MAUD D’ORBY : BEAUTIFUL COMIC OPERA STAR : RISQUE MODEL AND FASHION MODEL FOR THE MOST PROMINENT FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHERS

This vintage postcard features Spanish model and operetta star, Maud d’Orby (1851-1929). She performed during the Belle Epoque era. d’Orby was born in Valladolid, Spain. She began her career as a comic opera singer toward the end of the nineteenth century. It is unknown whether she performed in Spain, she only appeared in the French press from that period of time. She worked in Paris (theaters included La Cigale, Scala, Olympia, Lyric) and Brussels (Folies Bergere, Theatre du Vaudeville). She received praise for her acting talent and for her singing ability. She was described as having a “melodious cheerful voice”. She often played the role of “La Commere”. This role involved being the character who narrated the opera’s story and connected the adjacent scenes. One writer stated that she was successful in this role because of her “playful and cheerful way” and her “eye-catching appearance”. d’Orby was also a successful fashion and postcard model. She was photographed many times by Leopold Reutlinger. These photos were published in the most popular fashion magazines. She looked phenomenal in her beautiful clothes, large feathered hats, and magnificent jewelry. At the exhibition of 1900 in Brussels, her photographs were exhibited and well admired. d’Orby was also a model for Jean Agelou, a prominent photographer who specialized in taking erotic photos. The photographer of this postcard’s photo is also an esteemed lensman of his era. The photograph was taken by Henri Manuel (1874-1947). In 1900, Manuel opened a portrait studio in Paris with his brother Gaston. He quickly became well known for his portraits of politicians, artists, and athletes. His images were used by news agencies . His studio became the largest studio in Paris and it attracted many young photographers who sharpened their skills there. In 1925 the brothers expended their business to include fashion photography. They worked for such designers as Chanel, Patou, and Lanvin. The studio shut down during World War II and many of their photographic plates were destroyed. Manuel was the official photographer for the French government from 1914 through 1944. The publisher of this postcard was CCCC (Charles Collas et Cie, Cognac). CCCC was established by Charles Collas (1866-1947) in Cognac, France. It began operating at the end of the 19th century as a bookstore and printing business. He began to produce postcards in 1894. The company also produced books and maps. By 1914, the publisher employed 500 people. CCCC postcards are cherished by serious collectors today. In 1914, the firm was taken over by Fleury & Cie. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #3471

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$28.50

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) 3471

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$37.50

PORTRAIT OF A BEDOUIN BEAUTY IN CAIRO, EGYPT (PHOTOGRAPH BY LEHNERT & LANDROCK)

This vintage postcard features a “Bedouin Beauty” with  wonderful smile. Everything she is wearing is interesting. Her traditional dress, the flowers in her hair, and her necklace are all intriguing. This postcard offers some sexual provocativeness which was typically seen in ethnographic postcards from this era. It seems that if women from other cultures, or non white ethnicities, were photographed for postcards, than some nudity was acceptable. Western photographers, postcard publishers, and postcard consumers all appear to have been “suffering” from ethnocentrism. The woman in this photo, as stated earlier, is a Bedouin. Bedouins are a group of nomadic Arab people. Historically, they have inhabited the desert regions in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, Iraq, and the Levant. This image was produced by the team of Rudolf Franz Lehnert (1878-1948) & Ernst Heinrich Landrock (1878-1966). Lehnert was of German origin, while Landrock was from Bohemia. The pair met in Switzerland and decided to go into business together. Lehnert was the photographer and Landrock was the administrator. Landrock organized trips, managed the photo studio and photo production, and marketed the photographs and prints. They were photographers in Tunis and in Egypt, They also opened studios in Munich (Germany) and Leipzig (Germany).  They produced many photographs from Egypt and Tunisia. Their first studio was in Tunis. They photographed monuments and sites in those countries, but were most known for their erotic images of Arab women, often posing in harem themes. The photographers seemed more concerned about producing erotic photographs rather than documenting everyday life in these Middle Eastern countries. Lehnert and Landrock were well acclaimed for their work and the duo have images in a number of museums, including Philadelphia’s Penn Museum an the Musee de l’elysee in Lausanne, Switzerland.  SOLD

NUDE PORTRAIT OF PRETTY MODEL TAKEN BY CELEBRATED FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER JEAN AGELOU (c. 1910)

This vintage real photo postcard features a risque photograph of an unidentified model. The photo portrait was taken by the talented an 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. He was born in Egypt and not much is known about his private life. Agelou generally used models between the age of 20 and 24 years-old. He had a favorite model. Her name was “Fernande” and in addition to modeling, she was Agelou’s lover. Her full name was Fernande Barrey (1893-1960) and she was a prostitute by trade. She also modeled for painters (Amadeo Modigliani and Chaim Soutine). Although the 1900’s was the “golden age” of erotic photograph, photographers who took such risque photos had to use discretion. As a result, Agelou signed his work “JA”. In 1908, nudity in photographs was banned in France and photographers needed to cover images of nude women with strategically placed undergarments or other materials. Nude images had to circulate on the down low. They were sent in the mail inside of envelopes. Jean Agelou died in 1921; the result of a car accident. His brother George, who managed Jean’s business, also was killed in the crash. This postcard is part of a series (508) .   (SOLD)

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