PRETTY BRITISH STAGE ACTRESS: MISS ALMA GRIFFITHS

This vintage real photo postcard features pretty British stage actress Miss Alma Griffiths. Catherine Hindson’s book, “London’s West End Actresses and the Origins of Celebrity Charity, 1880-1920” mentions Miss Griffiths. Hindson describes a period of time when theaters became a vehicle for raising money for various charities.  Theaters selected certain matinee performances to donate ticket revenues to charity. Stage performers often did their part to further fill the charity coffers. The author mentions that Alma Griffiths, along with other actresses, including Ethel Warwick and Irene Desmond, sold programs and flowers to the audiences and raised significant funds. The writer of the message on the reverse of this postcard, printed the date (1908) he wrote the postcard below Alma Griffith’s photo.The photo was taken by the Dover Street Studio.  The studio was active between circa 1906 and circa 1912. The gallery specialized in taking theatrical portraits and was located in London, England. The writer of the message states that the postcard was for the addressee’s collection. The writer adds that Miss Griffiths was a “Cardiff girl”, just like the receiver of the postcard. Cardiff is a port city on the south coast of Wales. This vintage postcard is in very good condition.

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Published in: on September 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF STAGE PERFORMER MISS NELLIE BODEN (PHOTO BY ERNEST DYCHE OF BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND)

This vintage real photo postcard features dancer and vocalist Miss Nellie Boden. Research revealed a dearth of information about this pretty young woman. The photographer of this image is Ernest Dyche (1887-1973). He operated a studio in Birmingham, England. He was a self-taught photographer who opened his first studio around 1910. His studio was near the Bordesley Palace Theatre and Dyche became very involved with theatrical portraiture. In addition to photographing stage performers, he also produced individual, group, family, and wedding photographs. He was succeeded by his son, Ernest Malcom Dyche (1921-1990). The younger Dyche, photographed a large number of the black residents of Birmingham. His work documented members of that community and has been the subject of modern day exhibitions. This vintage postcard is in very good condition.

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MISS GLADYS GUY: STAGE ACTRESS APPEARING IN MUSICALS AND PANTOMIMES

This vintage real photo postcard features Miss Gladys Guy (1888-1968) as she appeared in the pantomime, “Dick Whittington” (1909) at the New Theatre, Cardiff, England. The actress is a pretty woman. She has a wonderful smile. She is wearing a terrific hat; the large feather really adds to her appearance. I find her long gloves interesting. Why is there a hole in her glove, just under her thumb. It appears to be part of the design of the glove but I wonder about it’s purpose. Gladys Guy was an English actress and singer. Her father was a violinist. She began her career in about 1905 and between then and 1917 she appeared in a number of successful London musical productions. At times, she served as an understudy to both Gabrielle Ray and Phyllis Dare. In 1912 she married George Augustus Guy (1851-1939), an actor who later joined the Indian Army. He rose in the ranks until he became a lieutenant colonel. Miss Guy’s career ended with the birth of her son. Interestingly, the son followed his parents into acting and became quite well known . His name was Basil Henson. This postcard was published by the Metropole Studios in Cardiff. Cardiff is a port city on the south coast of Wales. The postcard is part of the “Panto Series” (Panto=Pantomime). The photographer was C. Corn. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2529

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$13.00

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Published in: on September 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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FIVE PORTRAITS OF BEAUTIFUL STAGE ACTRESS ALICE CRAWFORD (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARDS)

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These vintage real photo postcards feature a beautiful actress named Alice Crawford (1882-1931). Miss Crawford was born in Bendigo, Australia. Her sister, Ruby Crawford was also an actress. Miss Crawford came to England with actor Wilson Barret in 1902 after appearing with him in Australia. Her London debut was in 1902 in in the play “The Christian”.  She was in the revival of the play in 1907. Other stage credits include “Antony and Cleopatra (1906), Matt of Merrymount (1908), and “The Passing of the Third Floor, Back” (1908). The New York Times (1909) announced her arrival in New York to perform in “These Are My People”. She is credited with film roles in “False Ambition” (1918) and Glorious Adventure (1922). There are fifteen portraits of Alice Crawford in the National Portrait Gallery, eight of which are by the photographer of the top photo postcard (Alexander Bassano}. Bassano  (1829 –1913) was a leading royal and high society photographer in Victorian London. Crawford was married to George Valentine Williams. He was wounded twice in WW I and was awarded the Military Cross. He later worked as a journalist, mostly in trouble spots. During WW2 he conducted “confidential work” for the British Government. He is best known as an author of Detective Fiction. He died in 1946. This postcard captures Miss Crawford in costume for her role as “Diantha Frothingham” in “Matt of Merrymount” (1908). Alice Crawford certainly qualifies as a “stage beauty” and she has an amazingly engaging smile. Bassano photographed the actress for Rotary Photo’s, Rotary Photographic Series (no.1852 R).                                      

The second photo postcard features Miss Crawford looking quite beautiful. Her hair is long and flowing and she has a flower hair band. Her eyes are beautiful and she appears to be holding back a smile. Like the first postcard, this card is also published by Rotary Photo and was part of a series (no. 1852 K). In fact both postcards seen here are part of the same series.  The postcard’s photograph was taken by the Dover Street Studio.  The studio was active between circa 1906 and circa 1912. The gallery specialized in taking theatrical portraits and was located in London, England. They were the successors to the Biograph Studios as well Adart (a studio that took advertising photos). Examination of the reverse of this postcard (see second postcard below) reveals that it was postmarked in 1907. The message on the back of the postcard is quite interesting because it contains comments about the photo on the postcard. The writer reports that she was charmed by a postcard from the addressee and she asks her how she likes “this one”. The writer also states that she was planning to go see “The Thief” at the St. James Theater. Billboard (1907) contains a review of the musical and describes it as an English version of Henry Bernstein’s “Le Voleur”.  The play was produced by Mr George Alexander and it’s cast included Mr. Alexander, Irene Vanbrugh, and Lillian Braithwaite. 

The third photo postcard portrait of Miss Crawford was produced by Rotary Photo and photographed by Dover Studios. The postcard was part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no.1852 P) and was printed in England. This photograph captures Alice Crawford appearing quite dismayed.

The fourth real photo postcard in this collection features a close-up portrait of Miss Crawford. This image confirms that Alice Crawford was certainly a stage beauty. The photograph is very similar to the second postcard in this group and the two images were likely taken during the same photo session at the Dover Street Studio. This postcard was published by Raphael Tuck and Sons and is part of the “Celebrities of the Stage” series (no. T 1148). Raphael Tuck and his wife started their photography business in 1866 in London. Their store sold pictures, greeting cards, and in time, postcards. Their success came from the sale of postcards during the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. In the early 1900’s the firm conducted postcard competitions for collectors of Tuck postcards. These competitions offered cash prizes and they were very popular. The winner of one of these competitions had a collection consisting of over twenty-five thousand cards. Three of Tuck’s four sons participated in the business. The company was devastated by German bombing during World War II. In 1959 the company merged with two other printing companies. This postcard was written and postmarked in 1908. It was postmarked at Bradninch, England. The message on the card is a “Happy Birthday” wish.

The fifth photo postcard features a close-up view of Miss Crawford. She looks pretty with her rolled curl hair and her engaging eyes. This postcard was published by Raphael Tuck and Sons. It is part of the “Celebrities of the Stage”  series (no. T 1202).

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crawford 4 1                                                                        POSTCARD 4

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MISS ANNIE HUGHES, ENGLISH STAGE ACTRESS, POSES WITH HER CHILD AND HER JACK RUSSELL TERRIER

This vintage real photo postcard features stage actress Annie Hughes (1869-1954). The actress poses in this photograph with her child and her Jack Russell Terrier. Miss Hughes was born in England. As a child actress she was associated with the role of “Little Lord Fauntleroy”. The actress was married three times. She was in the title role of “Miss Tommy”, first produced at the Gaiety Theatre in 1907. In 1912 she took the production on a tour of the United States. This postcard was published by Philco and was part of a series (No. 3075 B). Philco was located in London. The postcard has a postmark indicating that it was mailed in1905. The photographer of this image was the Lafayette studio. The firm was founded in Dublin in 1880 by James Stack Lauder. His father, Edmund Lauder was a pioneering and successful photographer. The elder Lauder used the name “Lafayette’ to give the company a touch of Paris, which was a a city considered the center of the art and photography world. James was joined in business by his three photographer brothers. By the 1900, the company had studios in Glasgow, Manchester, London and Belfast. The studio also was invited to photograph Queen Victoria. The company still exists today.

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PORTRAITS OF LILY ELSIE: BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED STAGE ACTRESS (VINTAGE RPPC)

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This vintage real photo postcard features celebrated stage actress Miss Lily Elsie (1886-1962). At the time of her portrait sitting for this image, Miss Elsie was also known as “Mrs. Ian Bullugh”. More about that later. Lily Elsie was a very popular English actress and singer. She was most known for her starring role in the London production of “The Merry Widow (1907)”. The show ran for 778 performances. A critic for The Pelican (1907) wrote that “the youthfulness, the dainty charm and grace, the prettiness and the exquisite dancing with which Miss Elsie invests the part…. I share the opinion of most of the first-nighters, who considered it could not have been in better hands, and could not have been better handled…. The night was a genuine triumph for Miss Elsie, and she well deserved all the calls she received”. She began as a child actress and before her big break had appeared in a number of Edwardian musical comedies. She was charming and beautiful and became one of the most photographed actresses of her time. Lily Elsie’s dad was a theater worker and her aunt was well known actress Ada Reeve. Shortly after the turn of the century she joined George Edwardes’ company at the Daly Theater. Some of her early appearances included “A Chinese Honeymoon”, “Lady Madcap”, “The Little Michus (1905)”. In the years between 1900 and 1906 she appeared in 14 shows. After the “Merry Widow” she appeared in  26 more shows including “The Dollar Princess” (1909) and “A Waltz Dream” (1911). She clearly was an actress who was in demand. Men paid her much attention but apparently she did not enjoy the attention. Lucile, her costume designer for “The Merry Widow” stated that Elsie was “absolutely indifferent to men and had once said that she disliked “the male character”. She added that men would only behave well if a woman “treated them coldly”. Now, some words about her marriage. In 1911 she he left the cast of a play in which she was performing to marry Major John Ian Bullough (1885–1936). Major Bullough was the son of a wealthy textile manufacturer. He was formerly married to actress Maude Darrell who only survived one year after their 1909 marriage. The marriage between Elsie and Bullough was reported to be very unhappy. Elsie’s health began to deteriorate and her husband pressured her to quit the stage and she was ready to do so. She returned to the stage during the war years (World War I) and was active in fund raising for the war effort. She next took a ten year break from the stage only to return once again. Her final performance took place in the Daly Theater in the play “The Truth Game” (1929). In addition to her theater career, Elsie made recordings, and appeared in two films, including D. W. Griffith’s “The Great Love” (1918). Also appearing in that film was Lillian Gish. In 1930 Elsie’s marriage ended in divorce. Her health began to deteriorate more and she developed hypochondriasis causing her to spend much time in nursing homes and sanitariums. Due to her psychological problems she had brain surgery. Her final years were spent at St. Andrews hospital in London. This postcard is part of a series (Arcadian no. A 26). The photographer of this image of this beautiful actress is the well known celebrity photographer, Rita Martin. She was considered one of the best British photographers of her time. She opened her studio in 1906. Martin’s sister, Lallie Charles was an esteemed society photographer. Many of Rita’s photographs can be found in the National Portrait Gallery. To view more photographs by Rita Martin in the cabinet card gallery, click on the category “Photographer: Martin”.

The second postcard of Miss Elsie provides a terrific close-up photograph of the beautiful Miss Elsie. She is wearing a dark jacket, a frilly high collared blouse and a ribbon bow tie. Her accessories include a long necklace, a pin low on her blouse, and a corsage. The postcard is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 4159 J) published by Rotary Photo. The photograph was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield Studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio in the 1900’s through the 1920’s.

The third postcard features Lily Elsie clutching a bouquet of flowers and glancing sideways at the photographer. She looks absolutely beautiful. She is wearing a fancy beaded dress and a bracelet. She stands in front of a window. This photograph, like the second postcard’s photo, was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield studio. The portrait postcard was published by Rotary Photo and is part of a series (11840 F). The postcard was printed in Britain.

The fourth postcard is a portrait of a smiling Lily Elsie. She is wearing a flower, beads (pearls?), and a hairband. This photograph was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield studio. The portrait postcard was published by Rotary Photo and is part of a series (11593 B). This postcard captures Miss Elsie in her role as Alice in “The Dollar Princess” (1909).  The venue for the play was Daly’s Theater in London and cast members included Joseph Coyne, Gabrielle Ray, Emmy Wehlen, and Gladys Cooper.

 

                                              

                                                       Wedding Photo (1911)

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ACTRESS IVY CLOSE: IN 1908 SHE WAS RATED THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD

This vintage real photo postcard features British film actress Ivy Close (1890-1968). Miss Close acted in 44 films between 1912 and 1929.  Ivy Close was born in, and died in, England. Her first husband was a well known photographer and film maker. His name was Elwin Neame (1885-1923) and he and Close established “Ivy Close Films” in 1914. The couple had two sons and both went into the movie business. Close was married a second time in 1938. Her second husband was Curly Batson, an Australian stuntman and make-up artist. If you think that she is quite beautiful, join the club. In 1908, she was named the “World’s Most Beautiful Woman” by Britain’s Daily Mirror. She beat over 1500 competitors for the title of Britain’s beauty queen. In 1916, the actress came to the US and made twelve films for the Kalem Company in New York. Close had some interesting hobbies. She motorcycled, golfed, served as an advertising model, and sang in English music halls. Upon the arrival of “talkies”, Close’s acting career came to a screeching halt. It was decided by higher-ups that her English accent was unacceptable to American audiences. This postcard was printed in Britain and was part of the Lilywhite Photographic Series (no. C M 404D). The publisher, Lilywhite Ltd, Halifax (L.L.H.), was founded by Arthur Frederick Sergeant. He also was the founder of Halifax Photographic Company which was based in Halifax, England. Lilywhite began publishing postcards in 1910; and in the 1920’s, the company took over Arrow Series Postcards. The company then published postcards under both the Arrow and Lilywhite names.

Published in: on February 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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CARTE DE VISITE PORTRAIT OF A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMAN IN PENZANCE, ENGLAND

This Carte de Visite features a very attractive and well dressed young woman. She appears to be in her teenage years or slightly beyond them. Her dress is very fancy and pretty. She is wearing a nicely decorated hat and is accessorized with a necklace and collar pin. Her hair is braided and it falls over her right shoulder. She is holding something in her hands and I am at a loss to identify what it is. Perhaps it is a handkerchief or a purse. The photographer of this cdv portrait is Robert H. Preston who operated a studio in Penzance. The town and port of Penzance are located in Cornwall, England. Robert Hawker Peniel Preston (1837-1931) was partners with Samuel Poole in the early part of his career. Later he operated his own studio until 1901. At some point, his son Richard Preston, worked with him in the photographic studio. Robert Preston married Harriet Snell Body and they had at least seven children. The advertising on the reverse of this carte de visite declares that Preston was one of the official photographers of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Published in: on July 25, 2017 at 3:29 pm  Comments (5)  
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TWO PORTRAITS OF BEAUTIFUL BRITISH ACTRESS/SINGER: WINIFRED BARNES (PHOTOS BY RITA MARTIN)

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These vintage real photo postcards feature British actress Winifred Barnes. She is absolutely beautiful and photographer, Rita Martin did a fine job of capturing both her beauty and personality in these photographs. It is not surprising that Rita Martin produced such fine photo postcards. Miss Martin was well known for her expertise in taking portraits of theater stars and other celebrities. Other images by Rita Martin can be seen by clicking on the Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Photographer: Rita Martin”. Barnes made her theatrical debut in a minor role in “Our Miss Gibbs” at the Gaiety Theater in 1909. Great Britain’s National Portrait Gallery has ten portraits of Winifred Barnes including one by Rita Martin. Her obituary appears in the New York Times (1935). The article describes her as a former chorus girl who became a star. She was one of George Edwardes’s leading actresses. Edwardes (1855-1915) was an English theatre manager and producer who received much credit for his contribution to British musical theatre. Many of Barnes’s major roles occurred during the first World War. She scored a huge success in the production of “Betty” (1915) at Daly’s Theatre. After her 1924 marriage to barrister, Roy Faulkner, she became a successful poultry farmer. She also became widely known for her cooking expertise. Both of these photo postcards were produced by Rotary Photo of London. The two postcards are part of a series (A. 1123-1) and (11867 A).

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MISS EVELEEN RAINE: PRETTY THEATRE ACTRESS (PHOTO BY ELLIOTT AND FRY)

rayneThis cabinet card portrait features stage actress Eveleen (Evelyn) Rayne. She became titled when she married George Fitzwilliam in 1888. She died in 1925. The Elliott & Fry studio produced this image. This Victorian photographic studio and photographic film manufacturer was founded in 1863 by Joseph John Elliott and Clarence Edmund Fry. For an entire century the studio took and published images of leading Victorian luminaries from the fields of science, public service, art, politics as well as celebrities of the day. To view other photographs by this studio click on the category “Photographer: Elliott & Fry”.

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Published in: on December 7, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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