible with Ms. Winston’s costume. It was also a good choice technically; the actress does realistically appear to be standing on a winding stone road.

The third photographic portrait features a sultry looking Jennie Winston, and is by celebrated photographer, Marc Gambier (1838-1900). The fourth cabinet card portrait was also photographed by Gambier. Miss Winston is in costume for an unnamed theatrical performance. She is acting in the portrait. Note her provocative and coy appearance. Gambier was born and educated in Paris, France. At the age of 19, he came to America for a very short stint of time. He returned to France and became a student of the great painter, Le Creton. Subsequently, he became a student of another great painter, Camino. He then returned to America and for five years, studied and worked under esteemed photographer, Sarony (view Sarony’s photographs by clicking on the category “Photographer: Sarony”). He then launched his own photography business in New York City. He divided his time between his first love, painting, and his business of taking and selling photographs. Gambier was known as a great historical painter. He was a veteran of the French Army and while in the service, he sketched and painted several important battles. Research reveals that Gambier was listed in the 1880 US census. He was forty-one years old and living in New York City with his family. He is listed as living with his wife Emilie (age 28), daughters Louise (age 10) and Emilie (age 7), and son M. L. (age 2). Also in the residence was a young woman (age 25) who worked as a servant. Gambier was known for the many theatrical photographs he produced as well as for selling postage stamp sized portrait photographs, that people attached to their letters and postcards.

PORTRAIT OF THE SHELTON FAMILY IN BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

The Shelton family poses for their family portrait at the studio of Poul C. Poulsen in Brisbane, Australia. The photographer appears to have provided the family with props to use in this photograph. The bespectacled Mr Shelton reads to his daughter as she sits on his lap. A second daughter sits in a miniature chair and is holding an open magazine. The eldest daughter (on the far right side of the image) holds a fan that features the image of a pretty woman. Fans such as this, frequently had images of famous actresses of the era. Mrs Shelton has a handkerchief on her lap while another daughter is holding flowers. In the back center of the photograph is the Shelton’s young adult aged son who has his arms folded across his chest and a look of disinterest on his face. Poul Christensen Poulsen (1857-1925) was born in Denmark and arrived in Sydney in 1876. In 1882 he moved to Queensland and opened a photographic studio a few years later. He was later joined by brothers and sisters from Denmark. He opened branches of his studio in other Queensland towns. In 1898 he was appointed the Danish Consul at Brisbane. Over the years, his sons and grandsons entered the photography business. There is evidence on this particular cabinet card that dates it somewhere between 1894 and 1898. The studio located in the town of Gympie that is listed in the advertising on the front of this card, existed between 1894 and 1898.

WOMAN IN CHAINS (STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA)

This cabinet card features a woman in chains. The previous sentence, and the title of this blog entry, may be misleading because the woman isn’t exactly in chains; instead, she is wearing a chain necklace. Don’t you hate those sensational headlines that are aimed to manipulate you to watch a particular news show, or read a certain newspaper? Sorry! This lady’s name is “Emmie” according to a notation on the reverse of the cabinet card. She is thin, pretty and curly haired. The chain she is wearing has a pin attached to her collar and also has a charm or locket. Ironically, the charm resembles a  modern day pet identification tag. This image was photographed by Batchelder of Stockton, California. Perez Mann Batchelder (1818-1873) was a daguerreotypist, ambrotypist, and photographer active in a number of areas in California, including Sonora, Stockton, Vallecito, Murphy’s Camp, and Mokelumne Hill. He also operated studios in Melbourne, Australia (he followed the gold rush occurring down under) and Boston, Massachusetts. He worked in all of these locales over a short period of time. He clearly did not let moss grow under his feet. Batchelder with his brothers Nathaniel, Freeman, and Benjamin Pierce founded a daguerreian dynasty which in the 1850’s and 1860’s established dozens of galleries on both coasts of the United States and in Australia. Batchelder travelled incessantly and operated many enterprises simultaneously. He was born in Massachusetts and entered photography as a career in 1844. The book, “Pioneer Photographers of the Far West: A Biographical Dictionary” (2000) was the source of much of the information about Perez Batchelder.

DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

This cabinet card is a portrait of a nicely dressed older gentleman with a bushy mustache. The gentleman appears quite distinguished and may have been part of the elite of San Francisco. The Rieman and Tuttle Studio produced this cabinet card. George B. Rieman and William Nutting Tuttle (1844-1895) became partners in 1879. The first three letters of Mr Tuttle’s middle name seems to have described his personality. He appears to have been a vagabond photographer; working in a number of studios and having multiple business partners in the years proceeding his venture with Rieman. In 1880, Tuttle left his family in Oakland and sailed to Australia to start anew. Tuttle’s wife, Belle, went to Australia to try to convince her husband to return to California. Her efforts were fruitless. Although Tuttle’s photography studios were very successful and he prospered in Australia, he didn’t support his family back in the United States. He stayed abroad until his death in 1895. The Cabinet Card Gallery has some photographs related to this image. To see other terrific mustaches, click on the category “Mustaches (Only the Best). To view other photographs by Rieman, and to learn more about his life,  click on the category “Photographer: Rieman”.

EIGHT ATHLETIC LOOKING BLOKES IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

This cabinet card is a portrait of eight very athletic looking men. The men are dressed very similarly. Their pants appear to be identical and they each are wearing a wide white belt around their waists. The image presents a number of questions. Are these Aussie blokes wearing a uniform? Are they members of  a sports team? Are they wearing work clothing and all share the same occupation? Hopefully some Cabinet Card Gallery visitors will leave a comment that gives their opinion as to the answers to the aforementioned questions.  The photographer of this image is Herbst of Sydney, Australia. He is mentioned in a number of Sydney newspapers published in the 1890’s.  Advertisements for his studio appear in the newspapers, and there is mention of some of the notables he photographed.

Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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