BLANCHE WALSH : PRETTY STAGE AND FILM ACTRESS IN NEW YORK CITY

This vintage real photo postcard features stage and film actress, Blanche Walsh (1873-1915). Walsh was born in the lower east side of New York City. Walsh’s father was a Tammany Hall (New York City) politician and prison warden. His name was Thomas Power “Fatty” Walsh. Miss Walsh was an active actress between 1888 and 1915. Blanche Walsh made her stage debut at 15 years of age in 1888. She joined Charles Frohman’s stock company. She was a supporting actress for the likes of Marie Wainwright and William Gillette. She toured Australia with actor Nat Goodwin in 1896. Walsh became popular playing “emotional” roles and succeeded Fanny Davenport when she became too ill to perform in such roles. In fact, many fans believed that Walsh closely resembled Davenport in appearance.  Walsh than began being tasked in more challenging roles such as in her performances in “The Woman in the Case” (1905) and in Tolstoy’s “The Kreutzer Sonata” (1904). Walsh appeared in ten Broadway productions between 1895 and 1907. A reviewer in “Variety” (1918) wrote that Walsh ” was not only a great actress, but an artist enough to subordinate whatever personal charms she might have had to a proper characterization of a role”. Blanche Walsh only appeared in one film. She was a well respected American actress. Her only film was Resurrection (1912). The film was based on one of Leo Tolstoy’s novels. The film helped Adolph Zukor launch his movie company, Famous Players Studio. It later became Paramount. She was one of the first stage stars to appear in a long feature film (over 50 minutes). Miss Walsh had two marriages. Her first husband, Alfred Hickman (1873-1931) was an English actor who appeared in thirty-five films. Walsh had no children. She was one of the original advocates of an American National Theater where people could see major plays at a low price. Walsh had significant health problems during her career. She had several hospitalizations. She died at 42 years of age from kidney problems. This vintage postcard was published by the Rotograph Company as part of the “Rotograph Series” (No. B 506)  The photographer was Jacob Schloss (1856-1938) and his studio was located in New York City.   Schloss received his education at the Cooper Union in New York City. He graduated in 1872 as an etcher. He joined Benjamin J. Falk’s photography studio and worked there in the mid 1870’s. He left Falk’s employ to open his own studio (54 West 23rd Street) where like Falk, he specialized in theatrical photography. He tended to favor photographing actresses in costume in front of generic studio furnishings. He produced many cabinet card photographs but also was active in the production of magazine images. By the 1890’s he was particularly known for his photographs of beautiful women, much like photographer Jose Maria Mora. Schloss also was an activist for photographers rights. He was very involved in the movement to copyright images. He sued those who used his photographs without crediting or paying him. He was very involved in national photographer associations and was an active photographer until the 1910’s.   SOLD

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ETHEL BARRYMORE: A STAGE BEAUTY

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                                                                 POSTCARD 1  (SOLD)

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Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959) was an outstanding American actress and a member of the famous theatrical Barrymore family. She was born Ethel Mae Blythe in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents were actors and she was the sister of John and Lionel Barrymore.  She was the great aunt of modern day actress Drew Barrymore.

Ethel Barrymore was considered by many to be the greatest actress of her generation. She was a major Broadway performer and first appeared there in 1895. She had roles in A Dolls House by Ibsen (1905).  She was a strong supporter of the Actors’ Equity Association and played a major role in the 1919 strike. She played in Somerset Maugham’s comedy, The Constant Wife (1926). She also starred in motion pictures beginning her film career in 1914.  Notable films included None but the Lonely Heart (1944) and The Spiral Staircase (1946). Around 1900, Winston Churchill proposed marriage to Barrymore but she refused. She later married Russell Griswold Colt in 1909 and had three children. She died of cardiovascular disease in 1959 at her home in California. The Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City is named in her honor.

The cabinet card 1 portrait of Ethel Barrymore was photographed by Phillips Photographers of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by Phillips, click on the category “Photographer: Phillips”. The second image (cabinet card 2) of the actress was produced by Sarony, the famous celebrity photographer who’s studio was located in New York City. To see other Sarony photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Sarony”.

The third portrait of Miss Barrymore appears on postcard 1, published by the Rotograph Company who operated in  New York City and Germany. This postcard portrait was taken by famed Chicago photographer William Morrison. He is well known for his excellent portraits of theatrical stars. He produced both real photo postcards and cabinet cards. This postcard is number HB/1422 of the “Rotograph Series”. The image on this postcard is color tinted. This postcard has been mailed and postmarked (1907). The reverse of this postcard can be seen below.To view other photographs by Morrison, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”.

The fourth portrait of Ethel Barrymore is an uncommon one (postcard 2). The image provides a lovely profile view of this legendary actress. If you search for this exact postcard online, you likely won’t find it. This postcard was published by E. Frey & Company who operated in  New York City . Research reveals that postcards displaying the printed name of  “E. Frey” were actually published by the Souvenir Post Card Company which existed between 1905 and 1914. It was located at 268 Canal Street in New York City. The company was purchased by Valentine & Sons and the combined company became Valentine – Souvenir. This postcard was printed in Germany and is in good condition (see scan).

The fifth photograph (postcard 3) of Miss Barrymore was published by the Rotograph Company. This postcard portrait was taken by famed Chicago celebrity photographer William Morrison.This postcard is number B 662 of the “Rotograph Series”. The image has excellent clarity.

The sixth image (postcard 4) is a vintage real photo postcard portrait of Ethel Barrymore. The postcard was published by Albert Hahn who was based in New York City (200 Broadway) and Hamburg. Hahn operated his company between 1901 and 1919. The postcard was produced in Germany sometime in the decade of 1900-1910. The postcard is part of a series (no. 5271),

Postcard 5 offers a profile view of Miss Barrymore. The postcard was published by the Rotograph Company as part of the Rotograph Series (No. A 112). The photographer of this image is Burr McIntosh of New York City. William Burr McIntosh (1862-1942) lived an interesting life. Among his job titles listed by Wikipedia, are photographer, lecturer, film studio owner, silent film actor, publisher of the “Burr McIntosh Monthly”, reporter, and radio and early film pioneer. His sister was Nancy McIntosh, a noted operatic soprano. He was a graduate of Lafayette College in 1884. His most noted film role was his appearance in D. W. Griffith’s film, “Way Down East” (1920). Wikipedia notes that he appeared in 53 films between 1914 and 1934. This vintage postcard is in very good condition.

Buy this original Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2801

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Buy this original Vintage Real Photo Postcard #5 (includes shipping within the US) #2799

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PRETTY PRIMA DONNA: MINNIE ASHLEY

BJ FALK PORTRAIT VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPH 1  (SOLD)

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This vintage real photo postcard features theater actress Minnie Ashley (1878-1946). She was one of the great “stage beauties” of the end of the 19th century. She was a talented singer and dancer and she was featured in the madcap musical “1492” (1892). In Boston she performed with the Museum Company and in New York she was a member of the Augustin Daly Company. She had many successes including her performance in “A Country Girl”, “Wang”, and “San Troy”. Her acting resulted in a medical problem. The prolonged exposure to theatrical arc lights caused vision problems. In 1902 she left her acting career and married politician William Astor Chanler who was an affluent grandson of John Jacob Astor. Medical treatment did not help her vision problems and Miss Ashley than put her efforts into sculpting. Chanler and Ashley separated in 1909. She made an attempt at returning to the stage in 1911 but soon opted to pursue her sculpting. During her artistic career she worked under the name of Beatrice Ashley Chanler. In addition to the sculpting, she was active in philanthropy. The book “Famous Prima Donnas” (1900) by Lewis Clinton Strang, devotes a chapter to Minnie Ashley. He describes her as having “artless girlishness, remarkable personal charm, and skill as an imaginative dancer scarcely equalled on the American stage”. He adds that these talents explain her “sudden success” in musical comedy. He describes her dancing as “artistic in every sense” but asserts she was not exceptionally talented in the realm of acting and singing. However, Strang is very complimentary of Ashley’s appearance. He states “nature was indeed good to her when it endowed her with a most fascinating personality, a pretty piquant face, and a slim graceful figure.                                                         Vintage Photograph 1 features a young Minnie Ashley. She is a beautiful. Her facial expression is very engaging. The photographer, B. J. Falk was a very well known for his penchant for photographing theatrical stars. He was also recognized for his talent as a celebrity photographer. The image was copyrighted in 1896. this photo measures about 4″  x 5 3/4″. It appears upon very close examination that this image may have been trimmed. Note the imperfection in the top right hand corner. This vintage photograph is in overall good condition (see scans).   (SOLD)                                                                                               Postcard 2 was published by the Rotograph Company (New York) and was part of a series (no. B 174).   (SOLD)                                                                                                                    Postcard 3 has the same portrait of Miss Ashley except the image is color tinted. It became common practice around 1902 to hand color photo postcards. Rising labor costs led to the decreasing use of this practice after the 1930’s.  This postcard, like the one above it, was produced by the Rotograph Company (New York) and was part of a series (H.B. 14/30). The postcard was mailed and has a 1910 postmark from Warren, Ohio.  (SOLD)                                                                                                                                                     

 

 

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THE BEST PORTRAIT OF A BULLDOG YOU’VE EVER SEEN (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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If this vintage real photo postcard portrait of a handsome bulldog isn’t the best you’ve ever seen; it has to be right up there with the best. This adorable canine is apparently watching doggie tv. The dog is looking out the curtained window and appears quite intense about what he is seeing. The caption below the photo indicates that the dog is hoping to see cats. This unused postcard is part of a series published by Rotograph (no. 5016).bulldog 1

Published in: on February 26, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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MABELLE ADAMS: A PRETTY BROADWAY ACTRESS

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This vintage real photo postcard features actress Mabelle Adams (1880-1935). Mabelle Adams was her stage name but her real name was Mabelle Humberstone. She is known for her stage career but also for being the mother of director Bruce “Lucky” Humberstone whose work included Film noir “I Wake Up Screaming” (1941) as well as some “Charlie Chan” and “Tarzan” films. Interestingly, Mabelle was a niece of Edwin Booth. She was the understudy on Broadway for actress Maude Adams in “Peter Pan”. She was in a number of Broadway productions including occupying a starring role in “Two Orphans” (1933). Adams was an active member of the Stage Women’s War Relief which raised money for medical supplies for Allies wounded in World War I. A brief biography of Adams can be found in “The Stars of Hollywood Forever” (2014), This postcard was published pre 1907 by the Rotograph Company and part of a series (no. B1998). Rotograph was located in New York City.  (SOLD)

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Published in: on December 26, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment