daisy belmont 1 2020-05-11_225230

Daisy Belmont (1871-1896) was a circus equestrian and performer. She made her theater debut at three years of age and her career took off. Her repertoire included singing, and dancing and in time, bare back riding. She sometimes preformed with her siblings, Lottie and Charles. Her performing career took her to Asia, Australia, and South America.  In 1889, at age 18, she married William Showles (1857-1924), a “dashing” young equestrian who rode with Sells Brothers circus.   She became the most famous bareback rider in the country.  Tragically, after returning to America after performing “on the road” in Austalia, she died from Bright’s disease at age twenty-five.  Miss Belmont’s obituary indicates that she was a “successful with Barnum’s circus” (P T Barnum) as a bare back rider. Daisy Belmont has been described as “the embodiment of grace and feminine loveliness”. She died and was buried in Chicago, Illinois. This cabinet card features Miss Belmont. She appears to be in her mid teenage years at the time of this photograph. She is displaying a sweet smile. She is posed as if she is jumping rope. Most images that I have seen of Daisy, capture her at a significantly younger or older age than this image. The photo studio that produced this cabinet card portrait is C. C. C. Co. of Chicago.  (SOLD)             




This carte de visite portrait features an aged woman wearing mourning clothes. Her black dress, black hat, and sad expression, all suggest that she has suffered a recent loss. Her left hand is placed on a book atop a small table. The book is likely a bible. The photographer of this cdv photograph is J. R. Bentley. He operated a studio in Edmonton, Canada. Research found an ad in “The Photographic News” (1893) in which Bentley advertises the sale of his studio. It is very interesting to note that the advertising on the reverse of this CDV refers to Bentley as a “Portrait, Landscape, & Equestrian Photographer”. I do not remember ever seeing a early photographer refer to himself as a “Equestrian” photographer. I wonder if Mr. Bentley took photos of individual horses, or if he photographed individuals sitting on horses. I hope someday I locate one of Bentley’s equestrian photographs.

Published in: on April 6, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , , , ,