MARY ASTOR : PRETTY FILM, TELEVISION, AND STAGE ACTRESS : TRAUMATIZED BY FAMILY

This vintage real photo postcard features American film, stage, and television actress and musician, Mary Astor (1906-1987). She played many memorable roles but she is most associated with her performance in “The Maltese Falcon” (1941). Astor also wrote five novels and an autobiography. She began her film career as a teenager by appearing in silent movies during the early 1920’s. Her career continued with the introduction of “talkies”. In 1936, Astor’s career was almost ruined by a scandal in which she had an affair with playwright George Kaufman. A custody fight with her ex-husband stigmatized her as being an adulterous wife. She managed to overcome the poor PR and in 1941, won an Academy Award fo Best Supporting Actress in “The Great Lie”.  Astor was born in Quincy, Illinois. Her father was a German teacher and her mother taught drama and elocution. Astor was home schooled by her father who also taught her the piano. In 1919, she sent her photo to a beauty contest in Motion Picture Magazine. She was chosen as a semi finalist. When she was fifteen, she and her family moved to Chicago where she took drama lessons and performed on the stage. She and her family moved to New York City so she could act in motion pictures. A Manhattan photographer asked Astor to pose for him and the resulting photographs led her to be signed by Paramount pictures. In 1921, at age fourteen, she made her film debut. In 1923, she and her family moved to Hollywood. During the filming of one movie, the underage actress was wooed off set by the significantly older actor, John Barrymore. She became a “WAMPAS Baby Star” in 1926. In Hollywood, her controlling parents kept her a virtual prisoner and lived lavishly off her earnings. They gave her a five dollar a week allowance while she was earning 2500 dollars a week. Her father was emotionally and physically abusive. She did not gain control of her salary until she was 26 years old. However, this resulted in her parents suing her for financial support.  In 1928 she married film director Kenneth Hawkes. In 1928, he was killed in a plane crash while filming sequences for a movie. After Astor appeared in a few more movies, she suffered a nervous breakdown related to the loss of her husband. She married the doctor who treated her for her psychiatric illness. By 1933, she had a child, and was seeking a divorce. Her personal life was coming apart at the seams. That is when the aforementioned scandal occurred. She continued to appear in films during the 1930’s but had entered the early stages of alcoholism. By 1949, she entered a sanitarium for alcoholics. In 1951, she experienced her third suicide attempt. Astor’s filmography credits her with 155 film appearances between 1921 and 1964. The IMDb reports that she appeared in two Broadway plays between 1945 and 1954. Astor was a very successful performer but was plagued by problems in her personal life. This photo postcard was published by Picturegoer as part of a series (no.240b). The firm was located in London, England. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans). 

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PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN : RISQUE : “COME HITHER EYES” : RPPC

This vintage real photo postcard features an attractive young woman in a low cut dress. Considering the era, this postcard is risque. The postcard was published by Edgar Schmidt as part of a series. The firm was located in Dresden, Germany. The postcard has an Austrian postal stamp. The card is in very good condition (see scans).

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$36.00

Published in: on June 20, 2022 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A MAN AND HIS HORSE AND WAGON (VINTAGE OCCUPATIONAL REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

This vintage real photo postcard features a man and his horse and his partially covered wagon. Judging by the man’s clothing; he is a working man. Perhaps he is a delivery man of some sort. He is wearing a white shirt, bow tie and smock. I believe that he is wearing long heavy gloves. The gloves probably pertain to his occupation. The stamp box on the reverse of this postcard indicates that when it was published, the postcard postal rate was 1 cent. The one cent rate was in effect until World War I when it was raised to 2 cents on a temporary basis (1917-1919). The rate was again raised between 1925 and 1928. The rate became permanently two cents in 1951. As a result, the stamp box in this case, is not helpful in establishing the date that this postcard was produced. However, the style of the front of this postcard indicates that it was produced not long after the 1900’s or 1910’s. This postcard certainly documents history. The postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

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Published in: on June 19, 2022 at 5:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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ETHEL OLIVER : BRITISH STAGE AND SILENT FILM ACTRESS : GAIETY THEATER : RPPC

This vintage real photo postcard features British stage and film actress, Miss Ethel Oliver. She is wearing a costume from one of her performances. Little information is readily available about Miss Oliver. She is listed as being a chorus member in the play at the Gaiety Theater, “The Orchid” (1903), In 1917, Oliver starred in the musical comedy “Pomponette at the Newcastle upon Tyne Theatre Royal. The IMDb reports that she acted in two films; “The Return” (1921) and “A Soul’s Awakening” (1922). Oliver was also a dancer. She was a sitter for twelve portraits in Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. This vintage close-up portrait postcard was published by Philco as part of a series (No.3260 E). This postcard is in very good condition (see scans). 

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JAPAN: SCHOOL PRINCIPAL : 10th ANNIVERSARY OF HIS HIRING PHOTO : KATO : 1910

This vintage real photo postcard honors a Japanese school principal celebrating his tenth anniversary of employment at an Agricultural school in Kato, Japan. The city of Kato is in the Chiba Prefecture. A printed stamp on the reverse of the card indicates that it was published in 1910. This postcard has corner wear from being a former resident of a postcard album. The postcard is in overall good condition (see scans).

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$48.00

Published in: on June 16, 2022 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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DRINA VERCHESI : BRITISH BEAUTY & ACTRESS : ROTARY PHOTO : RISQUE : 1910’s

This vintage real photo postcard features British beauty and actress, Drina Verchesi. This hand-painted postcard captures Miss Verchesi in a risque pose and in a revealing dress. This card is certainly provocative for it’s era. Information about Verchesi is not readily available. A deeper dive into theater sources, will uncover some details of her life. It is safe to bet that she was not a major player on the British stage, but established enough to be featured on this postcard. This card was published by Rotary Photo (no.A526-1). The firm operated in London, England. This postcard is in good condition (see scans). 

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$19.70

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BLANCHE SWEET : SILENT FILM ACTRESS : 161 FILM CREDITS : BY FRED HARTSOOK : 1917

Blanche Sweet (1896-1986) was an American silent film actress. Her mother was a dancer and her father was a wine merchant. Blanche began show business at an early age. At age four she was performing with a touring company with stars, Marie Burroughs and Maurice Barrymore. At age thirteen, she was working at Biograph Studios under contract with D. W. Griffith. She became known as “The Biograph Blonde”. In 1914, Sweet moved to Paramount (Famous Players – Lasky). Paramount had offered her more money than Biograph could pay. During the 1910’s, Sweet appeared in several prominet film roles and kept her place as a popular leading lady. She played in a number of Cecil B. DeMille films. She and Marshall Neilan (actor, director, producer, screen writer) had an affair which led to Neilan obtaining a divorce and marrying young Blanche. She was about 16 years old. The marriage ended in 1929 because Neilan was an alleged philanderer. When “talkies” began, Sweets career suffered causing her to retire in 1930. The IMDb lists 161 film credits in Blanche’s filmography. Her post film career included radio work and non major Broadway roles. When job offers dissipated, she began working in a Los Angeles department store. She later worked with historians and gave lectures about the early days of Hollywood. This photo portrait of Miss Sweet was taken by American photographer, Fred Hartsook (1876-1930). He owned a chain of California studios described as “the largest photographic business in the world” at that time. The photo was taken circa 1917. Hartsook photographed many silent film stars as well as Woodrow Wilson during his Presidency. This vintage postcard’s AZO stamp box indicates that the postcard was published sometime between 1910 and 1930. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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STUDIO PORTRAIT OF A HANDSOME EUROPEAN SOLDIER : VINTAGE RPPC (1916)

This vintage real photo postcard features a handsome uniformed soldier posing for his portrait at an unidentified photo studio. The message on the card is dated “1916”. This postcard has some cornerwear and is in overall good condition (see scans). 

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$13.68

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$22.93

Published in: on June 11, 2022 at 1:06 pm  Comments (2)  
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EXTRAORDINARY PORTRAIT OF PRETTY FRENCH JOCKEY (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

This fantastic vintage real photo postcard features a pretty young woman wearing the attire of a jockey. Note her jodhpurs, silks, cap, riding crop, and boots. This portrait begs the question, is she really a jockey? Could she be a steeple chase rider? It is also possible that she is a model. This photograph was taken at La Photo Mecanique in Paris, France. The card appears to have been trimmed and measures 5.0 x 3.25 inches. The postcard itself was made in England and is in very good condition.

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$51.74

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MAUDE FEALY : AMERICAN FILM & STAGE STAR : BEAUTIFUL : POPULAR MODEL

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

This vintage real photo postcard features American stage and silent and sound film actress, Maude Fealy (1883-1971). Maude was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Her mother was an actress and acting coach. After her mother remarried, she moved to Colorado where Maude called home for much of her life. She made her stage debut at the age of three. she performed at the Elitch Theater numerous times during her childhood. In 1905 she began to be the featured actress in a number of productions. She worked alongside stock player Cecil B DeMille and the pair developed a friendship that lasted many decades. In fact, he cast her in his film “The Ten Commandments” (1956). This postcard illustrates Miss Fealy’s beauty. Her photo postcards were very popular and collectable during her era, as well as today. 

Postcard 1 is uncommon. The card was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no.1965J), The postcard is of British origin. Note that this postcard is hand tinted and postmarked in Dublin (1906). The card has an interesting message. The writer proclaims “What an innocent face this girl has. Poor thing”. Since when is “innocence” something to pity? (SOLD)

Postcard 2 demonstrates that Miss Fealy was fashionable and quite beautiful. Her photo postcards were very popular and collectable during her era, as well as today. This particular postcard is rare. The portrait for this postcard was taken by the London Stereo Company. The card was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no.1965J), The postcard is of British origin. (SOLD)

Postcard 3 was published by Davidson Brothers as part of a series (no.1378), The postcard is of British origin and demonstrates that Maude Fealy was fashionable as well as beautiful. (SOLD)

Postcard 4 is uncommon. The card was published by Raphael Tuck in 1904 as part of the “Stage Favorites: series (no.5058), The postcard is of British origin. (SOLD) 

POSTCARD 1
POSTCARD 2
POSTCARD 3
POSTCARD 4