MARGARET LIVINGSTON : EGYPTIAN POSE AND COSTUME : RISQUE

This vintage real photo postcard features American actress and businesswoman Margaret Livingston (1895-1984). She is most known for her acting during the silent film era. Livingston is especially noted for her role as “the woman from the city” in F. W. Murnau’s film, “Sunrise” A Song of Two Humans”. She was born and raised in Salt Lake City. Her father was Scottish and her mother was Swedish. Her older sister, Ivy, also became a film actress. The IMDb credits Livingston with 80 film roles between 1916 and 1934. She played in over 50 films during the silent era. In 1929, she was one of the few actresses that made a successful transition into talkies. In fact, she dubbed the voices for some other actresses, including Louise Brooks. Livingston received some unwanted publicity in 1924, when as a guest on William Randolph Hearst’s yacht, fellow passenger film director and producer, Thomas Ince died of heart failure, or was it a gunshot wound. Cause of death was a subject of debate, and many thought that Livingston and Ince were having an affair. In 1931, Livingston married band leader, Paul Whiteman. She retired from acting in films, in 1934. She spent her retirement investing in oil and real estate.  This postcard was published by Ballerini and Fratini for Fox Film Corp.. The company was located in Florence, Italy. They were known for producing a large number of postcard, including film stars of the 1920’s. The card is in very good condition (see scans). 

Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #3560

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SMILING COUPLE POSE IN A FAUX GARDEN: WHY IS THIS WOMAN HOLDING A WHIP? (RPPC)

This vintage real photo postcard (RPPC) features a smiling couple posing in a photographic studio’s faux garden.  Note the leaves affixed to the wall behind them. This couple seems very happy together but they apparently didn’t maintain their marital harmony because they ultimately got divorced. One hopes that the whip that the woman is holding had nothing to do with their marital discord. The woman’s name in this photograph is Grace McBurney. Her name is written on the reverse of the postcard, undoubtedly by one of her relatives. Research reveals that Grace R. McBurney (1893-1969) was born in Oregon and married at the age of 19 to William H. McBurney who worked as a “typewriter representative”, which I assume means he sold typewriters. The couple had at least five children: Virginia D.(born around 1914), Marguerite F. (1919-1999), Wilma (born around 1920), William (1923-1981), and Carl Morton (1928-2007). Perusal of US census data reveals that the couple were divorced sometime between 1930 and 1940. It appears that Grace lived her entire adult life in Portland, Oregon. She is buried in Lincoln Memorial Park in Portland. Preliminary research yielded little information about her husband. This photo postcard was produced by the Mazrograph Studio in Portland. Mazrograph was the process Calvert used to produce the photo postcards quickly. The studio’s stamp can be seen on the reverse of the postcard. The stamp also mentions that the photo production process took only ten minutes.The postcard paper was produced by Cyko sometime between 1906 and 1915. Charles E. (Cal) Calvert operated his studio at Sixth and Ankeny from 1906 through 1930. In 1907, with the opening of Council Crest Amusement Park, he operated a studio and postcard stand on it’s grounds. He also ran a studio at the Washington Street entrance to Portland’s City Park in 1910. Cal was known for his use of rustic props and for his creativity. One of his sets involved subjects appearing as if they were flying an airplane over the city of Portland. A postcard employing this setting is part of a collection at the Portland Art Museum. This RPPC was taken in a “10 Minute Photo Gallery”. The reverse of the card advertises “Cal Calvert, Postcard Man”.  As a side note, there was also a Calvert’s Studio across from Oregon City’s Southern Pacific Depot but it was run by Harry Calvert and his wife Alvilda. Harry was not related to Cal Calvert. Harry’s studio operated from 1915 through 1925. This vintage real photo postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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CHESTER ARTHUR : TRADE CARD : DUKE OF DURHAM : THE BEST SMOKING TOBACCO

This item is a vintage cigarette card featuring a portrait of the 21st President of the United States, Chester Arthur. The card is advertising the W. Duke Sons & Company of Durham, North Carolina. More specifically, the card advertises one of their brands, Duke of Durham. The company states that this brand is “The Best Smoking Tobacco”. Cigarette cards are trading cards issued by tobacco manufacturers. They served the dual purpose of stiffening cigarette packages as well as providing effective advertising of cigarette brands. they were issued between 1875 and the 1940’s. They were distributed as premiums inside of packages of tobacco or cigarettes. These cards became popular with collectors of the era. They are still collected today because they document past popular cultures. They depict actresses, athletes, and other examples of historic popular culture. W. Duke Sons & Company was established by Washington Duke in 1878. He was succeeded by his son, James Duke (1856-1925). James was a visionary and became very successful in growing the company. In fact, he was too successful. He took over the nation’s five major cigarette manufacturers and controlled 80 percent of the domestic tobacco industry. In 1904, James reorganized his company, calling it, the American Tobacco Company. To repeat, James was too successful. His monopoly caught the attention of Federal Court and the company was found guilty of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. The case went to the Supreme Court and the ruling was that American Tobacco had to jettison Liggett and Myers, P. Lorillard and the R J Reynolds Tobacco Company. James Duke was a multimillionaire and he donated much money to Trinity College. The school later became Duke University, They were issued between 1875 and the 1940’s. They were distributed as premiums inside of packages of tobacco or cigarettes. These cards became popular with collectors of the era. They are still collected today because they document past popular cultures. They depict actresses, athletes, and other examples of historic popular culture. This vintage cigarette trade card measures about 2 1/2″ x 3 5/8″.  SOLD

PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG ARCHER AND HIS SERIOUS BOW AND ARROW (NATIVE AMERICAN?)

This vintage real photo postcard is a beauty. It features a young man holding a large bow and arrow. The size of the bow indicates to me that he knows how to handle it. The bow is not a toy. One has to wonder if this young man is Native American? The feather accessory hanging on this bow is most likely to be found on the bow of a Native American archer. The man’s complexion may also be a clue to his ethnicity. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on June 9, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN : HAT DECORATED WITH DEAD BIRD

This vintage real photo postcard features a pretty young African American woman with a wonderful smile. She is well dressed. She has a fur stole over her shoulder. The buttons on her blouse are unusual. They are large and square. Note the woman’s hat. It is decorated with a dead bird with pretty feathers. Hats adorned with deceased birds were not an unusual fashion statement during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. That was a time when whole birds were considered desirable decorations on lady hats. This was to the detriment of many bird species that were nearly wiped out by hunters looking to make a quick buck from the millinery industry. This photo postcard was published by EKC sometime between 1930 and 1950. (SOLD)

MISS GAYNOR ROWLANDS : ENGLISH STAGE ACTRESS; SINGER, AND DANCER

This vintage real photo postcard features English actress, singer, and dancer, Gaynor Rowlands (1883-1906). She carried the nickname of “The Nightingale of Wales”. She started her career in Empire Theatres’s Ballet. Upon graduation, she joined the company chorus line of George Edwarde’s Gaiety Theatre. She toured India in 1901/02. She quickly became a star and she became the most photographed of the “Gaiety Girls”. She was a popular subject of photo postcards and theatre magazine articles. Rowland’s life was cut short when she died of heart failure at the age of twenty-three after surgery for appendicitis. Eight portraits of Gaynor are in England’s National Portrait Gallery. The IMDb reports that she has one film in her filmography. lt was released in 1905. This vintage portrait postcard was published by Philco as part of a series (No. 3211 D). The photographer of this postcard photograph is Garet Charles. He operated a photo studio in London. His wife’s fame as a photographer, overshadowed his own. His wife was celebrity photographer, Lallie Charles. This photograph of Miss Rowlands is a bit risque for it’s time. The front of her dress is overly revealing. The reverse of the postcard has stains on it’s corners which is evidence of the card’s former residence in a postcard album. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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MODEL IN LINGERIE LOOKING IN MIRROR : RISQUE PHOTOGRAPH : LIKELY UNSIGNED JEAN AGELOU

This vintage photograph is likely the work of 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. This risque photo features an attractive young woman wearing lingerie. She is looking at her reflection in a mirror. The oval shaped mirror’s edges are covered with roses. The image is from the c 1910’s. This vintage photo measures about 3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ and is in excellent condition.

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Published in: on June 6, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A MICHIGAN COWBOY : ANNE ARBOR : GHOSTS : CABINET CARD

This cabinet card photograph features a Michigan cowboy. If he is not a cowboy, he certainly is wearing a cowboy-like hat. This fellow has long hair. It is unusually long hair for the cabinet card era. The photographer of this portrait is Obadiah A. Kelley. He was a photographer in Ann Arbor, Michigan from at least 1862 and 1898. He was located at the 6 Huron Street address from 1886 until 1893. He was born in Vermont. He married Mary Elizabeth Frost in 1842. The couple had three sons. One son enlisted as a private in the First United States Sharp Shooters (Company F) and died of disease at City Point, Virginia in 1864. He served only slightly more than a month before meeting his end. Obadiah’s wife died in 1879. In 1880, he married Amelia Walker. An 1889 article in a local Ann Arbor newspaper, “The Argus” reports Obadiah’s brush with the spiritual world. A resident clairvoyant believed that the spirits were active in her community. To test her conviction, she hired Obadiah to accompany her and a friend to “one of the most romantic parts of the boulevard” and take their photograph. The newspaper reports a strange occurrence upon Obadiah removing the negative from the camera. He was shocked to see twelve figures in the photo, rather than the two figures he expected. The writer posits that Obadiah could never be convinced to take any more pictures on the boulevard again if there were any clairvoyants around. Note the chip in the top left hand corner of this cabinet card. Overall, this photograph is in good condition (see scans). (SOLD)

CATHERINE FERGUSON AS MAD MARGARET IN “RUDDIGORE” : D’OYLY CARTE OPERA COMPANY

This vintage real photo postcard features actress and singer, Miss Catherine Ferguson ( 1895-1972). At first glance, this image appears to be a photograph of a pretty woman on a bad hair day. However, this is actually a photograph of Miss Ferguson playing the role of “Mad Margaret” in “Ruddigore”. The comic opera was also known as “The Witches Curse”. The production was presented by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and the music and libretto was written by Gilbert and Sullivan. It was first performed in 1887 for a run of 288 performances and was revived in 1920. During World War 1, interest in Gilbert and Sullivan was waning. The company’s main soubrette, Nellie Briarcliffe, left the company. In 1918, the company signed Miss Ferguson to replace Briarcliffe. Ferguson’s stage debut occurred in 1915, in “The Girl in the Taxi”. Ferguson took advantage of the opportunity at D’Oyly and she received much recognition and praise for her performances. In fact, it was thought that she had won the role of principal soubrette on a permanent basis rather than on an interim one. However, in 1919, Briarcliffe returned to the company and resumed her position as major soubrette while Ferguson was relegated to minor roles. Briarcliffe only stayed for one season, and upon her departure, Ferguson returned to being principal soubrette. She left the company in 1923 because of hearing loss. This photo postcard was published by Parkslee Pictures as part of a series (No. 36). This vintage postcard is in excellent condition (see scans). The Cabinet Card Gallery has another real photo postcard of an actress playing “Mad Margaret”. You can view it by placing the name, “Aileen Davies” in the search box.  

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GABRIELLE DEMOUGEOT : BEAUTIFUL OPERA SINGER : REUTLINGER : PARIS : (1909)

This vintage real photo postcard features opera singer, Gabrielle Demougeot. This is a color tinted portrait of the pretty opera singer. There is little biographical information readily available about Miss Demougeot. I was able to find a snippet review of one of her performances. The writer describes her as “a pretty coquette with the voice of a high soprano, of a somewhat sour tone, who was charming and …”. Unfortunately, the snippet stopped mid sentence. This postcard is a studio portrait from the renowned French photographer, Leopold-Emile Reutlinger. His studio was located in Paris, France. The postcard was postmarked in 1909. The front (image side) is in excellent condition while the reverse has a scrape near the center bottom of the card (see scans). 

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