RARE AND HISTORIC TONKIN IMAGE: KHAM-SAI MARCHING AGAINST COLONEL THAM

This vintage real photo postcard reflects a historic time in French Indo-China. The caption of the photograph states “his excellence the Kham-Sai marching against the De-Tham (Summer 1909). De Tham (1858-1913) , also known as Colonel Tham, was the Vietnamese leader of the “Yen The Insurrection”. A photograph of Tham can be seen below. This rebellion opposed French control in Northern Vietnam for a quarter of a century. This postcard is addressed and messaged in French. This photo documents the unsuccessful campaign of His Excellency Kham-Sai (Governor of Tonkin, the man in the center of the image). De-Tham had a price on his head which was ordered by the French Governor-General Klobukowsky. The reward was offered after De-Tham’s unsuccessful attempt to take Hanoi. De_Tham managed to survive until 1913 when he was beheaded in his sleep by one of his own men working for the French. His death ended a conflict which had lasted 25 years. Note the medaled man on the right. It is likely that some of the Governors best and fearless men were sent on the mission. The horse in the photograph is a Vietnamese Hmong, which is known for it’s sure-footedness in mountain terrains such as the location of De-Thams hiding place. In today’s times, Tonkin lies completely in North Vietnam. The message written on this postcard indicates that it was written by Frenchman Louis Toullaine and addressed to his niece in Paris, France. 

    Portait of De Tham  

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THE DOG SOLDIERS: SEVEN SOLDIERS AND THEIR MASCOT JACK RUSSELL TERRIER

This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of seven young soldiers and their mascot Jack Russell Terrier. I do not know what army these men served in. Perhaps a visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery will educate us via a comment. The stamp box on the reverse of this postcard indicates that the postcard was printed on “P M C” card stock. Therefore, this photo postcard was produced sometime between 1920 and 1935. The men served in the military between World War I and World War II.

Published in: on March 1, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG FRENCH SOLDIER IN GRENOBLE FRANCE (CARTE DE VISITE)

This carte de visite portrait captures a uniformed soldier with a handlebar mustache. The photographer of this cdv image is the Leon studio in Grenoble, France. Grenoble is located in the southeastern section of France and is at the foot of the French Alps. It is my guess that the soldier pictured in this carte de visite served in the French military. An illustration of Leon’s gallery can be seen on the reverse of this cdv.

Published in: on February 19, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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PORTRAIT OF COLONIAL VIETNAMESE SOLDIERS: THE “TONKINESE RIFLES” (1905)

This vintage real photo postcard presents us with a glimpse of history in southeast Asia during colonial times. The postcard features a group of soldiers; three are Vietnmese and one is French. The caption under the photograph describes the group of soldiers as a  “Groupe de Tirailleurs Tonkinois”. The Tirailleurs were soldiers comprising several regiments of local ethnic indochinese infantry organized by the French colonial authorities.The Tirailleurs were originally established in Vietnam in 1880. The regiment members in this photograph came from the noted “Tonkinese Rifles”. Initially these regiments were known to have problems with a high rate of desertion. Eventually, with French marine officers, the Vietnamese force became effective. They were positioned to occupy France’s indochinese possessions, These troops also served in Indochina, China (Boxer Rebellion), Russia (1918-1919), Syria (1920-1921), and Morroco (1925-1926). They also participated in World War I. In 1945, some regiments rebelled against the occupation of Vietnam by Japan. Despite a fierce resistance, the Tirailleurs were nearly annihilated. The illustration below shows a soldier from a regiment (Annamite Tirailleur) that fought alongside the “Tonkinese Rifles”. This postcard was published by R. Moreau (Hanoi) and is part of a series (no. 1138). The postcard was postmarked at Ninh Binh in 1905 and has a French stamp. Ninh Bình is a province in North Vietnam’s Red River Delta.

PORTRAIT OF FOUR WORLD WAR I PRISONERS OF WAR I HELD AT POW CAMP IN KONIGSBRUCK, GERMANY

Some images are very effective at capturing history. This real photo postcard is one of those historic photographs. The image features World War I prisoners of war held at Camp Konigsbruck. The POW camp held Serbian, Russian, and French prisoners of war. The camp held about 15,000 captives. I am unsure if this photo shows four prisoners or two prisoners and two guards (the men wearing heavy coats).  One of the possible “guards” is wearing a red cross armband. Note the high barbed wire fence in the background. This photograph was taken sometime around 1916. Konigsbruck is a town in the German state of Saxony. It is located only 17 miles from Dresden.

Published in: on September 30, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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PORTRAIT OF A HANDSOME SOLDIER IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA

This cabinet card provides a portrait of a handsome uniformed Austro-Hungarian soldier. He is posing at the Rudolf Denk studio in Vienna, Austria. Note his high boots, sabre, and wrist watch. The soldier is wearing a couple of medals on his chest. His cap is on the table beside him. He is wearing a whistle which can be seen between his two breast pockets. The soldier is holding an open book. It is likely that this young man saw military action. World War I was not many years away from the time that he sat for this photograph.

Published in: on May 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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THREE BRITISH SOLDIERS IN CAWNPORE, INDIA (SITE OF HORRIFIC MASSACRES IN THE INDIAN REBELLION)

This cabinet card portrait captures three British soldier posing for their portrait at a photo gallery in Cawnpore, India. The three men are in uniform and the standing soldier is wearing a medal on his chest. The two seated soldiers are holding batons. Note the sun helmets on the floor in front of the trio of soldiers. The photograph was taken at “The Portraiture Coy” located in Cawnpore (now Kanpur), a historic city in the relationship between India and Britain. An important battle in the Indian Rebellion (First War of Independence) of 1857 was the Siege of Cawnpore. Cawnpore was the site of a major garrison of the East India Company forces. There were 900 British (including civilians) in Cawnpore as well as a large number of Sepoy troops (Indian infantry). Tensions mounted between the British and the Sepoy troopers until the Sepoys joined the war against the East India Company. The British came under siege for three weeks until the British surrendered in return for safe passage to safety. The evacuation was fraught with problems and in the end, the Sepoys fired upon the departing British. The result was a massacre which included the killing of 120 captured British women and children. East India Company forces from Allahabad marched to Cawnpore and recaptured the city. Company troops retaliated for the massacre by massacring captured local civilians and Sepoys. The soldiers in this photograph arrived in India more than twenty years after the massacres occurred in Cawnpore. However, they were likely very aware of the historic events that happened in Cawnpore.

Published in: on April 27, 2017 at 6:25 pm  Comments (1)  
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MEET THE NIGHT CREW: THREE MILITARY RADIOMEN IN HAWAII

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Three handsome military men pose in front of the radio shack for this snapshot portrait. The soldiers look like their having a great time. The man in the middle has a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He looks like he’s playing a part in a World War II movie. Judging by the inscription on the reverse of the photograph, these guys are not in a war zone. In fact, the use of the word “Aloha” probably indicates that they are located in Hawaii. They are likely radiomen who worked the night shift which is logical since they are posing by the “Radio Night Crew’ sign seen above the shack’s door. This photograph was likely inscribed to, and sent to, “Arnolds” girlfriend. Along with the snapshot, the inscriber sent his “smiles” and “love and kisses”.

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Published in: on January 5, 2017 at 1:28 pm  Comments (1)  
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STUDIO PORTRAIT OF A HANDSOME FRENCH SOLDIER IN GRENOBLE, FRANCE

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This vintage real photo postcard features a young French soldier posing for his portrait in a photography studio located in Grenoble, France. The soldier looks quite handsome in his crisp uniform. He is holding a pair of gloves. The photographer of this image has the last name of “Rambaud”. The postcard stock paper was manufactured in England.

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Published in: on October 26, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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THE GREAT WAR IMPACTS A LOVELY FAMILY IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA

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War is hell to nations, communities, and families. In “A Farewell to Arms” (1929), novelist and World War I veteran Ernest Hemingway wrote “There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity. Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene.” This cabinet card photograph illustrates the impact of war on a family. The two men in uniform are likely the father and oldest son of the family. The men could not look more serious. Perhaps at the time of this photograph their nation was near, or at war. The remainder of the family (mother, two daughters, and a son) look extremely concerned and worried. The welfare of their nation and their family unit was in jeopardy. This terrific photograph speaks loudly and clearly about the horror of war. The photographer of this emotionally charged image is Ant. Knoll who operated a studio in Vienna, Austria.

 

Published in: on October 6, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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