MISS GERTIE MAY : PRETTY ACTRESS : BACKGROUND INFO INACCESSIBLE (1907)

This vintage real photo postcard features a pretty actress named Gertie May. She has beautiful flowing dark hair and is flashing a wonderful half smile. Miss May is nearly surrounded by flowers. Preliminary research uncovered “bubkes”. I would welcome any information about this performer. This postcard was produced by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no.1976 A). The card has a 1907 postmark from Manchester, England. This wonderful portrait of Miss May, was taken by Dover Street Studios. The studio was active between circa 1906 and circa 1912. The gallery specialized in taking theatrical portraits and was located in London, England. They were the successors to the Biograph Studios as well as Adart (a studio that took advertising photos). This postcard has excellent clarity and is in very good condition (see scans).

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PEGGY RUSH : PORTRAIT OF A BRITISH AMERICAN CHIGAGOAN STAGE AND FILM ACTRESS

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This vintage real photo postcard features pretty stage and film actress Peggy Rush. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, in around 1898. Her parents relocated to England when she was just three months old. Miss Rush began her stage career playing in musical comedy choruses.  In 1915 she played such a role in New York. She was a member of the company that appeared in “Quinneys” at the Maxine Elliott theatre. The Green Book magazine (1916) reported that for for the first three seasons Rush appeared on stage, she was a chorus girl for the first year, and she was a leading lady for the final two seasons. A reviewer in “The Theatre” magazine described Rush as “fascinatingly girlish”. The New York Times (1916) reported her engagement to to the Honorable George St. John Brodrick, the eldest son of Viscount Middleton and heir to the peerage (definition – those holding title).  George St John Brodrick, 2nd Earl of Midleton (1888 –1979) was an English aristocrat, landowner and soldier. It was not unusual for actresses or chorus girls to meet and marry titled individuals. Some of these men were “stage door Johnnies”. A photograph by the Bassano studio (1923) can be found in Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. I also found a notice of Rush’s divorce from her titled husband. I uncovered a 1924 press photo of Peggy Rush. The caption of the image discloses that the Viscountess Dunsford (Formerly Peggy Rush) was suing her husband, the count, for divorce. He went on to marry two more actresses. Miss Rush had a sense of humor. She once said that she never knew whether to refer to herself as American or English. She quipped that she felt safest calling herself a Chicagoan. This photo postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no.A171-2).The card is “hand painted” and part of the “British Beauty” series. The postcard was written and postmarked in 1917. This real photo postcard is in very good condition.

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A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN AND HER YORKSHIRE TERRIER

This vintage real photo postcard features a pretty young woman holding an adorable Yorkshire Terrier. The young lady has a terrific smile. This postcard is part of the British Beauty series (no.A 436-6) published by the London company, Rotary Photo. The postcard is hand tinted and from the 1910’s.   SOLD

Published in: on March 27, 2020 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A BRITISH BEAUTY WITH A FANTASTIC SMILE

This vintage real photo postcard is a member of the Rotary Photo  “British Beauty” series   (no. A.141-6). The Cabinet Card Gallery has a number of “British Beauty” cards in it’s collection. This postcard was printed in Britain and is hand tinted. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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ISABEL JAY : PRETTY ENGLISH OPERA SINGER AND ACTRESS

This vintage real photo postcard features English opera singer and actress, Isabel Jay (1879-1927). She was well known for her performances in soprano roles of the Savoy Operas with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and in Edwardian musical comedies. Isabel was a very active performer during the time picture postcard collecting was at it’s peak. She was photographed for more than 400 different postcards. There was great demand for cards with her image. Isabel studied piano and voice at the Royal Academy of Music prior to joining the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1897. She immediately was given principal singing roles and by 1899, she became the company’s leading soprano.  Some of her comic opera leading roles included “The Rose of Persia”, “The Pirates of Penzance”, and the “Emerald Isle”. In 1902 she left the company after getting married. Her groom was African explorer and soldier, Henry Shepherd Cavendish and the pair were divorced by 1906. I guess Cavendish really was an explorer. Isabel was the first of his five wives. Settling down was apparently not in Mr Cavendish’s repetoire. The West End stage beckoned Jay in 1903. She starred in eleven musicals until retiring in 1911 at 31 years of age. She sang before King Edward Vll and Queen Alexandra in 1905. The Queen gave her a brooch. Isabel was born in London. Her father was an insurance officer. Her great-grandfather was a musician and composer associated with the Royal Academy of Music. She gave musical recitals by the time she was twelve years old. Isabel made a number of recordings between 1900 and 1906. Most of the songs were from her early musical comedies. Her vocal ability was considered top notch. It was thought that she could have sung Grand Opera, if that was her desire. In 1927, she died at age 47 in Monte Carlo in while on a cruise with her second husband, Frank Curzon. He was a successful actor and theatre manager. Curzon served as a mentor to Isabel. The Youtube video below captures Miss Jay performing “My Heart’s At Your Feet” (1904). This postcard was published by Rotary Photo. The card is a part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 4832 A). The photo was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio from the 1900’s through the 1920’s. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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MISS MARGARET LEAHY : THE SAD STORY OF THE “DAILY SKETCH” GIRL

Margaret Leahy (1902-1967) was a British actress. She was born in London. At the age of eighteen, she set up a costume shop and designed women’s clothing. She also modeled her designs for her customers. The story of how she got her start in acting is an interesting one. After winning a beauty contest, she seemed destined for stardom. Unfortunately, despite her rapid launch into filmdom, her career quickly crashed.  She made only one film in her short-lived career. The beauty competition occurred in 1922. Actresses, Constance and Norma Talmadge, Joseph Schenck (film studio executive), and Edward Jose (film director) held a beauty contest in England. It’s purpose was to find a new leading lady. The “Daily Sketch”, an English newspaper, offered a starring role in a major Hollywood film to the winner of the contest. Eighty thousand women entered the contest and three girls were chosen to the final competition. The finals were held in Hollywood and Miss Leahy was the winner.  Norma Talmadge described Leahy as “the most ravishing girl in England”. Leahy’s start in films was a disaster. She was dismissed from “Within the Law” (1923). The film’s director found her acting talent was nearly non-existent. He threatened to quit unless Leahy was terminated. The year 1923 wasn’t all bad for Miss Leahy. She was named one of thirteen WAMPAS Baby Stars. Evelyn Brent, Eleanor Boardman, and Laura La Plante were among the thirteen. All but Leahy became successful film actresses. Between 1922 and 1934, WAMPAS association supported a promotional campaign that named thirteen young actresses thought to be destined to become stars. Margaret’s next stop was an appearance in a Buster Keaton comedy, “Three Ages” (1923). Leahy received little attention for her role in the movie and her career was stopped in it’s tracks. Leahy did not return to England. Instead she got married and remained in California. She became an interior decorator and was known to despise the movie industry. In fact, she burned all her movie related scrap books. Sadly, Leahy committed suicide at the age of sixty-four in California. This vintage postcard was published by Rotary Photo and printed in England. The postcard is part of a series (no. 5.76.2).  The postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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MISS DOROTHY FROSTICK : POPULAR CHILD ACTRESS, DANCER, AND SINGER

This vintage real photo postcard features English actress, dancer, and singer; Miss Dorothy Frostick. In 1901, Frostick made her debut in the successful musical dream play, “Bluebell in Fairyland”. The play appeared at London’s Vaudeville Theatre. The stars of the show were Seymour Hicks and Ellaline Teriss, a theatrical married couple. Frostick appeared again with the couple in “The Cherry Girl” (1903) and in a revival of Bluebell in 1905. There is a void of information about Miss Frostick until 1912 at which time she joined a pierrot group, “The Quaints”. She appeared with the group until at least 1914. Her final documented London appearance was in a musical and dance production, “The Latest Craze” (1919). The show bombed and closed after twenty-five performances. A portrait of Dorothy Frostick appears in England’s National Portrait Gallery. The photo on this postcard was produced by the International Art Company, which was based in Ipswich, England. This postcard was published by Rotary Photo (active 1897-1916) as part of their Rotary Photographic Series (no. 1617D). This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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DOROTHY MINTO : PRETTY, COY AND TALENTED ENGLISH STAGE ACTRESS

This vintage real  photo postcard features a pretty and coy looking English actress named Dorothy Minto (1886-1957). She was born in Scotland. She was an actress known for “Once Upon a Time” (1918), and  “A Little Bit of Fluff (1919), and “Raise the Roof” (1930). She was a popular actress on the London stage between 1905 and the mid 1930’s. Her early stage career was focused on classical plays and serious new theater but from 1912 and beyond, she concentrated more on musicals and comedies. It is notable that se appeared in the first runs of several of George Bernard Shaw’s plays. She also performed in plays by Shakespeare, Ibsen, Barrie, and Tolstoy, Minto’s career included appearances in ten films between 1916 and 1936. Interestingly, Minto appeared “Votes for Women” (1907) which was the first suffragist play performed on the London stage. She later became of member of the Actress Franchise League, part of the suffragist movement. She had two marriages and one child. Her infidelity led, or at least contributed to the end of both of her marriages. The National Portrait Gallery has 33 portraits of Miss Minto in their collection. Most of the images are by Alexander Bassano and Rita Martin.This postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no.4072 B). Minto’s portrait was done by Foulsham & Banfield. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio from the 1900’s through the 1920’s.    (SOLD)

MISS MILDRED CLAIRE : PRETTY BROADWAY STAGE ACTRESS

This vintage real photo postcard features actress Miss Mildred Claire. She is quite pretty and is dressed for cold weather (pre global warming). A fur muff protects her hands and a fur stole (pre PETA) wrapped around her shoulders. I could find very little information on this pretty actress. I learned from the Internet Broadway Data Base (IBDb) that Mildred Claire had acted in three Broadway shows between 1900 and 1905. I discovered little else. An actress named “Mildred Clair” appeared in a film titled “Treason” (1918).  Perhaps this film actress was our Mildred Claire. There was also an actress named Mildred Claire who changed her name to Claire Rochelle and than had a successful film career. I do not believe the two “Mildred Claire’s” are one and the same person because Claire Rochelle was born in 1908, too late to be an adult when this postcard was issued. This portrait postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no.4373 C). It was part of the Rotary Photographic series. The postcard is in very good condition (see scans). (SOLD)       

Published in: on October 6, 2019 at 1:52 pm  Comments (1)  
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LYDIA FLOPP : BRITISH ACTRESS AND ONE OF THE FIVE “RUDGE SISTERS”

This vintage real photo postcard features theater actress Miss Lydia Flopp (1877-1963). “Flopp” is an unfortunate name for a stage performer. However, it did not get in the way of her success on the stage.  Lydia was one of the five “Rudge Sisters”. The women were British actresses and dancers. Some of them were quite successful. The sisters performed as Letty Lind, Millie Hylton, Adelaide Astor, Fanny Dango, and the aforementioned Lydia Flopp. The sisters were primarily dancers but over time developed their singing ability. They performed in pantomime, variety, music hall, and Victorian burlesque realms of theater. Their venues included the Gaiety and Daly theaters in London. Letty Lind was a popular skirt dancer and star of musical comedies. Hylton worked in music halls and theatre and had much success appearing in varieties as a male impersonator. Miss Astor was a West End actress and Fanny Dango worked in London and then launched a successful career performing in Australia. Lydia Flopp’s specialty was pantomime. She was a sitter for two photo portraits in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery. The photographer of Miss Flopp’s portrait is Alexander Bassano (1829-1913).  Bassano) was a leading royal and high society photographer in Victorian London. This postcard was published in England by the Davidson Brothers. Davidson Brothers was located in both London and New York City. The firm operated between 1901 and 1911. This postcard is published by Rotary Photo as part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no.1594 B). This vintage postcard portrait has excellent clarity and is in excellent condition (see scans).  (SOLD)