KARINA AND HER DOG : PREMIERE BALLET DANCER AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE : LONDON

Karina. She was celebrity enough to use only her first name. More modern performers who are recognized by just one name include Elvis, Madonna, and Adele. Who was Karina? As the caption on the postcard asserts, Karina was the premiere dancer at the Royal Opera House and the founder of Madame Karina’s Royal School of Dancing. The school was under the patronage of Queen Alexandra (of Denmark). The Queen was a staunch supporter of the opera ballet from 1913 through the 1920’s.  Karina was Danish and active in the 1910’s and 1920’s. Two portraits of Karina can be found in Great Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. The photograph seen on this postcard was taken by the esteemed studio of Elliott & Fry. 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. This vintage real photo postcard has some corner and edge wear and is in overall very good condition (see scans).

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MISS GAYNOR ROWLANDS : ENGLISH STAGE ACTRESS; SINGER, AND DANCER

This vintage real photo postcard features English actress, singer, and dancer, Gaynor Rowlands (1883-1906). She carried the nickname of “The Nightingale of Wales”. She started her career in Empire Theatres’s Ballet. Upon graduation, she joined the company chorus line of George Edwarde’s Gaiety Theatre. She toured India in 1901/02. She quickly became a star and she became the most photographed of the “Gaiety Girls”. She was a popular subject of photo postcards and theatre magazine articles. Rowland’s life was cut short when she died of heart failure at the age of twenty-three after surgery for appendicitis. Eight portraits of Gaynor are in England’s National Portrait Gallery. The IMDb reports that she has one film in her filmography. lt was released in 1905. This pretty portrait of Miss Rowlands was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons as part of the Glosso Postcard Series (No. 5709) and the “Celebrities of the Stage Series”. The writer of this postcard used only one word to describe Gaynor. That word is “Lovely”. There is no doubt about the date that this postcard was written and sent. Not only does the postmark reveal that this card was mailed in 1905, but the writer wrote the same date on the front of the postcard. The card was mailed from Hounslow, a borough of London. This postcard is in good condition (see scans). .

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MISS FANNY FIELDS : JEWISH AMERICAN SINGER, DANCER, AND COMEDIENNE (TWO PHOTO POSTCARDS FROM 1906)

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POSTCARD 2

This vintage real photo postcard features American singer, dancer, and comic performer, Fanny Fields (1880-1961), who was a successful performer in British music halls and pantomimes in the early 1900s. During her career she was frequently billed as “Happy” Fanny Fields. She was born, Fanny Furman, in New York City, to a Jewish family. She first appeared in variety shows in NYC sometime around 1899. In her act, she sang and told stories. In 1902, she performed in London and had a very positive reception. One reviewer described her as “one big bubble of mirth and merriment”. She toured with Welsh harpist, Nansi Richards. She also performed “The Suffragette”. In an accompanying monologue, she encouraged woman to make a stand for their rights. In 1912, she performed in front of King George V. She also starred in a silent film short entitled “Happy Fanny Fields and the Four Little Dutchmen” (1913). She retired from the entertainment business in 1913. She returned to the United States and married Dr Abraham Rongy (1878-1949). He was a gynecologist and set up maternity hospitals. In 1933, he published one of the first books proposing the legalization of abortion. Fanny became an active fundraiser for Jewish medical organizations.

Postcard 1 features a close-up portrait of Fanny Fields. She looks pretty in this color tinted photo postcard. The postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no.4007 C). The message on this postcard indicates that the sender sent the postcard for someone to add to their collection. This postcard has a postmark from 1906.

Postcard 2 is a vintage real photo postcard portrait of Miss Fields. The photograph is color tinted. The performer is just beaming for the photographer. Her hat is quite an extravaganza. This postcard was published by Philco (London) as part of a series (no.3213 D). The photographer was Lewis R. Protheroe. He operated a studio in Bristol, England. He was working as a photographer, at least between 1901 and 1917. His father, Thomas Protheroe founded the studio between approximately 1876 and 1900. The postcard has a 1906 postmark. The card is in very good condition (see scans).

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CARRIE PERKINS : RISQUE PHOTO : WORE THE TIGHTEST DRESSES IN VAUDEVILLE

The pretty woman seen in this cabinet card portrait is actress, Carrie Perkins. Her acting included productions on Broadway, as well as, appearances on the Burlesque and Vaudeville stage. One of Perkins’s claims to fame, is that she was considered to be the actress that wore the tightest fitting costumes in all of vaudeville. She appeared in much advertising such as premium cards for cigarette brands. The website, “Broadway Photographs” provides a biography of Miss Perkins. She is described as “a vaudevillian with a trim body and a smart tongue”. The site states that “she plied both the visual and verbal dimensions of entertainment”. Although she was known for her tight gowns, the biographer states that “it was her urban girl wit that won her a ticket to Broadway”. She became known to the theatrical world in Garrick’s burlesque “Thrilby” (1895). She wasn’t considered beautiful enough to play lead roles. Instead she played roles that showcased “feminine audacity”. She appeared in nineteen Broadway productions according to the Internet Broadway Database (IBDB). These appearances occurred between 1888 and 1911. These performances included “Jack and the Beanstalk (1898), “The Casino Girl” (1901), and “The Merry Shop Girl’s” (1905). Her final show was “The Fascinating Widow”. which was a touring production with the popular actor and female impersonator Julian Eltinge. There seems to be agreement that Perkins was long on personality and appearance, but short on talent. Perkins rarely received praise from theatre critics. She found her place on the stage as a supporting actress/dancer/singer. This cabinet card photograph was taken by the Sparks Photo-Publishing Company. The studio was located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The artist/manager of the studio was Elliott Houseworth. The 1880 census lists Elliott A. Houseworth as being born in 1855, residing in San Francisco, California, and working as a photographer. Houseworth also appears in the 1900 census as living in Norwood, Pennsylvania and working as a manager. These demographics fit the photographer of this image, since Houseworth managed Sparks Photography Studio and Norwood is only about eleven miles from Philadelphia. A stamp on the reverse of the image states “Russell Brothers, 126 Tremont Street, Boston”. Perhaps the Russell Brothers were photograph collectors or a photo gallery that sold celebrity photographs. Photographs of Miss Perkins are rare and this image is beautiful remnant of turn of the century Broadway theater. SOLD

JOSEPHINE CASABONI : STAR BALLET DANCER : PHOTOGRAPHED BY LYD SAWYER

This vintage real photo postcard features Miss Josephine “Cassy” Casaboni, an esteemed principal ballet dancer. The photographer of this image is Lyd Sawyer. Edward Lyddel Sawyer (1856-1927) was a British photographer. At the age of sixteen, he was responsible for the work of a busy photography studio in Newcastle. His father was a portrait painter and photographer. In 1885, he opened a portrait studio with his two brothers. In 1895, he opened a portrait studio on Regent Street, in London. He was a founding member of “The Linked Ring”, a British photographic society that advocated viewing photography as a fine art, rather than exclusively as a science or commercial venture. Twelve of Sawyer’s photos can be found in Great Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. He is considered a talented photographer and an important figure in the history of photography. This postcard was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons. The card is part of the “Stage Favourites” series (no.5015). This photograph of Miss Casaboni captures the dancer in her role in “The Red Shoes”, which appeared at London’s Alhambra Theatre in 1899. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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PORTRAIT OF THE BEAUTIFUL GABY DESLYS: TALENTED ACTRESS, DANCER AND SINGER

This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of the multi talented actress, dancer, and singer, Gaby Deslys (1881-1920). Miss Deslys performed at the beginning of the twentieth century in both Europe and the United States. She was extremely popular worldwide. In fact, she was able to earn four thousand dollars a week when performing in the United States. She performed several times on Broadway. She had a dance named after her, “The Gaby Glide” (1911). You can find the sheet music, with Gaby on the cover, elsewhere on ebay. Her love life was the topic of much public gossip. She probably added to the sensationalism surrounding her by posing in a number of risque postcards. She was courted by many wealthy and powerful men, including the King of Portugal. Her life was cut short by the “Spanish” influenza. This postcard is not at all common. It was published by E. A. Schwerdtfeger Company of London and printed in Berlin (no. 0291/1). The company also had an office in New York (opened in 1910). This publishing house printed many different types of real photo postcards but was known for its hand-colored real photo postcards of actresses and fashionable women in exotic costumes. The photographer was the Talbot studio. The creator of Miss Deslys’s hat is also credited (Lewis). This particular real photo postcard stands out because it offers a colorized and very clear view of this beautiful and talented performer.  SOLD

MARAQUITA ROSTANO : A PRETTY DANCER (PHOTO BY GERLACH)

This vintage real photo postcard features dancer Maraquita Rostano. Although my research found other postcard images of Miss Rostano, I was unable to locate any biographical information. The postcard was published by Georg Gerlach & Co.. The firm was a real photo card publisher and printer based in Berlin, Germany. The postcard was part of a series (no725/3). The message on the card was written in 1910 and the card was addressed to En Ville (In Town). This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on March 4, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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LYDIA de ROSTOW : SHAPELY DANCER

This vintage real photo features dancer/actress Lydia de Rostow. She is dressed in a dance costume that accentuates her shapely figure. The photograph was taken by Felix studio, which was located in Paris, France. Luminous-Lint describes Felix as a “photographer of couture in the first decades of the 20th century in France”. He was an early fashion photographer who operated, according to Luminous-Lint, during two decades (1900-1920). The name “R Guilleminot” is printed on the reverse of the postcard. Guilleminot was a firm based in Paris that manufactured photographic plates and papers. Much of their photo paper was used for printing real photograph postcards. The company existed between 1858 and 1994. This vintage postcard portrait is in very good condition (see scans).

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TWO PORTRAITS OF FRENCH ACTRESS REGINA BADET

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These vintage real photo postcards feature French actress and dancer, Anne Regina Badet (1876-1949). She was a major star of the Opera-Comique in Paris. She made her debut at the Grand Theatre de Bordeaux where she became a principal dancer  She received much acclaim for her portrayal of Conchita Perez in “The Woman and the Puppet (1910)”. Postcard 1 shows her in this role. Her stage acting led her to a brief film career (eleven movies between 1908 and 1922). The Los Angeles Herald (1906) described Badet as the “new Paris pet” and that her dances in the Opera “Aphrodite” had “caused a furor among theater goers. A critic wrote that he went to see the performance because the opera was a “masterpiece” and because he wanted to see the star soprano, Mary Garden, interpretation of her role. Instead, he reports he was most drawn to the performance by Regina Badet.  Miss Badet  retired from stage and screen in the early 1920’s. The photographer of the image on postcard 1 is listed as “Bert”. I believe that this is a photographer who partnered with celebrated photographer Paul Boyer, renowned for his celebrity and theater images. This postcard was published by F. C. & C.   Postcard 2 offers a second portrait of Miss Badet. The pretty actress is wide eyed and wearing a lot of jewelry. The photograph was taken by Henri Manuel (1874-1947). In 1900, Manuel opened a portrait studio in Paris with his brother Gaston. He quickly became well known for his portraits of politicians, artists, and athletes. His images were used by news agencies . His studio became the largest studio in Paris and it attracted many young photographers who sharpened their skills there. In 1925 the brothers expended their business to include fashion photography. They worked for such designers as Chanel, Patou, and Lanvin. The studio shut down during World War II and many of their photographic plates were destroyed. Manuel was the official photographer for the French government from 1914 through 1944.                                                                    

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POSTCARD 1
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POSTCARD 2

ADORABLE LITTLE GIRL WEARING THE BIGGEST COLLAR IN THE WORLD

OK. It may not be the biggest collar in the world, but it’s pretty big. The smiling cute young girl seen in this vintage real photo postcard, by my estimation, is curtseying after giving a dance performance. Her shoes, stockings, short dress, and the flower in her hair are all reasons for my hypothesis. And what about the collar? It appears to be on steroids. I don’t think the collar is something she would wear in everyday life. I am wondering if she is wearing a costume designed to make her look like a flower? What do you think? I must admit, the “collar” reminds me of an “Elizabethan Collar” worn by dogs after surgery. This is a very unique image. The photo was taken by a private photographer and not mass produced to be sold by studios to the general public. This real photo postcard portrait is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on January 17, 2021 at 12:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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