ZOE BASTIEN LE ROI des CIRQUES (KOSBOOLI) (CIRCUS RPPC)

This vintage real photo postcard is an advertisement for a circus. Translated, the title states Zoe Bastien: King of the Circus. I do not know if “Zoe Bastien” is the name of the circus or if it is the name of the pictured acrobat. I am guessing that it is the name of the acrobat but I can not find confirmation. The photographs seen on this postcard were taken by L Marcellin. He operated a studio in Belley, a community in eastern France. The postcard has a tiny chip on the bottom right edge portion of the card. The postcard is in overall good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on December 14, 2020 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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FERN ANDRA : SILENT FILM ACTRESS POSES WITH HER BORZOI

This vintage real photo postcard features American silent film actress, Fern Andra (1893-1974). Andra was one of Germany’s most popular actresses in German silent film. She also worked as a film director, script writer, and producer. The pretty smiling Miss Andra poses with a Borzoi dog. She was born in Watseka, Illinois. Her father died when she was five years-old and her mother remarried. Fern’s step-dad was a vaudeville actor, circus performer and tight-rope walker. By age four, Fern was part of a tight-rope act. She later trained in dance and singing. In 1899, at age six, she made her first film, a version of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. She continued to perform with the circus and toured the United States, Canado, and Europe. She was a member of a famous troupe of wire artists. In Berlin, she took acting lessons from Max Reinhardt, prominent film and theater director. She appeared in several of his plays and films. In 1913, she acted in her first German film. In 1915, she was in her first Austrian film. Some believe Andra was an Allied spy in World War I. To deal with these rumors, she married a Prussian Baron. At some point, she stated that she actually was spying for the allies. This was her first marriage. He was killed in the war. Her second marriage was to a professional boxer. Her appearance in the film “Genuine” (1920) caused a great stir. In this horror film, she wore a costume that was simply, her painted body. She continued to make films in Europe but by the mid 1920’s, her popularity waned in Germany. In 1922, she was widely reported as being killed in a plane crash. In fact, she, and her companion, director Geog Bluen, survived the crash but according to one article, died the next day. However, the pilot, a former World War I fighter pilot and brother of the “Red Baron”, was killed. By 1928, Andra was working in the United Kingdom and the United States. She also expanded her acting to radio and television. Andra was married four times. She was widowed two times and divorced two times. Her fourth marriage, to a General, lasted about 35 years. She had no children. The IMDb gives Andra 51 acting credits between 1913 and 1930. She is also credited as a writer, producer, and director. An interesting side note is that when she was working as a producer, she interacted with a young German playwright named Josef Goebbels. Interestingly, she did propaganda broadcasts into Germany for the allies during World War II. Fern Andra died at age 80, in South Carolina. The stamp box of this postcard has an interesting story. “NBC” (Neue Bromsilber Convention) was a price cartel established in 1909 that continued until the 1930’s. The purpose of the cartel was to ensure that the minimum price charged for postcards was kept at a sufficiently profitable level. A number of postcard publishing companies joined the cartel in an effort to stave off the effect of competition on the pricing of postcards. This postcard is part of a series (no.131/1). The logo for the motion picture company, “Film Sterne” ,can be seen in the lower left hand corner of the image. This vintage postcard is in very good condition.

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DAISY BELMONT : CIRCUS PERFORMER, TALENTED BARE BACK RIDER, SINGER, AND DANCER

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Daisy Belmont (1871-1896) was a circus equestrian and performer. She made her theater debut at three years of age and her career took off. Her repertoire included singing, and dancing and in time, bare back riding. She sometimes preformed with her siblings, Lottie and Charles. Her performing career took her to Asia, Australia, and South America.  In 1889, at age 18, she married William Showles (1857-1924), a “dashing” young equestrian who rode with Sells Brothers circus.   She became the most famous bareback rider in the country.  Tragically, after returning to America after performing “on the road” in Austalia, she died from Bright’s disease at age twenty-five.  Miss Belmont’s obituary indicates that she was a “successful with Barnum’s circus” (P T Barnum) as a bare back rider. Daisy Belmont has been described as “the embodiment of grace and feminine loveliness”. She died and was buried in Chicago, Illinois. This cabinet card features Miss Belmont. She appears to be in her mid teenage years at the time of this photograph. She is displaying a sweet smile. She is posed as if she is jumping rope. Most images that I have seen of Daisy, capture her at a significantly younger or older age than this image. The photo studio that produced this cabinet card portrait is C. C. C. Co. of Chicago.  (SOLD)             

 

SNAPSHOT OF A CLYDE BEATTY CIRCUS TRUCK : THE CIRCUS HAS COME TO TOWN

This vintage snapshot photograph features a Clyde Beatty Circus Truck. It appears that the circus has come to town.  The photo was taken in 1959. The date is printed on  the top border of the photograph. Clyde Beatty (1903-1965) was an animal trainer and zoo owner in Florida. His first job at a circus was as a cage cleaner. He rose in status as he became an animal trainer. He was known for his lion taming acts. Eventually, in 1945, he became a circus owner and later merged with the Cole Brothers Circus.Beatty was famous for his “fighting act”. He would enter a cage with wild animals with a whip and a pistol strapped to his side. He demonstrated his courage by facing a cage full of animals including lions, tigers and cougars. At the peak of his career, Beatty’s act featured 40 lions and tigers. Beatty was so popular that he appeared in films between the 1930’s and the 1950’s.  He appeared on television in the 1960’s. The snapshot measures 3 1/2″ x 5″ and is in very good condition.

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Published in: on March 16, 2020 at 7:29 pm  Comments (2)  
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PORTRAIT OF HOWARD BRISCOE : RAILROAD CARPENTER : BARABOO, WISCONSIN

The handsome young man in this photograph is named Howard Briscoe. His name is inscribed on the reverse of this cabinet card photo. Briscoe lived in Baraboo, Wisconsin. He lived there all, or most of his life. Briscoe was born in 1878. His father was a miller by trade, Briscoe’s wife was named Julia Simon Briscoe. Howard Briscoe worked as a carpenter for a railroad company. The photographer of this image, Mr. Mould, is mentioned in a number of photographic journals. He placed an ad for his studio in a book about Sauk County, Wisconsin (1891). The Photographic Times (1898) reports on his appointment to a lobbying committee of the Photographers Association of Wisconsin. The Encyclopedia Dubuque (1911) reveals that Sim Mould operated a photographic studio at 107 Main Street in Dubuque, Iowa. The cabinet card gallery has other photographs by Mould, Place his name in the search box to view these other images. The town of Baraboo is situated on the Baraboo river. The town was settled by Abe Wood and originally called Adams. In 1852 it was renamed Baraboo. In the town’s early history it became the home of several sawmills. In the nineteenth century the town served as the headquarters of several circuses, including Ringling Brothers. Baraboo became known as “Circus City”. This cabinet card photo is in excellent condition (see scans).

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Published in: on February 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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JAPANESE ACROBATS : TUCK’S : TATTOOS : OILETTE SERIES

This vintage postcard was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons and is titled “Japanese Acrobats” (no. 6465). The performer in the middle has tattoos on his back, as well as on the back of his left leg. Note the acrobats are holding paper fans and that the center acrobat is wearing his fan on his head. The card is part of a sub-series named “Japanese at Home”. The postcard is also a member of the “Oilette ” series, which was introduced in 1903. The 1930 Tuck catalog states that the oilettes are “veritable miniature oil paintings;” with six designs in a packet. These postcards were printed with the “finest modern colour methods direct from original paintings”. 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.  (SOLD)

LITTLE GIRL IN A FIELD OF DAISIES IN BARABOO,WISCONSIN

 

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baraboo 1A cute little girl with curly hair poses in a studio created field of daisies for photographer Sim Mould. The studio was located in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The girl is wearing a dress wth a lace collar and has a flower pinned to the front of her dress. An inscription on the reverse of the cabinet card indicates that the child’s name is Hattie Acot. Unfortunately, no biographical information could be found about her. The photographer, Mr. Mould is mentioned in a number of photographic journals. He placed an ad for his studio in a book about Sauk County, Wisconsin (1891). The Photographic Times (1898) reports on his appointment to a lobbying committee of the Photographers Association of Wisconsin. The Encyclopedia Dubuque (1911) reveals that Sim Mould operated a photographic studio at 107 Main Street in Dubuque, Iowa. The town of Baraboo is situated on the Baraboo river. The town was settled by Abe Wood and originally called Adams. In 1852 it was renamed Baraboo. In the town’s early history it became the home of several sawmills. In the nineteenth century the town served as the headquarters of several circuses, including Ringling Brothers. Baraboo became known as “Circus City”.  This cabinet card portrait is in very good condition (see scans).

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baraboo 2

THE FAMOUS HANNA TRIPLETS IN BOONTON, NEW JERSEY (PHOTO BY WENDT)

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This cabinet card portrait features “The Famous Hanna Triplets”. The girl’s names were Ida, Iva, and Eva. The sisters were involved in show business from the age of ten months. A 1967 interview with Iva during her retirement revealed her perspective on the triplet’s popularity. She stated “there weren’t too many triplets in those days who survived…so I guess you could call them freaks who weren’t freaks”. The girls worked for Ringling Brothers and the A. B. Marcus Musical Comedy Company. They performed as dancers. At age 20 they retired as they began to marry. Eva married a noted clown. “Bumpsy” Anthony (1900-1989) was inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame. In 1956, at age 50, the triplets had a reunion dance performance. Triplets are quite rare and it is not surprising that these beautiful performing girls became well known. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that triplets are born in about one of one thousand births. Only about 10% of these births are identical triplets. In 2015 only four sets of identical triplets were born in the US. It appears that the Hanna girls were identical triplets. The photographer of this historic image is Frank Wendt (1859-1930). In 1893 Wendt became the successor to his mentor, Charles Eisenmann (1855-197). Eisenmann was a famous New York City photographer known for his images concerning “human oddities” and circus perfomers. A collection of his work can be seen at the web site of the “International Center of Photography”. Wendt continued Eisenmann’s work photographing “human oddities” but he also photographed many “normal” celebrities.Wendt moved the studio to New Jersey in 1898. Author Jim Linderman maintains that Wendt has been unfairly placed in the shadow of Eisenmann.

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Published in: on March 3, 2017 at 11:09 am  Comments (5)  
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PORTRAIT OF A ROW OF FIVE ADORABLE CIRCUS DOGS (PHOTO BY FAMED ALBERT BERGERET OF FRANCE)

circus dogs

This vintage real photo postcard features five circus dogs posed as if they were begging. The dogs are adorable and the photographer did an excellent job of posing these “talented” canines. The caption is in French and roughly means “Doggies Right Alignment”. The photograph is by the famed Albert Bergeret (1859-1932), a leading French postcard producer. Printing on the front of the postcard lists the studio as being located in Nancy. A postmark on the card indicates that it was mailed in 1902. To view other examples of Bergeret’s work and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Bergeret”.

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Published in: on April 11, 2016 at 2:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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LADY BALL WALKER: CIRCUS BALANCING ACT PERFORMER IN BUFFALO, NEW YORK

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This cabinet card portrait features a pretty young woman who likely performed in a balancing act for an unidentified circus. She has one foot on a ball that was used for balancing feats. The photograph is a bit risque for it’s era. The young lady is displaying a bit of a devilish grin. Note the upside down ghost image at the top of this image. The logo of the McDannell studio in Wattsburg, Pennsylvania is visible and the cause of this phenomenon is that this cabinet card was likely stored face-to-face with the McDannell cabinet card and The McDannell logo was pressed printed onto this circus performer photograph. It is worth mentioning that one of Mcdannell’s photographs is a resident of the Cabinet Card Gallery collection. The above cabinet card image was produced by the Rykert studio in Buffalo, New York. Chauncy W. Rykert and William Rykert were both photographers in Buffalo. Both men shared a studio on Buffalo’s Jefferson Street in the late 1870’s. Chauncy is the most likely one who produced this image as he remained a photographer in Buffalo for many more years than William.

Published in: on October 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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