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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MABEL RUSSELL BRITISH ACTRESS AND THIRD FEMALE MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

POSTCARD 1 (SOLD)
POSTCARD 2 (SOLD)

These vintage real photo postcards feature actress Miss Mabel Russell (1886-1951). She was also known as Mrs Hilton Philipson when off the stage. Russell was a British actor and politician. She was a gaiety girl and starred in many London plays. She left acting to marry politician, Hilton Philipson, in 1917. Mabel caught the political bug and became the third woman to take a seat in the House of Commons. She was quiet on the floor of the house but was active behind the scenes. One of her bills led to the 1927 Nursing Home Registration Act. After retiring in 1929, she returned to acting for a brief period by left the theatre to focus on her family. 

Postcard 1 was published by Tucks as part of the “Celebrities of the Stage” series (No.T 718). Miss Russell’s photo portrait was taken by Dover Street Studios. This postcard was postmarked in 1907. SOLD 

Postcard 2 captures Miss Russell playing “Forbidden Fruit” in the Chinese Comic Opera “See See” (1906). The production ran in London’s Prince of Wales Theatre for 330 performances. This postcard was published by Tucks as part of the “Celebrities of the Stage” series (No.T 713). Miss Russell’s photo portrait was taken by Dover Street Studios. This postcard was postmarked in 1908. SOLD

POSTCARD 1 (SOLD)
POSTCARD 2 (SOLD)

MARIE STUDHOLME: BEAUTIFUL STAGE ACTRESS (THREE VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARDS)

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These vintage real photo postcards feature beautiful stage actress Marie Studholme (1872-1930). The English actress and singer was known for her supporting and starring roles in Victorian and Edwardian musical comedies. Her theater career spanned from 1891 through 1915. Her roles included appearances in “An Artists Model” (1895), “The Messenger” (1900), and “Lady Madcap” (1906). Marie Studholme’s beauty made her one of the most popular postcard models of her time.

Postcard 1 is a wonderful portrait of Miss Studholme in costume for the stage production of “Miss Hook of Holland). The play was an English musical comedy. It opened at the the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1907 and ran for 462 performances. It originally starred Isabel Jay and Harry Grattan. The play also ran on Broadway. Studholme starred in the title role in “Miss Hook of Holland” on a long provincial tour from 1907 to 1910. This vintage photo postcard was published by Rotary Photo (no. 4890 A) and the photo was taken by the Foulsham and Banfield studio. This postcard has an interesting message. Rather than signing the card, the writer left his identity a secret by signing it with one word, “Guess?”. The postcard is postmarked “1908”. The card is in excellent condition (see scans).

Postcard 2 is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 4188 A) and was printed in England. Miss Studholme’s portrait was photographed by the celebrated Foulsham & Banfield studio. Although photo postcard portraits of Miss Studholme are common , this particular photograph is uncommon.  (SOLD)

Postcard 3 is also part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 348 K). This photograph highlights the beauty of Miss Studholme. The postcard is also aimed to be erotic judging by the generous view of the actress’s cleavage. The photography studio that produced this image is W & D Downey of London, England. This studio was well known and highly respected in England. They advertised themselves as photographers specially appointed to photograph the imperial and royal families of Europe and they photographed many other celebrities. Although Studholme posed for many postcard portraits, this particular photo postcard is uncommon. The postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

Postcard 4 is a member of the Rotary Photographic series (No. 24 L), just like Postcard 1 and Postcard 2. In this portrait, Miss Studholme flashes a beautiful smile. The low cut dress that she is wearing is a bit risque for the era. It appears that she was not adverse to the idea of suggestive poses. The photographer who took this portrait photo of Marie Studholme is a well known female photographer named Lizzie Caswall Smith. Smith (1870-1958) was a British photographer who operated in the early 1900’s. She specialized in photographing members of society and celebrities. Many of her photographs were used for postcards. She was involved in the Women’s Suffrage movement and photographed many of the leading suffragettes. She also photographed many actors including Billie Burke and Maude Fealy. She operated the Gainsborough Studio from 1907 through 1920 (309 Oxford Street) and moved to a new location (90 Great Russell Street) where she remained until she retired in 1930 at the age of 60 years-old. Her most famous photograph is a portrait of Florence Nightingale taken in 1910. It was auctioned in 1908 and sold for 5500 pounds which is an equivalent today of nearly 8,000 dollars. The National Portrait Gallery has 84 portraits associated with Lizzie Caswall Smith.  The postmark stamped on this postcard indicates that it was mailed in 1907. The message on the card is written to a 13 year-old girl. The writer of the card apologizes for not sending a letter sooner and explains “but I’m so busy”.  It is interesting to note that “excuses” have not changed much over the last hundred years.   SOLD

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POSTCARD 1
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POSTCARD 2 (SOLD)
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POSTCARD 3
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POSTCARD 4 (SOLD)

POP-UP WORLD WAR I ERA MILITARY BARBERSHOP

CLOSE UP VIEW OF BARBERS AT WORK AND BARBER SUPPLIES

This vintage real photo postcard features a pop-up barbershop tent in a camp of World War1 era soldiers. The caption on this photograph states “Camp Barber”. The close-up view of the shop is very interesting. There are two adult barbers giving haircuts and a child barber giving a soldier a shave. I wonder how many men reading this would trust a child, who appears to be about 12 years-old, to give them a shave. Check out the barber’s supplies. They can be seen on the table. Note the calendar and the sign advertising sun lotion for sale. There is another sign over the entrance of the tent which advertises the name of the barbershop. Unfortunately, I can not decipher the shop’s name from the letters that are visible. Notice that there is a man sitting near the table drinking a bottle of alcohol. Lets hope he is not drinking a bottle of hair tonic. Another soldier is examining a bottle of “something”. This postcard was published by Valentines as part of the XL series. The Valentine and Sons printing company was founded in Dundee, Scotland in 1851. The founder was James Valentine (1815-1879). The company became the leading manufacturer of picture postcards in Scotland. After James died, his two sons operated the business. The company was purchased by John Waddington Limited in 1963, In 1980, the Valentine business was bought by Hallmark Cards. In 1994, the company ceased operations. The card was printed in Great Britain and has an affixed British postage stamp. The postcard is addressed to someone in Landes, France. This card was postmarked in Crieff, a Scottish market town. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans)

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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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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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