VERA VASILYEVNA KHOLODNAYA : BEAUTIFUL RUSSIAN SILENT FILM STAR : VICTIM OF THE SPANISH FLU

This vintage real photo postcard features Russian actress Vera Vasilyevna Kholodnaya (1893-1919). Sometimes she is referred to as Holodnaja). She was the first star of Russian silent film. The number of films that she appeared in, is unknown. It is estimated the number of appearances is somewhere between fifty and one hundred. It is unfortunate that only five of her films survived the passage of time. She was born in Poltava which was part of the Russian Empire, and is now located in the Ukraine. At the age of two, she moved to Moscow to live with her grandmother. As a child, she fantasized about becoming a classical ballerina. She eventually enrolled in the Bolshoi Theatre ballet school From early childhood, she participated in family theater productions, While attending her school prom to celebrate her graduation she met Vladimir Kholodny, whom she married in 1910. He is known as one of Russia’s first race car drivers. The pair had two children. In 1908, after seeing actress Vera Komissarzhevskaya in a stage role, she decided that she wanted to pursue a career in films. She sought out Vladimir Gardin, a major Russian film director, and he gave her a minor role in Anna Karenina. In 1915, film director Yevgeni Bauer was searching for an actress who possessed great beauty. After meeting Vera Kholodnaya, he found the enchantress that he was looking for. Bauer’s film was a resounding success. He then made a second film starring Kholodnaya. These two Bauer films made Vera a major celebrity. She soon became known as “the Queen of Screen” and had great successes with other films. By 1918, she was a film phenom. When Russia entered World War I, her husband joined the military. She participated in charity concerts to support the soldiers and their families. It is reported that she was “worshipped” by soldiers. By the time of the Russian Revolution (1917), a new Kholodnaya film was released every three weeks and she continued to experience acclaim and success. Around this time, the actress moved with her film company to Odessa. She died there, at age 25, during the 1918 flu pandemic.This version of the flu, was known as the “Spanish Flu” and it infected 500 million people around the world between 1918 and 1920. Estimates are that between 50 and 100 million people died during the pandemic.  (SOLD)

PORTRAIT OF A MOST BEAUTIFUL COUPLE IN A MOST ROMANTIC CITY (VENICE, ITALY)

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italian cc 1 This cabinet card photograph captures a lovely couple posing for their portrait. They are very well dressed. Their attire is clearly aimed at keeping warm on a winter day. The couple appears to be affluent. Their clothing, including the young woman’s furs, lead me to that conclusion. The man and woman in this photograph, are displaying a very interesting expression. In my opiniion, they appear to be somewhat amused as they gaze at something or someone they deem a bit odd. Feel free to leave a comment concerning your interpretation of this couple’s facial expressions. This portrait photo was taken at a studio in Venice, Italy. The photographers were Giuseppe and Luitzi Vianelli. An advertisement for the Vianelli Brothers indicates that during their career they had photographed the Royal House’s of Italy, Germany, England, and Greece. The ad also states that the pair had won many photography honors. The ads appeared in publications dating between 1896 and 1899. This cabinet card photo measures about 8″ x 3 3/4″ and is in very good condition (see scans).   (SOLD)

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Published in: on January 16, 2019 at 3:58 pm  Comments (2)  
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PORTRAIT OF A LOVELY YOUNG WOMAN IN MAYVILLE, NORTH DAKOTA

 

A well dressed pretty young woman poses for her portrait at the Dahl Brothers studio in Mayville, North Dakota. The woman is displaying a pretty smile and shows an air of confidence. She is wearing a locket on a long thin chain. In the book “An Illustrated History of Lyon County, Minnesota” (1912), by Arthur P. Rose, the author reports that Julius T. Dahl (1874-?) was operating a photo gallery in Marshall, Minnesota. Although born in Minnesota, Dahl moved to North Dakota with his family at an early age and lived with them on a farm. He stayed on the farm until twenty-five years of age when he learned photography and opened a gallery in Mayville. He operated his business there for three years and then opened a gallery in Kindred, North Dakota which remained in business for four years. In 1908 he began his photography studio in Marshall. In 1897 Dahl married Carrie Fatland. Wikipedia states that Mayville was founded in 1881 and named after “May Arnold”. What was May Arnold’s claim to fame? Apparently, she was the first white child born in the vicinity of the town. Not much of a claim to fame in my book but the 1880’s were a different era and a time characterized by more overt racism than today.  (SOLD)