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. This photograph is in very good condition and has excellent clarity. Note the dark mark at the center bottom of the image. Photographs of Miss Perkins are rare and this image is beautiful remnant of turn of the century Broadway theater.

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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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badet                                                                                     POSTCARD 2  (SOLD)

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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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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TRADITIONAL FOLK MUSIC AND DANCE GROUP IN ETHNIC CLOTHING IN ST. GALLEN, SWITZERLAND

This vintage real photo postcard features

This vintage real photo postcard features a traditional Swiss folk music and dance group wearing traditional ethnic clothing. Note the accordion being held by the man in the center of the front row. The group was based in the town of St. Gallen. This real photo postcard is in good condition (see scans). There is a mar which can be seen on the man all the way on the right side of the top row.

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Published in: on January 11, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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BESSIE LOVE : BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED ACTRESS WHO HAD A LONG AND VARIED SHOW BUSINESS CAREER

Bessie Love (1898-1986) is the subject of this vintage real photo postcard. She was beautiful and her postcard and photo images are very collectible. Bessie was an American-British actress who initially became popular by playing sweet, pure, and innocent young girls. She went on to play virtuous leading ladies in silent and early sound films. Her career had amazing longevity; she acted for more than eight decades. She worked in many areas of entertainment. In addition to her film work, she acted on the stage, and on radio and television. Bessie was born in Midland, Texas. Her father was a cowboy and a bartender. Her mother was a restaurant manager. She attended Midland schools until the eighth grade. She and her family moved to Arizona, New Mexico, and then Hollywood, California. Once in the Golden State, her father became a chiropractor and her mother worked in a clothing factory (Jantzen). Bessie attended Los Angeles High School and in 1915 she went to a film set to meet with Tom Mix who had promised to help her to “get into pictures”. Mix was unable to meet with her but film director D. W. Griffith was able to meet with her and he promptly put her under contract. Love dropped out of high school in order to pursue her film career. Impressively, she did complete her diploma in 1919. Bessie began with a small role in a Griffith movie, “Intolerance” (1916). Her first major role was in “The Flying Torpedo” (1916). That same year, she appeared in movies opposite William S. Hart and Douglas Fairbanks. Her first starring role was in “A Sister of Six” (1916). Love quickly became a popular performer. Early in her career, Bessie worked for “Fine Arts”, “Pathe” and then Vitagraph. In the 1920’s Love sought roles outside of the “sweet and innocent girl” parts. In two movies she played Asian women. She had the role of a drug addicted mother in “Human Wreckage” (1923) and in other films played an underworld flapper as well as a woman accused of murder. In the 1925 movie, “The King on Main Street”, Love became the first person to dance the Charleston in a movie (see the video below).. The dance became the rage of the era. Also in the 1920’s, Bessie appeared in a film based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel “The Lost World”. In addition, she appeared in a romantic comedy directed by Frank Capra. She signed with MGM in 1928. In 1929, Love exhibited her talent in musical comedy. She toured with a musical revue for sixteen weeks. It is thought that her singing and dancing performances in vaudeville helped prepare her for sound films. That same year, she made her debut in her first feature length sound film, the musical “The Broadway Melody”. Her performance led to her receiving a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. MGM rewarded her with a five year contract and a three thousand dollars a week (equivalent to $45,000 a week in 2019). She continued to act in musicals and her success was reflected in her becoming “the screen’s first musical comedy star”. Between 1931 and 1943, Love entered semi-retirement. She had married in 1929 and during this break in her career, she began focusing on her personal life. Her husband was an agent, William Hawks. She had celebrity bridesmaids, including Carmel Myers, Norma Shearer, and Mary Astor. Love had a daughter in 1932, and in 1935, she moved to England. She obtained a divorce in 1936. During World War II, Love worked as a film script supervisor and also worked for the American Red Cross. After the war, Love resumed acting. Much of her work was in theater, television, and radio. She also played minor roles in British film. In 1958, she wrote and performed in a semiautobiographical play. Some of her later films included The Barefoot Contessa” (1954), “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969 a James Bond Thriller), and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (1971). Bessie Love had a long and successful acting career. The IMdB reports that she had 156 acting credits between 1915 and 1981. This vintage postcard was published by Cinemagazine (Paris Edition) as part of a series (no.163). The postcard has excellent clarity and is in very good condition (see scans).

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BESSIE LOVE DOES THE CHARLESTON

TWO MYSTERIOUS DANCERS : UNIQUE CLOSE-UP : INTRIGUING PIERROTS

This vintage  postcard is unusual (uncommon). It features two female dancers, I believe they are performing a type of ballet. The dancer that is holding up the other dancer has very muscular legs. Is she a he? An inscription on the reverse of the card appears to say  “Jennoff”. I was hoping that the name  “Jennoff” would lead me to more information about this  postcard. It failed to do so. The story behind this Italian vintage postcard, intrigues me.  (SOLD)

Published in: on May 31, 2020 at 7:45 am  Comments (1)  
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