OLGA TSCHECHOWA : PROLIFIC RUSSIAN-GERMAN ACTRESS : FRIENDS WITH HITLER, GORING, AND GOEBBELS : WORLD WAR II SPY?

This risque vintage real photo postcard features Russian-German actress, Olga Tschechowa (1897-1980). Her father was a railway engineer who became Russia’s Minister of Railways. She was the niece of Anton Chekov’s wife. She went to school and studied art and literature at an art school in St. Petersburg. . After watching famed actress Eleonora Duse, Olga joined the Moscow Art Theare’s studio. In 1914, while at the school, she met Russian-Jewish actor Mikhail Chekov. He was the nephew of Anton Chekov. She married him the same year and they had a daughter in 1916. In 1917, during the October Revolution, she divorced her husband. It is reported that he had an affair while Olga was pregnant. Olga would marry three more times. She joined a cabaret group and was offered a part in a silent movie. She travelled to Vienna and moved to Berlin in 1920, She continued to perform in films. She was one of the fortunate actresses who successfully made the transition from silent to sound movies. In the 1930’s she became one of the leading actresses of the Third Reich and was admired by Adolf Hitler. Olga was courted by Hermann Goring and Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels introduced her to Hitler in 1933 and she and Hitler became friends. In 1936, she was named “State Actress” of the Third Reich and she was made a German citizen. Olga’s brother was sent from Russia to Germany on a secret mission to assassinate Hitler. Stalin got cold feet and called off the “hit”. The brother ended up in a Nazi concentration camp, but survived the war. At one point, Olga was accused of being a Russian agent in Nazi Germany. Himmler ordered an investigation of Olga by the SS. She was often kept under surveillance by both Nazi and Soviet agents. In 1945, Himmler planned to arrest her but Hitler intervened. Olga survived the war through lying, acting, and disguise. She protected her daughter from the concentration camps by hiding the fact that she had a Jewish father. At the war’s end, Olga was arrested by the Red Army and brought to Moscow for a debriefing. She was interrogated for two months and then taken to Berlin to assist the Soviet Army. She established herself in East Berlin. She played in dramas but preferred comedies.  Olga was very successful in the film business,. Her filmography reveals that she has 138 credits as an actor, director, and producer between the years of 1917 and 1974. After the World War II, she lived in Soviet occupied Berlin and in 1949 she moved to Munich, Bavaria. In Munich she started a cosmetics company. Simultaneously she continued to act in more than 20 films.   She published a book of memoirs and retired from acting in the 1970’s. In 1966, her daughter died in a plane crash. Olga suffered from depression and alcohol abuse. She died in Munich and just before she died, she had her granddaughter bring her a glass of champagne, Her last words were purported to be “Life is beautiful”. This postcard was published by Ross Verlag and is part of a series (no. 3040/1). The front of the card has the logo for UFA, a German film company. This vintage portrait postcard is uncommon and in excellent condition. 

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MISS ALEX: PARISIAN ENTERTAINER : PHOTOGRAPHED BY LUCIEN WALERY (1903)

This vintage real photo postcard was mailed in 1903 and features Miss Alex, a lesser known actress or dancer of the Belle Epoque era. She was quite pretty. Many entertainers such as Miss Alex, were more or less prostitutes or “kept women”. Certainly, not all of these women were involved in such a lifestyle, and it is unknown how Miss Alex supported herself. The “Ambassadeurs”, a Paris music hall, is printed on the top right hand corner of the front of the postcard. Miss Alex was probably part of the Ambassadeur’s company of entertainers. This portrait postcard was photographed by Lucien Walery. He was a celebrated Paris photographer known for his portraits of artists and cabaret dancers from the city’s music halls. He is very well known for his portraits of Mata Hari and Josephine Baker. Walery did a lot of work in the genre of nude/erotic photography. He photographed the beautiful women of Paris between the early 1900’s and the 1920’s. This “risque” postcard is part of the Etoile 11 series and is in good condition (see scans).                                               

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TWO PRETTY SEMI-NUDE WOMEN HAVING TEA IN ALGERIA

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This vintage ethnographic photo postcard features two pretty semi-nude Algerian women. They are wearing traditional garb of their culture. The women appear to be preparing for some tea. The postcard is from circa 1930’s. Google translate reveals that the caption on the reverse of the postcard states “Picturesque Algeria. Tea in the interior”. The card is part of a series (Serie I. – No 4). The photographer of these ladies has the last name of “Albert”. This vintage postcard measures about 5 3/4″x 5 7/8″.  (SOLD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on December 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A BEDOUIN BEAUTY IN CAIRO, EGYPT (PHOTOGRAPH BY LEHNERT & LANDROCK)

This vintage postcard features a “Bedouin Beauty” with  wonderful smile. Everything she is wearing is interesting. Her traditional dress, the flowers in her hair, and her necklace are all intriguing. This postcard offers some sexual provocativeness which was typically seen in ethnographic postcards from this era. It seems that if women from other cultures, or non white ethnicities, were photographed for postcards, than some nudity was acceptable. Western photographers, postcard publishers, and postcard consumers all appear to have been “suffering” from ethnocentrism. The woman in this photo, as stated earlier, is a Bedouin. Bedouins are a group of nomadic Arab people. Historically, they have inhabited the desert regions in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, Iraq, and the Levant. This image was produced by the team of Rudolf Franz Lehnert (1878-1948) & Ernst Heinrich Landrock (1878-1966). Lehnert was of German origin, while Landrock was from Bohemia. The pair met in Switzerland and decided to go into business together. Lehnert was the photographer and Landrock was the administrator. Landrock organized trips, managed the photo studio and photo production, and marketed the photographs and prints. They were photographers in Tunis and in Egypt, They also opened studios in Munich (Germany) and Leipzig (Germany).  They produced many photographs from Egypt and Tunisia. Their first studio was in Tunis. They photographed monuments and sites in those countries, but were most known for their erotic images of Arab women, often posing in harem themes. The photographers seemed more concerned about producing erotic photographs rather than documenting everyday life in these Middle Eastern countries. Lehnert and Landrock were well acclaimed for their work and the duo have images in a number of museums, including Philadelphia’s Penn Museum an the Musee de l’elysee in Lausanne, Switzerland. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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NUDE PORTRAIT OF PRETTY MODEL TAKEN BY CELEBRATED FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER JEAN AGELOU (c. 1910)

This vintage real photo postcard features a risque photograph of an unidentified model. The photo portrait was taken by the talented an esteemed French photographer, Jean Agelou (1878-1921).He was a photographer of the 1910’s and 1920’s and was well known for his erotic and nude photographs. He was born in Egypt and not much is known about his private life. Agelou generally used models between the age of 20 and 24 years-old. He had a favorite model. Her name was “Fernande” and in addition to modeling, she was Agelou’s lover. Her full name was Fernande Barrey (1893-1960) and she was a prostitute by trade. She also modeled for painters (Amadeo Modigliani and Chaim Soutine). Although the 1900’s was the “golden age” of erotic photograph, photographers who took such risque photos had to use discretion. As a result, Agelou signed his work “JA”. In 1908, nudity in photographs was banned in France and photographers needed to cover images of nude women with strategically placed undergarments or other materials. Nude images had to circulate on the down low. They were sent in the mail inside of envelopes. Jean Agelou died in 1921; the result of a car accident. His brother George, who managed Jean’s business, also was killed in the crash. This postcard is part of a series (508) .   (SOLD)

Published in: on October 22, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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RISQUE PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN WEARING A BATHING SUIT OR LINGERIE (1920’S)

This vintage real photo postcard features a pretty young woman wearing either a bathing suit or lingerie. I can’t distinguish between the two types of clothing. Perhaps I need to enroll in a class at Victoria’s Secret University to enhance my knowledge about such things. This is a risque image for it’s era. The postcard was published in France by PC Paris, as part of a series (no. 2122). The P. C. logo is an abbreviation for Papeteries de Levallois-Clichy. The firm published a variety of real photo postcard topics including portraits of women, nudes, views, and holiday cards. The company was active in the 1920’s.   (SOLD)

Published in: on October 14, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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FIVE PRETTY BATHING BEAUTIES ALL IN A ROW : RISQUE

This vintage real photo postcard features five beautiful women wearing bathing suits and high stockings. This image was shot at an unidentified studio. The postcard is risque for it’s era. Four of the women have wonderful smiles. The bathing beauty at the end of the line appears to be keeping her smile in reserve. This vintage postcard is in very good condition.

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Published in: on September 27, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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RISQUE PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY WOMAN PARTIALLY DRESSED

This vintage photograph features a pretty young woman in a risque pose and wearing risque clothing. She is wearing a hat, gloves, and is holding a purse. She seems to be going somewhere but she forgot to finish getting dressed. The previous owner of this photograph thought the photographer of the image may have been the Biederer studio. I have no supporting evidence confirming his hypotheses. The Biederer brothers were major figures in photography so their story is worth telling. The studio was operated by Jacpues Biederer (1887-1942) and his brother Charles Biederer (1892-1942) during the Art deco era. Their studio was in Paris, France. Their photographs of the 1920’s and 1930’s included artistic nudes and sexual fetish studies. Their topics included erotic corporal punishment, costumed role play and images of bondage. Their postcards were signed as “JB” “B” ,”Ostra”, or a question mark in a triangle.  When Germany occupied France during World War ll, the Nazis sent the brothers to a concentration camp (Auschwitz-Birkenau). Their crime was their Judaism. Their punishment was death. This vintage photo measures about 3 3/8″ x 5 3/8″ and is in very good condition.

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Published in: on July 31, 2019 at 6:09 pm  Comments (1)  
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MISS MARJORIE VILLIS : RISQUE PORTRAIT OF A STRIKINGLY PRETTY BRITISH ACTRESS

This vintage real photo postcard portrait feature British silent film actress, Marjorie Villis (1891-1981). Miss Villis is quite pretty and has a wonderful smile. This photograph captures her in a risque pose and a risque costume. What an amazing elaborate and busy costume. When I first saw this image, I immediately became motivated to find information about this provocative actress. I met little success in learning about Marjorie Villis. Photographs of her appear to be uncommon, and I could not find the postcard above anywhere online. I did learn that she sat for seven postcard portraits that can be found in the UK’s National Portrait Gallery, All of the portraits were taken by celebrated photographer, Alexander Bassano. The IMDb credits Villis with 15 film roles between 1915 and 1922. Villis was most noted for her roles in “The Rugged Path (1918), “A Romany Lass (1918)”, and  “Brenda of the Barge (1920). She had a relatively short career. I wonder why her career ended so abruptly? The first talkie feature film did not get released until 1927, so we know that, unlike many other silent film stars, Villis was not shut out of the film industry because of an unsuitable voice or foreign accent. This postcard was published by J. Beagles & Company (London)  as part of a series (no.142 J). The wonderful portrait of Miss Villis was taken by S. Ward. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans)

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SEVEN “SHOW GIRLS” AT THE PALACE OF THE LUMINOUS FAIRIES

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This vintage real photo postcard features “show dancers” posing “at the palace of the luminous fairies”. Perhaps the palace is a cabaret in France. Preliminary research revealed no information about the establishment. The women are young and pretty and are all flashing smiles. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

 

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Published in: on July 1, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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