JANE COWL : IN COSTUME FOR “WITHIN THE LAW

This vintage real photo postcard features American film and stage actress, Jane Cowl (1883-1950). Cowl was also a playwright. She was born in Boston, attended high school in Brooklyn, New York, and took courses at Columbia University. She made her Broadway debut in 1903. She landed her first leading role in a 1909 David Belasco production. Her first big success was in “The Gamblers” (1910). She had much success on the stage, including “Within the Law” (1912). This photo postcard captures Miss Cowl in costume for her role in “Within the Law”. She played in a number of Broadway productions of Shakespeare. She played Juliet in more than 1000 consecutive performances. In 1930, she performed with a young Katharine Hepburn in “Art and Mrs. Bottle”. In sum, the IBDB reports that Cowl appeared in 35 Broadway productions between 1903 and 1947. Cowl’s performing history includes working in film. She was the lead in two silent films. She had an over 30 year hiatus from the movies until taking on some supporting film roles during the 1940’s. IN 1906, Jane Cowl was married to Adolph Edward Klauber. He was the drama critic for the New York Times. He was a former actor and the son of a noted Louisville, Kentucky Jewish photographer. In 1918, Klauber left his newspaper job to become a theatrical producer and manager. He and Cowl separated in 1930. This vintage postcard portrait is in excellent condition (see scans).

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JULIA MARLOWE: ESTEEMED AMERICAN STAGE ACTRESS

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POSTCARD 14   (SOLD)

Julia Marlowe (1865-1950) was born in England and as a young child moved to the United States with her family. In her early teens she began her theatrical career with a juvenile opera company. She began playing Shakespeare in her home town of Cincinnati, Ohio. She made her Broadway debut in 1895 and by the end of her career, had appeared in more than 70 Broadway productions. Her first husband was actor, Robert Tabor. Their marriage lasted six years. In 1904 she appeared in “When Knighthood was in Flower”. Great success in this play brought her financial independence. Earlier, in 1903, she appeared in ‘The Cavalier” and “Ingomar”. The New York Sun wrote about her performance in “Ingomar”; “There is not a woman player in America or in England that is – attractively considered- fit to unlace her shoe”. In 1904 she began a partnership with actor E. H. Sothern. They toured the United States performing various plays of Shakespeare. They were managed by Charles Frohman and later, the Shubert brothers. They were considered to be among the major Shakespearian actors of the day. In 1906, Marlowe played in “Jeanne d’Arc” and also as Salome in “John the Baptist”. Later, Sothern and Marlowe played in London but were not terrific box office successes there. In 1911 Marlowe and Sothern married each other. In 1920 and 1921, they made eleven phonograph recordings for the Victor Company. The top Cabinet Card was produced by Newsboy as a premium for their tobacco products. The photographer was Falk and the image is from 1892.

The second portrait of Julia Marlowe has a notation on the reverse of the card stating “Julia Marlowe Tabor”. Therefore, this photograph was likely taken during the time of her marriage to Tabor (1894-1900). The photographic studio that produced this portrait is  Klein & Guttenstein of 164 Wisconsin Street, in Milwaukee,  Wisconsin.  Klein and Guttenstein were leading photographers of their time. Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1902) reveals that the two men  were very active in the Photographers Association of Wisconsin and other photography organizations. The photographers were considered part of a network of photographers skilled at producing publicity images of theatrical and vaudeville stars to be used in national magazines and other publications. The New York Public Library has a collection of portraits of actress Blanche Bates; produced by Klein & Guttenstein. The University of Pennsylvania Library has one of Klein & Guttenstein’s portraits of Julia Marlowe.

The third portrait of Julia Marlowe in the cabinet card gallery collection is photographed by Sarony, the famed celebrity photographer located in New York City.  This cabinet card is signed by the actress and dated 1890. Additonal photographs by Sarony can be viewed by clicking on the category “Photographers: Sarony”.

The fourth portrait of Miss Marlow features her in role in the production of “Countess Veleska”. The play was adapted for a German work, “The Tall Prussian”, by Rudolph Stratz. The play opened in New York in 1898 at the Knickerbocker Theatre. The review in the New York Times (1898) stated that the “drama was made wholly interesting by the personal charm and sincerity of Miss Marlowe”. In a sarcastic tone, the reviewer comments about Marlowe’s co star, Bassett Roe. The reviewer states that Roe has only two qualities of the man he was playing, “height and good looks”. The reviewer continues his scathing description of Roe; “The only time he actually warmed up was when he accidentally set his hair on fire. Even then he would have let it burn if Miss Marlowe had not gone to his rescue.” The photographic studio that produced the “Countess Veleska” cabinet card was Pach Brothers of New York City. Pach Brothers were photographers known for their photographs of celebrities of their era. To see additional photographs by the Pach Brothers, click on this site’s category of “Photographers: Pach Brothers”.

The fifth portrait of Julia Marlowe appears to be a photograph of the actress in costume for an unknown stage production. The image was photographed by Ye Rose Studio of Providence, Rhode Island. The reverse of the card indicated that the studio was opened in 1886. The studio was located in the Conrad building in downtown Providence. The building still exists. Other photographs by the Ye Rose Studio can be viewed by clicking on the category “Photographer: Ye Rose”.

Portrait number six is an excellent example of the beauty of Julia Marlowe. This image, from 1888, captures Ms. Marlowe at the young age of twenty-three. The photographer of this portrait was B. J. Falk, a celebrity photographer located in New York City, New York. To view other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.

The seventh portrait is another example of a B. J. Falk image. The photograph features a costumed Julia Marlowe in the production of “Cymbeline“. Cymbeline is a play by William Shakespeare that was based on legends about the early Celtic British King,  Cunobelinus. The play deals with themes that include innocence and jealousy. Ms. Marlowe plays Imogen, the King’s daughter. Her expression in the photograph shows fear and concern as she looks at someone or something in the distance. Her left hand shades her eyes while her right hand clutches her belted dagger. A stamp on the reverse of  this cabinet card reveals that it was formerly owned by Culver Pictures of New York City, New York. Culver Pictures has been collecting photographs and illustrations from the 19th and first half of the 20th century, since 1926. These pictures are used in books, films, and other forms of media. At the time that this cabinet card was stamped by the company, Culver Pictures was located in New York City.

Portrait number eight is a close-up photograph of Miss Marlowe. The photographer of this cabinet card is the studio of Rose & Sands whose gallery was located in Providence, Rhode Island. Note that photograph number five also came from the Rose studio, but at that time, the gallery was called, the Ye Rose studio. The Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1899) reports that Rose and Sands were the proprietors of Ye Rose. A humorous headline in a photography magazine stated “Providence Provides for All, And Rose Provides for Providence”.  Print on the reverse of this cabinet card reveals that the Rose & Sands studio was opened in 1886 and that it specialized in “High Class Portraits from Cabinet to Life Size”. Also of interest, like photograph number seven, there is a stamp on the reverse of the photograph with the name “Culver Pictures Inc”.

Photograph number nine features the beautiful Miss Marlowe displaying a mischievous smile. Note her engaging large eyes. She is wearing a somewhat revealing dress (for the cabinet card era) and has a wonderful hat atop her head. This cabinet card photograph was published in 1888 by Benjamin Falk of New York City.  The image is marked with the number sixty-nine.

Portrait number ten is a closeup of Julia Marlowe with her head covered, but with her pretty face very visible. She is likely in costume for this photograph. The photograph is taken by B. J. Falk of New York City and has a copyright date of 1888. The cabinet card is marked number “86”.

The eleventh photograph captures Miss Marlowe staring hypnotically at a flower. Someone, has written below her name that the image features her in the role of Parthenia in the production of “Ingomar”.  The New York Times (1904) reviews the play and Miss Marlowe’s performance on opening night at the Empire Theater in New York City. The newspaper reports that Frederick Halm’s play was “impossibly romantic and deliciously sentimental piece of old-fashioned theatrics. Tyrone Power played Ingomar and he was described as “vigourous and picturesque” but the article added that his voice was “not at its best”. The review pointed out that Marlowe’s appearance in this play was to be her last appearance as an independent star before joining E. H. Sothern’s Shakespearean repertory. In regard to Marlowe’s acting in this play, it was written that she played a “dear little prig – adorably dear” (prig can be defined as smug or arrogant) and she presented “a masterpiece of harmonious, modulated, and sustained acting”. The 1904 performance of Julia Marlowe in “Ingomar” marked a return performance for this accomplished actress. The New York Times (1888) wrote a very positive review of the opening night performance in Washington D.C.. The appreciative audience included three Supreme Court Justices and a number of members of the Chinese Embassy. This cabinet card was produced by the previously mentioned Ye Rose Studio of Providence, Rhode Island and it likely dates back to her 1888 performance in the role.

The twelfth cabinet card was produced by Benjamin Falk of New York City. He posed Miss Marlowe next to a spinning wheel. Her low cut dress makes this image a bit risque for the cabinet card era. If Falk or Miss Marlowe thought that looking up at the camera would create a “fetching appearance”, I would contend that their efforts failed. Rather than “fetching”, she appears dazed. The actress was a beautiful woman and provocativeness was not necessary to enhance her image. This photograph was produced in 1888 and was part of a series (#23).

Cabinet Card number thirteen is part of a series that includes Cabinet Card number ten. Both cards were photographed by Benjamin  Falk and have a copyright date of 1888. Both portraits are close-ups but this one is captures Marlowe looking at the camera while number ten offers a profile view. Falk really captured the actresses eyes. Her eyes are beautiful and they are haunting at the same time. This photograph is marked number number 83 of the series.

Cabinet Card fourteen features another beautiful portrait of Julia Marlowe. This photograph was taken by Benjamin Falk and was copyrighted in 1892. This cabinet card is uncommon, possibly rare.  (SOLD)

LEWIS WALLER : BRITISH STAGE ACTOR : ROBINHOOD : RPPC : (1908)

This real photo postcard features British actor and theater manager, Lewis Waller (1860-1915). The photo shows Waller in costume for the production of “Robinhood”. After performing with a few theater companies, Waller entered the late 1880’s as an actor who played romantic leads in both Shakespeare and popular dramatic stage productions. He was a hit with the ladies and had a large vocal fan club. He managed theaters and theater tours from the 1885 through after the turn of the century. Waller achieved success in playing title roles in Booth Tarkington’s “Monsieur Beaucaire” and Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Brigadier Gerard”. However, Waller preferred acting in plays by Shakespeare. Waller was born in Spain but educated in London. He studied languages in Europe and for four years worked as a clerk in a London firm. In 1882 he married Florenc Isabella Brandon who became an actress under the name of Florence West. Waller acted in amateur productions and by 1883 began workeing as a professional actor. During 1911 and 1912. Waller toured and performed in the United States, Canada, and Australia. During his career he made recordings for the Gramophone Company and acted in three films. This vintage photo postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no.4222G). Waller’s portrait photograph was taken by the Foulsham and Banfield Studio. The message on this postcard indicates that it was written in 1908.  (SOLD)

MRS FISKE : THEATER STAR : ROTOGRAPH : BY MORRISON CHICAGO : RPPC

This vintage real photo postcard and this cabinet card features acclaimed theater actress, Minnie Maddern Fiske (1865-1932). When performing, she was often billed as “Mrs. Fiske”. She was one of America’s leading actresses during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She performed in several Henrik Ibsen plays and is recognized as introducing American audiences to the Norwegian playwright. She was born in New Orleans, Lousiana, to parents that worked in the theater world. Her first professional acting gig was playing a role in a Shakespeare play. She was only three years old. By the age of four, she made her New York debut. Much of her childhood was spent touring with theater companies. At age sixteen, she played leading lady roles. She was recognized for her acting, but also for her beauty and singing voice. In 1890, she married Harrison Grey Fiske, successful playwright and Broadway producer. After takin three years off from acting, she returned to the theater in 1893 as an actor, playwright and director. The IBDb reports that she had 55 Broadway credits, combining her acting, writing, and directing. Among her successes on Broadway were “Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1897), “A Dolls House” (1902), “The Rose” (1905), and “The High Road” (1912). Her Broadway credits spanned from 1871 through 1930. In the mid 1910’s, Mrs Fiske starred in film adaptations of two of her stage successes. Although the films were well received, she believed she was more suited for theater than film. Despite her success in the theater, the talented actress died poverty stricken. Her financial downfall was realted to her battling against a group of producers that organized the Theatrical Trust (or Syndicate). The Syndicate controlled the nation’s best theaters and dictated what plays would appear and which actors would be in the cast. They relegated Mrs Fiske to appear in third rate theaters, churches, and skating rinks. Mrs. Fiske was not to be intimidated. She also was an advocate for animal welfare. She was involved in the activities of the ASPCA and other human leagues. She fought against the fashion craze of decorating hats with bird feathers. Many bird lives were sacrificed, and entire species were nearly wiped out as a result of this fad. She also educated the public about the cruelty involved in trapping animals. Because she was well known, respected and popular, she was able to influence animal reform. Mrs Fiske won a number of humanitarian awards. She was a strict vegetarian and was anti vivisection. During World War II, there was a liberty ship named  the “SS Minnie M Fiske”. Minnie Maddern Fiske was a woman born before her time. She was a feisty activist.

This cabinet card portrait features acclaimed theater actress, Minnie Maddern Fiske (1865-1932). The photograph captures her in her role in “Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1897). Mrs. Fiske’s photograph for this cabinet card was taken by eccentric celebrity photographer, Napoleon Sarony. (SOLD)

Mrs. Fiske’s photograph on this postcard was taken by William Morrison of Chicago, Illinois. The card was published by Rotograph as part of a series (no.B 627). This vintage postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

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ANDREE MEGARD : FRENCH ACTRESS AND STAGE BEAUTY : PHOTO BY REUTLINGER : RPPC

This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of French actress and stage beauty, Andree Megard (1869-1952). She was born in France. Her parents were “well-off peasents” . At some point, her parents sent her to an Aunt to work in the aunt’s dry goods store. At fifteen years of age, she ran away to Paris. At first, she worked  as an artist model. From 1896 to 1925, she appeared on the Paris stage in such works as Shakespeare and plays directed by her husband, Firmin Gemier. In 1913, while playing in Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, she had an affair with Rostand. In 1907, she starred in “Anna Karenina”. In 1909, she appeared in a silent film. Megard was viewed as representing the highest echelon of fashion and beauty.   She was considered “tall, graceful, and distinguished looking”. The international public monitored her hairstyle, and her costumes very closely. She was the subject of many magazine and newspaper articles. The portrait of Miss Megard seen on this postcard was taken by Leopold Reutlinger’s studio in Paris, France. It is part of a series (no.2268). Reutlinger was a very popular celebrity photographer. This vintage postcard portrait is in good condition (see scans).

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FAY COMPTON : ENGLISH STAGE & FILM ACTRESS – SHE ADVOCATES “TAKING OFF A LITTLE BIT” TO ATTRACT A MAN

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Fay Compton (1894-1978) is the subject of this vintage real photo postcard. Compton was an English actress who appeared in many films, but was best known for her stage performances. She was a versatile actress who appeared in Shakespeare, Modern Drama, Comedy, and Classics (ie Ibsen and Chekhov. She appeared on  stage in Britain, and toured the United States and Australia. Compton was born in London. Her father, mother, brother, and grandfather were all actors. She was the younger sister of actress Viola Comton. Compton’s stage debut was in 1911 with Pelissier’s Follies which was produced by H. G. Pelissier. Though still a teenager, she married Mr. Pelissier who died soon thereafter, leaving her with a child. She quickly married singer Lauri de Frece. Compton’s first American appearance was in 1914 and occurred at the Shubert Theatre in New York. In 1917, she played the title role in the London performances of Peter Pan. In the 1920’s and 1930’s she performed in many of Shakespeare’s plays. She also played in a number of plays written by J. M. Barrie. Barrie wrote the play, “Mary Rose” especially for her. Her second husband died in 1921 and in 1923, she married actor Leon Quartermaine. During the 1930’s she played in both West End plays and Shakespeare. The 1940’s and 1950’s found Compton continuing to play in Shakespeare productions, and other roles including Noel Cowards “Blithe Spirit”, “The Importance of Being Earnest”, “Uncle Vanya”, and “What Every Woman Knows”. In 1942, her third marriage failed and she married actor Ralph Michael. Their marriage dissolved after four years. Compton also appeared in films. Her IMDb filmography reveals that she appeared in 82 films between 1914 and 1970. The IBDb indicates that she performed in three Broadway shows between 1915 and 1959. At one point, Compton had her own drama school. One of her students was actor Alec Guinness.

Postcard 1  Miss Compton’s portrait on this postcard was taken by Rita Martin, a well known celebrity photographer. The card was published by J. Beagles Postcards as part of a series (no.258.8). The company produced a variety of postcards including an extensive catalog of celebrity (stage and screen) portrait postcards. The company closed in 1939. The card was postmarked in 1920. The postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

Postcard 2 was printed in Britain and was part of the Lilywhite Photographic Series (no. L 4). Miss Compton looks absolutely beautiful . She is wearing a pretty dress and a beaded necklace (pearls?). The publisher, Lilywhite Ltd, Halifax (L.L.H.), was founded by Arthur Frederick Sergeant. He also was the founder of Halifax Photographic Company which was based in Halifax, England. Lilywhite began publishing postcards in 1910; and in the 1920’s, the company took over Arrow Series Postcards. The company then published postcards under both the Arrow and Lilywhite names.   SOLD

 

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CLARA JECKS : PRETTY AND TALENTED ENGLISH MUSICAL COMEDY ACTRESS

The pretty woman seen in this vintage photograph is English musical comedy actress, Clara Jecks (1854-1951). She was born in London, England. Her father was an actor and theatrical manager (Adelphi Theatre). Her mother was a popular actress. It is unsurprising that Clara began her stage career when she was a baby. She first appeared on the stage as a toddler. Growing up, she received the music, dance, and voice training needed to prepare her for a performing career. Her London stage debut was in 1873, at about the age of nineteen. Clara’s specialty was playing soubrettes (lively flirtatious roles) and boy roles. In fact, she once said, “I am never so really happy as when acting as a lad”. Clara was mentored by talented actress, Miss Nellie Farren. There is a portrait of Clara in Great Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. In fact, the portrait is identical to the photograph seen above. The NPG reports that this image appeared in “The Theatre” magazine in 1892. She was photographed, for this image, playing her role in “Richard II”, written by William Shakespeare. The photographer of the photo was Alfred Ellis (1854-1930). Ellis was an active photographer between 1884 and 1899. He operated a studio on Upper Baker Street in London. He specialized in theatrical photography and sometimes photographed whole scenes inside his studio. He later went to theaters to photograph performers and play scenes. Now, back to Clara’s career. In 1878, she and her mother toured together with the Comedy Opera Company. A few of Clara’s notable performances were in “Formosa” (1877), “The Black Domino” (1893), Cinderella (1893), and “A Merry Madcap” (1896). Her final London performance was in “The Critic” (1911). In an interview appearing in “The Sketch” (1893), Clara was asked the reason why she never toured America. She answered that she received many good offers to appear there, but preferred to perform in London, “Where I am at home with my audiences”. She then added, as if to change the subject, the following observation. She asserted, “You should see what funny letters I sometimes get from little boys in front, who can hardly believe I’m not one of themselves”. During her career, she appeared in over two hundred opera, drama, and pantomime roles. This image features Clara holding a wine pitcher in one hand, and a wine cup in the other. This photograph measures about 4″ x 5″, has excellent clarity, and is in excellent condition.

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PORTRAIT OF STAGE PERFORMER ALESSANDRO ALEXANDER SALVINI BY NAPOLEON SARONY.

This cabinet card portrait features stage performer, Alessandro Alexander Salvini (1861-1896). The photographer of this image is the famed celebrity photographer Napoleon Sarony. The eccentric and talented Mr Sarony, operated a studio in New York City. Sarony photographed a large number of actors and actresses appearing in New York theater. Alexander Salvini, as he was known in America, was born in Italy. His father, Tomasso Salvini was an esteemed tragedian actor. His grandfather also appeared on the stage. Alexander wanted to become an actor too, but his father steered him toward a different career. Alexander decided to become a sailor and after several voyages decided to switch careers. He enrolled in school to become a civil engineer. After receiving his degree in 1881, he came to America with an actor friend. Alexander’s intent was to find a job with a railroad, but instead, he spent a year traveling with his friend, assisting him, learning fencing and English. In 1882, he went to New York City to begin an acting career. He made his debut that same year, appearing in a play with actress Clara Morris. When Salvini’s father heard about his son’s success, he responded with an unsupportive cable stating “How dare you, sir, go on the stage without my permission”. Remember, the younger Salvini was 21 years old at the time of his debut. He replied to his father that he didn’t ask his father’s permission, because he knew his request would be denied. After his debut, Salvini hit the road with a traveling theater company and remained touring for two years. In 1885, Tomasso Salvini arrived in America for a tour. He hired Alexander as the stage manager and part-time actor. After traveling with his father’s company, Alexander started his own theater company. In 1886 he appeared in a series of plays at the Union Square Theater. His father returned to America in 1889 and Alexander joined his tour. When the tour ended, he went with is father to Italy. After a brief vacation, Alexander returned to America with a large amount of his father’s wardrobe which had been accumulated over many years. He also brought swords and armor from hid dad’s collection. Alexander and his company launched a new American tour and Salvini played a number of roles including Shakespearian parts. In the early 1890’s he married Maude Dixon, the leading lady in his company. Alexander had roles in two Broadway plays, “Partners” (1888) and “A Child of Naples” (1890). He is very well known for his role in “The Three Musketeers”. In 1896, he became ill with “organic trouble” and after four months of being bed bound, he died. A Sarony cabinet card portrait of Alexander Salvini can be found in the Museum of the City of New York. This cabinet card portrait comes from the collection of Brown Brothers. The firm was the first stock photo agency. It was established in 1904. It built an archive of over one million photographs and negatives. This cabinet card is in 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 WINIFRED EMERY : AN ENGLISH “STAGE FAVOURITE”

Miss Winifred Emery (1861-1924) is the subject of this vintage real photo postcard. She was an English actress and actor-manager during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was married to actor Cyril Maude (m. 1888). It is not hard to imagine that the fact that she was born into a family of actors, played a role in her career choice. She began as a child actress and during the 1880’s and 1890’s her career blossomed as she played many leading roles in London’s West End theatres. Interestingly, her first London appearance was in 1874 in the pantomime,”Beauty and the Beast”. She later joined Marie Litton’s company, Herbert Beerbohm Tree’s theatre company, Henry Irving’s theatre company, and Wilson Barrett’s company. She eventually started her own touring theatre company with her husband. In 1896, her husband became actor-manager of the Haymarket Theatre and Emery became his leading lady. Among the plays that Emery appeared in are number of productions of Shakespeare. Emery had a successful stage career that spanned over forty years. This postcard was published circa 1910 by Raphael Tuck & Sons’ as part of the “Stage Favourites” Series (No. 5062). The photographer of this portrait of Miss Emery was Alexander Bassano, a very respected celebrity photographer. (SOLD)