JOAN OF ARC: READY FOR BATTLE (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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This vintage real photo postcard features a pretty actress portraying “Joan of Arc”. She is wearing armor, and holding a flag in one hand and a shield in the other. Her medieval costume includes breastplates and a helmet. She has a sword hanging at her side and is wearing boots that almost look “space age”. Joan of Arc (1412-1431) was nick named “The Maid of Orleans” and is a heroine of France for her role in the Hundred Years’ War. She was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. After being captured, she was tried and burned at the stake. The life of Joan of Arc became a popular subject in literature, theater, and film. Even Mark Twain wrote about her in the novel “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896) as did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in “The Mystery of Joan of Arc” (1924).

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THEATRE ACTRESS: DORA LESLIE

Dora Leslie was a theatre actress whose career included Broadway appearances. In 1887 she was appearing in “Lord Chumly” in Boston and wanted to leave the production because she felt her role was too small and offered little opportunity. A fifteen year old replacement was sent by Daniel Frohman; her name was Maude Adams and she went on to great fame. Leslie is mentioned in the New York Times for appearing in “The Marquis” (1889) and in a play inspired by a Mark Twain story (1890). The photographer who produced this cabinet card portrait of Leslie, is unknown.

Published in: on March 31, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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ADORABLE BABY IN A WASHBOWL IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND

A very cute baby poses for a photographer, artistically placed in a washbowl. The baby appears inquisitive about the proceedings. Bachrach & Bro. is the studio that produced this portrait. The gallery was located in Baltimore, Maryland. Kudos for the photographer for this creative close-up image. The Bachrach studio was nationally known and is still known today. David Bachrach (1845-1921) was an American commercial photographer based in Baltimore. He made significant contributions in technical, artistic and professional advancements in the field of photography. He was a national spokesperson for photographers and published many articles and photographs in photography journals. He experimented with self toning papers and developed the first practical process of photographic printing on canvas, a precursor to photo engraving. Bachrach Inc., founded in 1910, is still headed by the Bachrach family. The company owned studios in all major east coast cities. One of Bachrach’s earliest photographs was taken on assignment to cover the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery at Gettysburg in 1863. He photographed President Lincoln delivering what would become, a very famous speech. Bachrach’s home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. He once shared the home with a celebrated relative, Gertrude Stein. Among his famous portraits are images of Ulysses Grant, Theodore Roosevelt,Mark Twain, and Alexander Graham Bell. Bachrach’s business was truly a family business. Among the relatives who were involved  in the business was a brother,  a son, and two grandsons.

THEODOR MOMMSEN: GERMAN CLASSICAL SCHOLAR, NOBEL PRIZE WINNER AND MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

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Theodor Mommsen (1817-1903) is pictured in the Cabinet card photographed by Giacomo Brogil in Firenze, Italy. Mommsen was a German classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician, archaeologist, and writer.  He is considered the greatest classicist of the 19th century. He was a great scholar of Roman History. He won the Nobel Prize in 1902. He was a member of the German and Prussian Parliaments. Mark Twain wrote of meeting him on his European tour of 1892. The photograph is from the Photographs of Celebrities collection of Charles L Ritzmann.

“Be Good and You Will Be Lonesome”: Lovely Woman in London

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This Cabinet card presents a bit of a mystery.  This lovely woman is posing at a studio in London. The name of the studio is difficult to make out but it appears to be Huggins Sisters.  The reverse of the card offers further intrigue. Written in pen on the back of the card is the following, “Be good and you will be lonesome”. The quote is signed “Glennie Kirkpatrick” but since her first name is written somewhat illegibly, I am not certain about my accuracy of “Glennie”.  Interestingly, the quote originally is attributable to American writer, Mark Twain. If anyone has information that can help shed some more light about the story of this Cabinet card, please leave a comment.

Published in: on December 16, 2008 at 2:26 pm  Comments (1)  
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