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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GLAMOUR PORTRAIT OF A BRITISH BEAUTY (1910’s)

This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of a “British Beauty”. A caption on the reverse of the card reveals that the photo is “hand-painted”. The young lady in this photograph is wearing a wonderful hat. The postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no.A247-5). The firm was located in London, England. This vintage postcard has excellent clarity and is in very good condition (see scans).

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CLARA JECKS : PRETTY AND TALENTED ENGLISH MUSICAL COMEDY ACTRESS

The pretty woman seen in this vintage photograph is English musical comedy actress, Clara Jecks (1854-1951). She was born in London, England. Her father was an actor and theatrical manager (Adelphi Theatre). Her mother was a popular actress. It is unsurprising that Clara began her stage career when she was a baby. She first appeared on the stage as a toddler. Growing up, she received the music, dance, and voice training needed to prepare her for a performing career. Her London stage debut was in 1873, at about the age of nineteen. Clara’s specialty was playing soubrettes (lively flirtatious roles) and boy roles. In fact, she once said, “I am never so really happy as when acting as a lad”. Clara was mentored by talented actress, Miss Nellie Farren. There is a portrait of Clara in Great Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. In fact, the portrait is identical to the photograph seen above. The NPG reports that this image appeared in “The Theatre” magazine in 1892. She was photographed, for this image, playing her role in “Richard II”, written by William Shakespeare. The photographer of the photo was Alfred Ellis (1854-1930). Ellis was an active photographer between 1884 and 1899. He operated a studio on Upper Baker Street in London. He specialized in theatrical photography and sometimes photographed whole scenes inside his studio. He later went to theaters to photograph performers and play scenes. Now, back to Clara’s career. In 1878, she and her mother toured together with the Comedy Opera Company. A few of Clara’s notable performances were in “Formosa” (1877), “The Black Domino” (1893), Cinderella (1893), and “A Merry Madcap” (1896). Her final London performance was in “The Critic” (1911). In an interview appearing in “The Sketch” (1893), Clara was asked the reason why she never toured America. She answered that she received many good offers to appear there, but preferred to perform in London, “Where I am at home with my audiences”. She then added, as if to change the subject, the following observation. She asserted, “You should see what funny letters I sometimes get from little boys in front, who can hardly believe I’m not one of themselves”. During her career, she appeared in over two hundred opera, drama, and pantomime roles. This image features Clara holding a wine pitcher in one hand, and a wine cup in the other. This photograph measures about 4″ x 5″, has excellent clarity, and is in excellent condition.

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PRETTY GOLD MEDALIST FASHIONISTA IN BROMLEY, ENGLAND (1889)

E. Davey Lavender is the photographer of this cabinet card portrait of a pretty well-dressed woman in Bromley, England. Bromley is a suburban town located outside of London, England. The woman in this photograph is is flashing a half smile as she sits beside a newspaper on a table. Edgar Davey Lavender was born in Westminster in 1855  and was married to Harriet Lavender (b 1869). Records indicate he operated his studio in Bromley in 1881 through at least 1891. In 1901 he was located in Grove Park (another suburb of London). Lavender died in 1909. Printed on the cabinet card are a few items of note. First, both the front and back of the photograph are marked (“Gold Medalist 1889”). This likely signifies that Lavender won a gold medal for his work at an exhibition in 1889. This accomplishment is being used as an advertisement. The second noteworthy item is that on the reverse of the photograph his business is referred to as “Portrait and Equestrian Studios”. It is my belief that the term “equestrian studio” means that Lavender had the ability to photograph people on horseback and produce photographic portraits of horses. This cabinet card portrait has excellent clarity and is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on December 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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BRIDESMAIDS FOR RENT IN REDWING, CORNWELL, ENGLAND (GILBERT AND SULLIVAN, “RUDDIGORE”)

This vintage real photo postcard features twelve identically dressed bridesmaids standing in a row. These young women are not ordinary bridesmaids; they are professional bridesmaids. The women are professional bridesmaids. These professional bridal party stalwarts are for hire. This photo was taken in 1931 and the women resided in the fishing village of Redwing in Cornwell, England. In reality, the women in this photograph are actresses appearing as the bridesmaids chorus in the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera, “Ruddigore”. The words “Sutton Coldfield” are written in pencil on the reverse of the postcard. Sutton Coldfield is a suburban town in Birmingham, England. Perhaps this is the venue where the comic opera appeared. A penciled inscription on the reverse of this postcard indicates that James Speight (1879-1977) is the photographer of this image. His father was the headmaster of a school in Rugby but later established a successful photography business. In 1897, at age 18, James went to work at H M Whitlock’s photography studio in West Bromwich. Speight’s interest in photography must have been in his genes. All 5 of his brothers became photographers. After working for a few more photographers, James decided to go to Paris for a few months, and once there, he worked for the celebrated photographer, Reutlinger. In his diary, James wrote that his retouching work for Reutlinger included making waists smaller. James returned to England and in around 1902, opened his Sutton Coldfield studio. He continued to operate the studio until he retired in 1950. This vintage postcard was published by K Ltd sometime between 1918 and 1936. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG GIRL AND HER DOG IN GORLESTON-ON-SEA, ENGLAND

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This vintage real photo postcard features a young girl and her dog. The photographer did an excellent job of photographing the dog. Capturing the dog in such a terrific pose couldn’t have been an easy task. I wonder how many photos had to be taken to accomplish the feat. The girl in this photograph has a wide smile and is smartly dressed. This photo portrait was taken at the Pageant House Studio. operated by  F. S. Burroughs. The studio was located in Gorleston-On-Sea. Gorleston is a town in Norfolk, England. The name and address of the studio are embossed in the lower right hand corner of the card. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans). Note the crease on the top left hand corner of the card.

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PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN AND HER FENCE CLIMBING COCKER SPANIEL

This vintage real photo postcard features a pretty young woman posing with her talented and handsome cocker spaniel. I judge the dog as talented because he is sitting on the railing of a fence. I don’t think that I have ever seen that before. The dog is on a leash which is held by the woman. She is wearing a sporty outfit which includes a baggy blouse, wide belt, a neckerchief tie, earrings, and wide brimmed hat. This photograph was taken by the W. Page studio, which was located in Shoreham-by-Sea, a seaside town and port in West Sussex, England. The photographer, William Page, was born in 1831, in Reading. In 1855. he married Martha Watts. By 1871, he was working as a photographer and in 1878 he moved to Shoreham where he continued to operate a photo studio. The 1881 census indicates that his two daughters assisted him in running the business. His two sons also assisted until 1884, when his son William, let to run his own studio in East Grinstead. The elder William was primarily a portrait photographer but he also took some photographs of sailing ships as well as some of the major buildings in Shoreham. He is also known for some of his photographs of the great blizzard that hit Shoreham in 1881. Page died in 1915. His son Albin continued the business until 1932. There is no evidence that Albin ever published any postcards.   SOLD

Published in: on July 24, 2020 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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MILLIE LEGARDE : PRETTY ACTRESS AND SINGER : BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION IS SPARSE

The beautiful woman in this vintage real photo postcard is Millie Legarde. She was an actress and a singer. She was active in her career between 1898 and 1911. She was a sitter for eight portraits in Great Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. She performed in numerous theater productions and in one film (1905). Searching for biographical information about Miss Legarde was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Preliminary research revealed that she appeared in many plays. Newspaper articles of the time, mention her name, but provide little information. It’s as if she was in the “witness protection program” and nearly all information about her has been scrubbed. Millie posed for a number of postcards but this card is certainly the nicest one I’ve seen. This postcard was published by Ralph Dunn & Company which operated out of London, England. The card is part of a series (no.A476). The postcard was manufactured in Berlin, Germany and is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on July 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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TWO SWEET AND WELL DRESSED YOUNG SISTERS IN DERBY, ENGLAND (CDV)

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The little girls featured in this cartes de visite are adorable. They also are well dressed in their dresses adorned with frills and bows. Both appear a bit suspicious of the camera or cameraman. This photograph was produced by the Winter studio in Derby, England. Advertising on the reverse of the photograph (see below) indicates that the gallery was “patronized by her majesty the Queen”. Many photographic studios of the time made the claim that they were photographers to royalty. William Walter Winter (1842-1924) established his photo studio in 1867 at 45 Midland Road in Derby. He specifically built the structure to house his studio. Amazingly, the business still exists. Winter trained under photographer Emmanuel Charles. In 1864 he married Sarah Charles, his mentors widow. Winter operated his business until his retirement in 1910. The studio has been in the Derbyshire King family since then. Note the portrait of William Walter Winter (see below). This cdv portrait is in very good condition (see scans).

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TWO SALVATION ARMY LADIES IN UNIFORM IN ENFIELD, ENGLAND

This vintage real photo postcard features two women dressed in their Salvation Army uniforms. Both ladies are smiling for the camera. Note that the seated woman is wearing a “S’ pin on her collar. The “S” of course symbolizes the Salvation Army. The photographers name and location are embossed on the lower right hand corner of the image. The photo was taken by the George E. Carroll & Son studio, located in Bush Hill Park, Enfield, England. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph reveals that the subjects are Lily Walton and friend. It is unknown which woman is Lily Walton. This postcard was published by K Ltd. sometime between 1918 and 1936. The postcard has excellent clarity and is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on July 13, 2020 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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