ISABEL JAY : PRETTY ENGLISH OPERA SINGER AND ACTRESS

This vintage real photo postcard features English opera singer and actress, Isabel Jay (1879-1927). She was well known for her performances in soprano roles of the Savoy Operas with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and in Edwardian musical comedies. Isabel was a very active performer during the time picture postcard collecting was at it’s peak. She was photographed for more than 400 different postcards. There was great demand for cards with her image. Isabel studied piano and voice at the Royal Academy of Music prior to joining the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1897. She immediately was given principal singing roles and by 1899, she became the company’s leading soprano.  Some of her comic opera leading roles included “The Rose of Persia”, “The Pirates of Penzance”, and the “Emerald Isle”. In 1902 she left the company after getting married. Her groom was African explorer and soldier, Henry Shepherd Cavendish and the pair were divorced by 1906. I guess Cavendish really was an explorer. Isabel was the first of his five wives. Settling down was apparently not in Mr Cavendish’s repetoire. The West End stage beckoned Jay in 1903. She starred in eleven musicals until retiring in 1911 at 31 years of age. She sang before King Edward Vll and Queen Alexandra in 1905. The Queen gave her a brooch. Isabel was born in London. Her father was an insurance officer. Her great-grandfather was a musician and composer associated with the Royal Academy of Music. She gave musical recitals by the time she was twelve years old. Isabel made a number of recordings between 1900 and 1906. Most of the songs were from her early musical comedies. Her vocal ability was considered top notch. It was thought that she could have sung Grand Opera, if that was her desire. In 1927, she died at age 47 in Monte Carlo in while on a cruise with her second husband, Frank Curzon. He was a successful actor and theatre manager. Curzon served as a mentor to Isabel. The Youtube video below captures Miss Jay performing “My Heart’s At Your Feet” (1904). This postcard was published by Rotary Photo. The card is a part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 4832 A). The photo was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio from the 1900’s through the 1920’s. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

Buy this Real Photo Vintage Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2976

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$25.50

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) #2976

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$34.00

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AMERICAN STAGE ACTRESS – NELL CARTER (MOTHER OF MICKEY ROONEY)

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nell carter 1 This vintage real photo postcard features pretty American stage actress, Nell Carter (1894-1965). She shares the name of another American actress who arrived on the entertainment scene later than this Nell Carter. The second Nell Carter (1948-2003) was an American singer and actress. She is best known for her role in the television sitcom “Gimme a Break”. The Nell Carter pictured on this postcard hailed from Kansas City, Missouri. When she married and had a child, all three family members were involved in acting.  Her husband was actor Joe Yule (1892-1950) and her son was the celebrated actor, Mickey Rooney. Joe Yule was a Scottish-American burlesque and vaudeville comedian who transitioned into film career as a character actor. Yule and Carter married in 1919. Nell Carter, like her husband,  was a vaudevillian. She has also been described as a chorus girl and burlesque performer. The pair had a child in 1920 (Mickey Rooney) . In 1924, Yule and Carter separated and in 1925, she and her son moved to Hollywood. She appeared in one Broadway production, “When Crummies Played” (1928). This postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of “The Rotary Photographic Series (no. 4037 L). The photographer was the Foulsham & Banfield Studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio from the 1900’s through the 1920’s. The message on the reverse of this postcard indicates that the sender (Mabel) settled in buying this photo postcard to send to her friend. She writes that she wishes that she could have sent her a portrait postcard of English stage and film actress, Sybil Arundale. This vintage portrait postcard is in very good condition (see scans).  (SOLD)

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RARE PORTRAIT OF STAGE ACTRESS MISS MARY GREY

 This vintage real photo postcard features actress “Miss Mary Grey”. A search for biographical information about Miss Grey was not very fruitful. It should be noted that postcard portraits of Mary Grey are rare. Only one other postcard image of Miss Grey could be found, and it was a different pose than the one above. I found a morsel of information about one actress named Mary Grey but I can not verify that the Mary Grey seen in this postcard is the same Mary Grey that I am about to describe. Mary Grey was an actress known for her appearance in the British musical film”His Majesty and Co” (1935). She was married twice. Her first husband was James Bernard Fagan, an Irish-born actor, theater manager,producer and playwright in England. This postcard is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 4954 B) published by Rotary Photo. Note the actresses winter coat, collar brooch, and fancy hat. The photograph was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield Studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio in the 1900’s through the 1920’s.   SOLD

PRETTY STAGE ACTRESS: MISS DOROTHY CHARD (TWO REAL PHOTO POSTCARDS)

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POSTCARD 1

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POSTCARD 2    (SOLD)

This vintage real photo postcard features Edwardian theater actress Miss Dorothy Chard. Preliminary research yielded little information about her life and her career. More intensive research is required to uncover biographical information. The Internet Broadway Data Base (IBDB) notes that Miss Chard appeared in eleven Broadway shows from 1926 through 1930. She played in musicals but she primarily appeared in comedies. Among her credits are “Merry-Go-Round” (1927) and “Cinderelative” (1930). The dearth of information about Miss Chard reveals that she certainly was not a leading actress of her time but she certainly was beautiful and well known enough to merit the publishing of a photo postcard by the Rotary Postcard company. This postcard was part of the Rotary Photographic series (no. 4353 A). The photograph of Dorothy Chard appearing on this postcard was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield Studio.The pair were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio from the 1900’s through the 1920’s. The postcard is postmarked 1909 from Edinburg, Scotland. Edinburg is Scotland’s capital city. The content of the message on this postcard mentions “fresh cards” referring to newly released photo postcards. Collecting such cards was a popular hobby during this era. I guess this hobby was a precursor to collecting pokemon. I prefer collecting photo portraits. Call me “old school”.                                                     

       The second vintage postcard features a portrait of Dorothy Chard from the same series as the top postcard. This Rotary postcard (no. 4353 K) presents a more complete view of the actress. Miss Chard was dressed in different clothing and accessories for the two portraits. She looks very friendly in card 1 but has an arrogant expression in card 2. The message on the reverse of this postcard states “Dearest Lil, Have you been feeling well today. I have. M. has not spoken to me yet. Wish I was going to see you tonight. –?– on saturday night. Have you had your chocolates? Hope you will like the P-C (postcard). I think it is very good. With fondest love. I remain yours forever.  (JM?)  My- Word -” It is interesting that the writers of postcard 1 and 2 both mention the photo postcard that they are sending. It would be interesting to know what “My-Word-” means. Does it mean “I will remain yours forever, you have my word”. Hopefully, a Cabinet Card Gallery visitor will be able to offer an explanation,  SOLD

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POSTCARD 1

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POSTCARD 2   (SOLD)

BEAUTIFUL BUT NOT SO TALENTED THEATER ACTRESS: NORA KERIN

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kerinPOSTCARD 3  SOLD

The top vintage real photo postcard features actress Miss Nora Kerin (1883-1970) as she appeared in the theatrical production of “The Prince and the Beggar Maid”. The actress is absolutely beautiful as is her costume. The play opened at the Lyceum in June of  1908 and ran for 82 performances. Miss Kerin played Princess Monica. The actress was born in London and her family was chock full of actresses including sister, Eileen Kerin and cousing Julia Neilson, Lily Hanbury, and Hilda Hanbury. Photographs of Miss Neilson and Mis Lily Hanbury can be found elsewhere in the Cabinet Card Gallery. Nora Kerin made her stage debut in 1899. In conducting my preliminary research about Nora Kerin, I was struck by the number of negative reviews of her acting that I encountered. One review concerned her performance as Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet”. The production was at the Lyceum Theater in 1908 and the review appeared in London’s “Daily Mail”.  The reviewer wrote “‘Oh, Juliet. Juliet, wherefore art thou Juliet?’ This is, of course, an inversion and a parody; but, seriously, the Juliet of Miss Nora Kerin cannot be taken so. She declaims in the conventional old-fashioned style. She somehow destroys – on the stage – her own personality, and instead of looking the pink of charm and youth (as she is when “taking a call”) she manages to conceal both. Many of her lines were badly spoken, falsely intonated and punctuated. She had moments … melodramatic outbursts … but she is not the personality … she has not the witching simplicity of the real Juliet”. Clearly, Miss Kerin was not a luminary actress of her time. However, she was quite pretty and fifteen portraits of her can be seen in the National Portrait Gallery. The photographer of this postcard image was Rita Martin, a celebrated female photographer. She is considered one of the best British photographers of her time.Her studio was in an exclusive neighborhood at  at 74 Baker Street, Marylebone. She was born Margareta Weir Martin in Ireland.  Margareta “Rita” Martin started her career in photography in 1897 by assisting her elder sister Lallie Charles in running her studio. In 1906 Rita opened her own studio. She had a style of photographing subjects in pale colors against a pure white background and she tended to avoid photographing men and older boys.  Rita had a specialty in photographing actresses including Lily Elsie and Lily Brayton. She was also well known for her child studies which often involved children of well known actresses. Lily’s sister, Lallie Charles was more known as an excellent society photographer. Many of Rita Martin’s photographs can be found in the National Portrait Gallery. A photograph of Rita Martin, by Rita Martin can be seen below. This vintage real photo postcard was produced by the Rotary Photo Company and was part of a series (no. 1796 Z).                                                                                                                 The second postcard portrait of Miss Kerin is also a good representation of her beauty. In addition she is wearing a beautiful lace dress and an extraordinary hat. The photographers of this terrific image, Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio in the 1900’s through the 1920’s. This postcard is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 1796 H) and is of English origin and is postmarked 1907.                                                                                                        The third postcard features Nora Kerin in her role as Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet”. Unlike the first two portraits, in this image she is wering her hair down and is projecting an air of innocence through the placement of her hands and her vulnerable expression. Just like the top postcard, this image was photographed by Rita Martin and the postcard was part of the Rotary Photographic Series (1796 S) by the Rotary Photo Company.  SOLD

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REVERSE OF TOP POSTCARD

kerin 2REVERSE OF SECOND POSTCARD
                                                                                                                                                            by Rita Martin, sepia-toned matte postcard print, 1900s

 PORTRAIT OF RITA MARTIN BY RITA MARTIN