GEORGE ALEXANDER : ENGLISH STAGE ACTOR, MANAGER, AND PRODUCER (RPPC 1907)

This real photo postcard features George Alexander, an English stage actor, theatre producer, and theatre manager. He began his professional acting career in 1879. He became interested in theatre management and in 1890, he leased a London theatre and began producing plays. In 1891, he moved to the St. James’s Theatre where he spent the rest of his career, acting and producing. Three of his most successful plays were Oscar Wilde’s ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan” (1892), “The Second Mrs Tanqueray” (1893), and Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). Alexander was born in Reading, Berkshire, England. His father was a travelling salesman. George was educated in private schools. He left school at the age of fifteen in order to pursue amateur acting. Upon becoming a professional actor, he joined a repertory company. That was followed by a stint in a touring company. He received positive reviews and his status as an actor rose. In 1882, George married Florence Jane Theleur (1857-1946). She shared his interest and involvement in the theatre and both also had strong engagement in public affairs. During the 1880’s, Alexander expanded his acting experience. His work for actor/manager, Henry Irving, provided him with an excellent theatrical education. During his time with Irving, George toured in the United States on two occasions. George served on the London County Council from 1907 to 1913. George was also a benefactor and a participant in many organizatIions that benefitted actors and the theatre. He also worked for charities like the Red Cross and the League of Mercy. In 1911, Alexander was knighted. He died from tuberculosis and diabetes in 1918. This postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no. 4225 D). The portrait photo was taken by the celebrated studio of Ellis & Walery. The postmark on this card was stamped in 1907. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #3527

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Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) 3527

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FIVE PORTRAITS OF BEAUTIFUL STAGE ACTRESS ALICE CRAWFORD (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARDS)

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crawford 4  PHOTO 4   (SOLD)

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These vintage real photo postcards feature a beautiful actress named Alice Crawford (1882-1931). Miss Crawford was born in Bendigo, Australia. Her sister, Ruby Crawford was also an actress. Miss Crawford came to England with actor Wilson Barret in 1902 after appearing with him in Australia. Her London debut was in 1902 in in the play “The Christian”.  She was in the revival of the play in 1907. Other stage credits include “Antony and Cleopatra (1906), Matt of Merrymount (1908), and “The Passing of the Third Floor, Back” (1908). The New York Times (1909) announced her arrival in New York to perform in “These Are My People”. She is credited with film roles in “False Ambition” (1918) and Glorious Adventure (1922). There are fifteen portraits of Alice Crawford in the National Portrait Gallery, eight of which are by the photographer of the top photo postcard (Alexander Bassano}. Bassano  (1829 –1913) was a leading royal and high society photographer in Victorian London. Crawford was married to George Valentine Williams. He was wounded twice in WW I and was awarded the Military Cross. He later worked as a journalist, mostly in trouble spots. During WW2 he conducted “confidential work” for the British Government. He is best known as an author of Detective Fiction. He died in 1946. This postcard captures Miss Crawford in costume for her role as “Diantha Frothingham” in “Matt of Merrymount” (1908). Alice Crawford certainly qualifies as a “stage beauty” and she has an amazingly engaging smile. Bassano photographed the actress for Rotary Photo’s, Rotary Photographic Series (no.1852 R).                                      

The second photo postcard features Miss Crawford looking quite beautiful. Her hair is long and flowing and she has a flower hair band. Her eyes are beautiful and she appears to be holding back a smile. Like the first postcard, this card is also published by Rotary Photo and was part of a series (no. 1852 K). In fact both postcards seen here are part of the same series.  The postcard’s photograph was taken by the Dover Street Studio.  The studio was active between circa 1906 and circa 1912. The gallery specialized in taking theatrical portraits and was located in London, England. They were the successors to the Biograph Studios as well Adart (a studio that took advertising photos). Examination of the reverse of this postcard (see second postcard below) reveals that it was postmarked in 1907. The message on the back of the postcard is quite interesting because it contains comments about the photo on the postcard. The writer reports that she was charmed by a postcard from the addressee and she asks her how she likes “this one”. The writer also states that she was planning to go see “The Thief” at the St. James Theater. Billboard (1907) contains a review of the musical and describes it as an English version of Henry Bernstein’s “Le Voleur”.  The play was produced by Mr George Alexander and it’s cast included Mr. Alexander, Irene Vanbrugh, and Lillian Braithwaite. 

The third photo postcard portrait of Miss Crawford was produced by Rotary Photo and photographed by Dover Studios. The postcard was part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no.1852 P) and was printed in England. This photograph captures Alice Crawford appearing quite dismayed.

The fourth real photo postcard in this collection features a close-up portrait of Miss Crawford. This image confirms that Alice Crawford was certainly a stage beauty. The photograph is very similar to the second postcard in this group and the two images were likely taken during the same photo session at the Dover Street Studio. This postcard was published by Raphael Tuck and Sons and is part of the “Celebrities of the Stage” series (no. T 1148). Raphael Tuck and his wife started their photography business in 1866 in London. Their store sold pictures, greeting cards, and in time, postcards. Their success came from the sale of postcards during the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. In the early 1900’s the firm conducted postcard competitions for collectors of Tuck postcards. These competitions offered cash prizes and they were very popular. The winner of one of these competitions had a collection consisting of over twenty-five thousand cards. Three of Tuck’s four sons participated in the business. The company was devastated by German bombing during World War II. In 1959 the company merged with two other printing companies. This postcard was written and postmarked in 1908. It was postmarked at Bradninch, England. The message on the card is a “Happy Birthday” wish.

The fifth photo postcard features a close-up view of Miss Crawford. She looks pretty with her rolled curl hair and her engaging eyes. This postcard was published by Raphael Tuck and Sons. It is part of the “Celebrities of the Stage”  series (no. T 1202).

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