TRUUS VAN AALTEN: PRETTY, SPUNKY, AND FUNNY DUTCH/GERMAN ACTRESS

tua & dog POSTCARD 1

tua & dog 1 POSTCARD 1 (CLOSE-UP)

 

trus 2 POSTCARD 2

trus 2 1 POSTCARD 2 (CLOSE-UP)

The top vintage real photo postcard features Dutch actress, Truus van Aalten (1910-1999). She appeared in many German films in the 1920’s and 1930’s. She is flashing a wonderful smile as she holds a cute little dog. Truus worked as a milliner after finishing school and then worked as a salesgirl in a clothing store in Amsterdam. What she really wanted to do, was to become a movie actress. Unfortunately, at the time,  the movie industry was not producing many films in the Netherlands. In 1896, Truus entered a beauty contest sponsored by a Dutch magazine. The winner of this contest would be given the opportunity to audition for a film role. Truus was selected and joined about two hundred other women in Berlin to try out for the film part. She excelled on the screen test and won the role. The movie was being produced by Ufa, a German film company. The cast of the film included Betty Balfour and Willy Fritsch. Three photos of Miss Balfour can be found in the Cabinet Card Gallery by searching for “Balfour”. The name of Truus’s first movie was “A Sister of Six” (1926). Keep in mind, Truus had no training or experience as an actress. Even though Truu’s command of the German language was weak, Ufa offered her a contract and promised to train her and offer her opportunities in other films. The Ufa executives appreciated her sparkly and funny personality as well as her photogenic appearance. Truus’s father signed the contract and she moved to Berlin. The celebrated actress Olga Tschechowa took Truus under her wing and became her unofficial mentor and mother figure in the film industry. Olga nicknamed the young actress “Trulala”. Truus second film appearance was in “His Late Excellency” (1927). This movie included Willy Fritsch and Olga Tschechowa among it’s stars. Truus appeared in five movies that were released in 1928. She was certainly a busy actress. As Truus started to appear in more and more silent films, it became clear that she was talented; pretty, spunky, and funny. Truus’s greatest talent was seen in her comedic roles. She slowly became a fan favorite. She was the subject of interviews and photos in movie magazines. She also got work appearing in advertisements.  Truus had “a look” of her own. She was described in one article as having a “mixture of boyish yet feminine energy”. Her bobbed hair and her uninhibited style was similar to actress Colleen Moore. Truus made a successful transition into “talkies”, despite her Dutch accent. By 1930, she was a very well known actress. Her photograph appeared in many postcards and tobacco cards. As Nazism rose in Germany, members of the film industry felt extremely vulnerable. Her film appearances became less frequent, partially because the parts written for females, during the Hitler era,  were not particularly desirable to Truus. In 1934, she starred in her only film in Dutch and she was well received. Her next film wasn’t until 1939 and it turned out to be her final film appearance. In 1940, she returned to live in German occupied Netherlands. She was offered movie roles there, but refused them, because they were propaganda films. After the war, there was little activity in film production in Germany or Netherlands. Finding roles in English or American movies was unsuccessful. In 1954, Truus established a successful importing and exporting business in the Netherlands. The IMDb credits Truus with 28 film appearances from 1926 to 1939. The YouTube video below demonstrates just how cute and engaging Truus was as an actress. She was incredibly adorable.                                                                                                        Postcard  1 was published by Ross Verlag. The postcard is part of a series (no. 4184/1). Miss van Aalten’s portrait was taken by photographer Alex Binder, who operated a studio in Berlin. He was one of Berlin’s premier photographers and photographed many stars of the stage and film. This postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).                                       Postcard 2 was also published by Ross Verlag. The card is part of a series (no. 3884/1). The portrait was taken by photographer Hanni Schwarz of Berlin. Schwarz was a German female photographer and her work was praised in “American Photography” (1909). She was a well known professional photographer in Germany during the early 1900’s. Before becoming a photographer, she was a teacher at her father’s school in Basel. In 1904 , she and Anna Walter took over the photo studio of Johannes Hulsen in Berlin. In 1908, she and Wilhelm von Gloeden presented nude photographs at an exhibit in Berlin. Sometime around 1909 she ran her studio with photographer Marie Luise Schmidt. During the Brussels World’s Fair in 1910, Schwarz exhibited nudes In 1914, she began working with color photography. In 1919 the studio’s name only included Miss Schwarz, and she was reported to specialize in portrait and dance photography. The last known year of Schwarz’s work was 1930. This vintage postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

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tua & dog 2                           Postcard 1 

trus 2 2 POSTCARD 2                                                                      

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PORTRAIT OF EIGHT MEN IN THE GERMAN COUNTRYSIDE DRINKING BEER; ONE IS WEARING A DRESS (1927)

This vintage real photo postcard features a group of German beer lovers gathered around a keg in a country-side setting. This photograph is a treasure trove of interesting elements. First, the keg of beer is labelled with the title “Memories in Lindau 1927” (translated from German). Second,the bruiser in the center of the back row is holding a beer mug on steroids. It is likely that no one will challenge or fight him for the huge glass of dark beer. Finally, what is the story about the gentleman/lady in the center of the middle row. To quote the Kinks, “Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls”. It is likely that the man wearing the dress, seen in this postcard, did so for fun. It is not unusual to see cross dressing in photographs from this era. Generally, wearing opposite sex clothing in these images was done for entertainment, rather than for sexuality reasons. Women also dressed as men in photographs. Vesta Tilley (1864-1952) was an English music hall performer who was one of the most famous male impersonators of her time. She was a star in both Britain and the United States for over three decades (see her photo below). Returning to the subject of the beer drinking celebrants, we learn from the writing on the keg, that they are partying in Lindau, Germany. Lindau is a major town and an island in Bavaria. It is located on the eastern side of Lake Constance (Bodensee in German). The origin of Lindau’s name is thought to be the “linden tree”. Lindau is known for being near the Austrian, German, and Swiss borders. This vintage postcard has excellent clarity and is in very good condition (see scans).

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      Vesta Tilley

PRETTY TEENAGE FASHIONABLE YOUNG WOMAN

This vintage real photo postcard features a pretty young woman with a beautiful smile. . She is likely in her teenage years, and is adorably dressed. The postcard was produced by Georg Gerlach & Co.. The firm was a real photo card publisher and printer based in Berlin, Germany. A look at the reverse of the postcard indicates that it was formerly a resident of a postcard album The postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMAN WITH A FLAIR IN LUNDENBURG, GERMANY (A CLASSIC FASHIONISTA)

This cabinet card features a young woman with a flair for fashion. She is most certainly what we call today, a “fashionista”. She looks absolutely beautiful. Her checkered dress is pretty, and unusual for this era’s photographs. I do not know what she is wearing around her collar. Is it part of her dress, or is it an accessory? The young lady is beautifully posed and has a magnificent smile. The stemmed flower in her right hand is a nice touch. The talented photographer of this image is Franz Stulz. He operated a studio in Lundenberg, Germany. This cabinet card photograph is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on September 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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GORGEOUS WEDDING PORTRAIT OF A GERMAN COUPLE

This vintage real photo postcard features a very handsome looking German wedding couple. The bride and groom look very serious on their special day. They are both very well dressed. The bride is wearing a beautiful veil and note the lovely bouquet of flowers that she is holding. A faint embossed stamp gives a clue concerning the photographer. The word “Birkenfeld” is visible. “Birkenfeld” is the name of the location of the photographer’s studio. The photographer’s name is Stadelmanz. The message on the reverse of the postcard appears to be written to Fritz, the signer’s friend. Hopefully a cabinet card gallery visitor (the vast unpaid research department) can leave a comment with a translation of the message.This vintage postcard portrait is most likely from the 1920’s or 1930’s and is in excellent condition.

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PORTRAIT OF AN ATTRACTIVE WEDDING COUPLE IN BERNAU, GERMANY

This cabinet card wedding portrait features an attractive and well-dressed couple. The bride is beautiful. She has a bouquet of flowers on her lap and she is wearing a crown of flowers along with her veil. The bespectacled groom has a boutonniere on his lapel and is wearing pince-nez eyeglasses. The photographer of this wedding photo is V. Teichmann who operated a studio in Bernau, Germany. Bernau is a town in the Barnim district and is located about six miles northeast of Berlin. This cabinet card photograph is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on June 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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OSSI OSWALDA: BEAUTIFUL GERMAN SILENT FILM STAR

                                                                        POSTCARD 1

                                                                        POSTCARD 1

ossi

                                                                     POSTCARD 2

ossi 2

                                                                   POSTCARD 2

The beautiful actress seen in the top vintage real photo postcard is named Ossi Oswalda (1897-1947). She was born in Germany and appeared predominately in silent films. She was a leading lady, popular comedienne,  dancer, and singer. Due to her popularity, she  was known as “the German Mary Pickford”. Ossi began her career as a ballerina and she danced in a chorus line for a theater in Berlin. She made her film debute in “Night of Horrors” (1916) and was noticed by actor/screenwriter Hanns Kraly, who introduced her to director Ernst Lubitsch. Oswalda’s early career began with appearances in several Lubitsch films. In 1921, she and her husband started a film production company that produced four films over four years, all starring Miss Oswalda. After 1925, she was under contract to UFA, a German film company. After the transition to “talkies”, Oswalda joined the ranks of actresses and actors, who’s career took a nose dive. She only acted in two sound films. Her final screen appearance was in “The Star of Valencia”. She then began acting on the stage. She appeared in operettas in Germany and Vienna. When the National Socialists took power in Germany, she emigrated to Prague with her “Jewish life partner”, Julius Aubenberg. In 1943, she wrote a story for a Czechoslovakian film. In summarizing Ossi’s career, the IMDb credits her with 51 film appearances,  producing 5 films, and 1 screen writing credit. It is reported that she frequently played child-like spoiled women. She appeared in drag in at least one film. Oswalda’s first marriage (1919-1925) was to a Hungarian baron. After her divorce, the actress began a highly publicized romantic relationship with Crown Prince Willhelm (1882-1951). Simultaneously, the actress Lily Damita, was having an affair with the Prince’s son. The royal family put a kibosh to both “inappropriate” relationships. In 1947, she died in Prague at age 48, bankrupt and suffering from multiple health problems. This German real photo postcard is published by Ross Verlag soemetime between 1919 and 1924. The photograph of Miss Oswalda was taken by Becker & Maass of Berlin. Note her pretty hat and fan. Hopefully, she wasn’t allergic to feathers. Oswalda was young when this photograph was taken. She was beautiful and no older than 27 years of age. The YouTube clip below features Ossie Oswalda in the “The Doll” (1919), directed by Ernst Lubitsch.                                                       The second postcard features Miss Oswalda in a very skimpy costume. Her feathered hat is quite showy . She has a wonderful smile and pretty eyes. This risque postcard was part of  a series (no. 1050/2) and published by Ross Verlag of Berlin, Germany. The logo of UFA, a German film company, appears on the lower right hand corner of the postcard. The reverse of the postcard reveals that that the photographer is Strobl J. Nandor of Budapest, Hungary. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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A MAN AND TWO WOMEN POSE AS HIKERS IN BAD REICHENHALL, GERMANY

This private real photo postcard features a handsome man and two women holding walking sticks. The studio backdrop shows mountains which fits the idea that this adventurous group is planning, or a least feigning, that they are about to go for a hike. Note the contrast between the two women in this photograph. The woman wearing the dark dress is gazing downward and her eyes are only half open. She seems shy and withdrawn. In comparison, the young woman in the white skirt is looking at the camera with confidence. She is gazing upward and not camera-shy. Printing on the reverse of this postcard provides information about the photographer. I have difficulty interpreting the information. I do not know the exact meaning of  “Hotphotograph Fritz”. I assume that the phrase “Hotphotograph Fritz” is the name of the studio. The photo studio was located in Bad Reichenhall, Germany. Bad Reichenhall is a “spa town” in Upper Bavaria, Germany and is located near Salzburg. The town in encircled by the Chiemgau Alps. This photo postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on June 3, 2018 at 3:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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RISQUE PORTRAIT OF GERMAN SILENT FILM ACTRESS DITA PARLO

This vintage real photo postcard portrait features German silent film actress, Dita Parlo (1908-1971). She was born in present-day Szczecin, Poland. At the time of her birth, the city was part of Germany. Her father was a forest ranger. She was initially trained as a ballerina but switched to studying acting at the Babelsberg film school. Producer, Erich Pommer, discovered Parlo and signed her to a contract to Ufa. She made her film debut in “Homecoming” (1928) and in short time became a popular actress in Germany. During the 1930’s she appeared in both German and French films and achieved much acclaim. Two of her films in particular are considered among the best in cinema history: “L’Atalante” (1934) and “La Grande Illusion” (1937). During World War II she was deported to Germany but returned to France in 1949 and resumed her career. Parlo made an attempt to establish herself in American films but had limited success. She did appear in a couple of American films and in the late 1930’s and she nearly had a role in the Orson Welles production of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”. Unfortunately, the project did not materialize. The horror! The horror! Oh the horror of disappointment she must have experienced. According to the IMDb, Parlo appeared in 28 films between the years of 1928 and 1966. Parlo was married to a Protestant pastor, Franck Gueutal (1904-1983) and the couple remained married until she died in 1971. An interesting piece of trivia is that Madonna took Parlo’s name for a character she created for her book entitled “Sex”. The singer stated that she was fascinated by Dita Parlo. This portrait postcard was published by Ross Verlag and was part of a series (no. 3972/1). The postcard displays the logo of “Ufa”, a German film company.  The video below shows Miss Parlo in the film  “Au bonheur des dames” (1930). Her co-star in the film was Pierre De Guingand (1885-1964). The movie was based on the romance of French writer Emile Zola.

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Published in: on May 2, 2018 at 7:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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RISQUE PORTRAIT OF FILM STAR INEZ VAN BREE (PHOTO BY ESTEEMED PHOTOGRAPHER: ERNST SCHNEIDER)

This vintage real photo postcard is one of the more risque Ross Verlag postcards in the Cabinet Card Gallery. The postcard is of German origin and is part of a series (no. 1581/1). It was published between 1927 and 1928. Preliminary research found little information about Inez Van Bree. A defunct University of Toronto website labels Miss Bree as a silent movie siren/star. The photographer of this portrait appears to be Ernst Schneider and the photograph was taken in Berlin, Germany. Research about Mr Schneider yielded a great deal of information. He was considered to be one of the most celebrated studio photographers in Berlin during three decades (1900’s, 1910’s, 1920’s. He photographed many celebrities from the world of theater, opera, circuses, and film. He was also one of the most prominent fashion photographers in Berlin. In addition, he was well known for his nude photography and he published books showcasing his work in this domain. Sometime around 1908 Schneider began working with postcard publishers “Rotophot” and “Neue Photographische Gesellschaft” (NPG). In 1919 he began working with Ross Verlag.   SOLD