This color tinted vintatge real photo postcard features actress, Nina Barkis playing the ancient Greek courtesan, Phryne. She has very long hair and she is shielding herself with a transparent lacey fabric. Miss Barkis was an opera singer and dancer. She was known for playing “Salome” and for modelling for photographer Jean Agelou. She also appeared on cards by postcard publisher, Gerlach. This image was created by a photographic process called “Emaillographie”. It is interesting that the first five letters of the technique is “Email”. This vintage postcard is of French origin and is in very good condition (see scans). 


Buy this original Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #5285

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This vintage real photo postcard features opera singer, Gabrielle Demougeot. This is a color tinted portrait of the pretty opera singer. There is little biographical information readily available about Miss Demougeot. I was able to find a snippet review of one of her performances. The writer describes her as “a pretty coquette with the voice of a high soprano, of a somewhat sour tone, who was charming and …”. Unfortunately, the snippet stopped mid sentence. This postcard is a studio portrait from the renowned French photographer, Leopold-Emile Reutlinger. His studio was located in Paris, France. The postcard was postmarked in 1909. The front (image side) is in excellent condition while the reverse has a scrape near the center bottom of the card (see scans). 

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #3552

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This vintage real photo postcard features French singer and nurse, Nelly Martyl (1884-1953). Nelly was born in Paris. Her mother was English and her father was French. She was trained as a singer at the Conservatoire de Paris. Martyl was a soprano opera singer in Paris who made her professional debut in 1907 at the Grand Opera in Paris. . She joined the Opera-Comique in 1909. She sang many parts there and performed in several premieres. She sang in London’s Covent Garden in 1910. She was a frequent model in fashion magazines (notably, Les Modes). She advertised gowns by famous Paris designers. She became a French heroine by working as a Red Cross nurse during World War I. She served in the 1916 Battle of Verdun and earned the nickname of “la fee de Verdun” (the fairy of Verdun). She also worked as a nurse during the Second Battle of the Aisne in 1917. She didn’t just do “cameo roles” at military hospitals. She heroically worked in dangerous, close to the front, hospitals. Her nursing career included being wounded and gassed several times. She was awarded the “Croix de Guerre” for her dangerous work during the war. After the war, she was a nurse to victims of the 1918 flu epidemic. Later, Martyl partnered with an automobile racecar driver in creating a charitable medical foundation Somehow, Nelly found time to have a personal life. She was married to French artist George Scott (1873-1942). This photo of Miss Martyl was taken by the studio of Boyer & Bert. Paul Boyer (1861-1908) operated his studio in Paris. He was very talented and won many awards. He produced many portraits of theater performers as well as other celebrities. This postcard was published by Societe Industrielle de Photograpie (SIP) of Rueil, France, as part of a series (no. 2075). It is in very good condition (see scans).


Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #3418

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This vintage real photo postcard features pretty opera star, Madmoiselle Lilian Grenville. The caption on the postcard indicates that she was appearing at the Opera de Nice when this photo card was published. Miss Grenville is wearing a pink dress, and a pink flower in her hair. She is also wearing a fur draped over her right shoulder. Hearst International (1909) reported that there were a number of Americans in Europe trying to “make a name” for themselves in opera. One of these Americans was Lilian Grenville (1888-?). She was born in New York. Her family name was Goertner. She was educated at the convent of the Sacred Heart in Montreal. Her mother took her to Paris and Milan to study singing. She started singing with Algier and Aramis in Paris between 1903 and 1905.  She made her debut in Nice, France playing “Juliet” (1906). She was then chosen by Puccini to create the title role in his “Manon Lescout”. In 1909 she sang in Nice, Naples, and Rome. Grenville made her American debut in “La Boheme” (1910) in Chicago. She was a lyric soprano with extensive range. This postcard was published by E. Le Deley (E. L. D.). The firm was active in Paris between the 1890’s and 1930. The company published, printed, and created postcards. E. L. D. was founded by photographer Ernest Louis Desire le Deley (1859-1917). Le Deley’s sons operated the business after their father’s death, and in 1930, the company went bankrupt. This postcard is part of a series (no. 4057). The card has a Swiss stamp.  SOLD


Published in: on March 21, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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ILBERT_0002This Cabinet Card presents a bit of a mystery.  The photograph is by famed French photographer, P. Nadar of Paris. The subject of the photograph is a mystery. The reverse of the card has the name “Ilbert”  written in two places. In addition the word “Chanteuse” also appears. Is she an opera singer? Is she a nightclub singer? The woman is very stylish and is wearing a fur and interesting hair clip. Hopefully, a viewer will leave a comment with some identifying information.                                                    ADDENDUM: This photograph entered into the cabinet card gallery in 2009. Since then there have been a number of cabinet card gallery visitors that have left comments concerning the identity of the subject of this  image. There has been some disagreement, but at least two visitors have identified this performer as being Yvette Guilbert (1867-1944). To follow the discussion about identification, check out the comment section below. Now back to Mlle Guilbert. Born as Emma Laure Esther Guilbert, she began singing as a child but worked at a Paris department store model when she turned sixteen. She also took acting and voice lesson and in 1886 she began working as an actress. She debuted at the Variette Theatre in 1888. She was soon singing at a number of popular clubs before starring in Montmartre at the Moulin Rouge in 1890. Over time she began to sing a lot of  monologue “patter songs”. Often the lyrics were risque, even raunchy. Her song frequently featured tragedy and poverty. Guilbert was audacious and audiences ate it up. She was celebrated in France, England and the United States. She was a favorite subject of artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who made many portraits and caricatures of Guilbert. Later in her career, she appeared in silent movies, talkies and made recordings. She also wrote books about the Belle Epoque. It is interesting to note that Nadar, the photographer of the mystery chanteuse also photographed Yvette Guilbert. A Nadar photograph of Mlle Guilbert is part of the collection at the National Library of France. A copy of that image can be found below.




Published in: on December 1, 2015 at 12:01 pm  Comments (7)  
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pauline hallCABINET CARD 4   (SOLD)

The top cabinet card features Pauline Hall (1860-1919), one of the most popular turn of the century prima donnas. She began her career as a dancer in Cincinnati, Ohio at age 15. She joined the Alice Oats Opera Company but left to tour in plays with famed actress Mary Anderson. By 1880, she worked for well known producer Edward Everett Rice in musical productions. Early in their association, he gave her a role in “Evangeline”. Her shapely figure allowed her to take male roles as she did in “Ixion” (1885). Her greatest success came in the title role of the first American production of  “Erminie” (1886). She played in more than two dozen Broadway operettas. Her final role was in the “Gold Diggers” (1919). This photograph was taken by famed celebrity photographer, Elmer Chickering of Boston, Massachusetts. Other photographs by Chickering can be seen by clicking on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category of “Photographer: Chickering, E.”.

The second cabinet card, photographed by B. J. Falk, of New York City, captures Pauline Hall in stage costume. The photograph is #305 in a series from Newsboy. The tobacco company (Newsboy) gave away cabinet cards as a premium with the purchase of their products. This cabinet card shows a copyright date in the 1890’s. The exact date has become illegible over time. To view other Newsboy or Falk cabinet cards, click on the categories “Photographer: Falk” or “Photographer: Newsboy”.

The third cabinet card portrait was also photographed by Falk. Ms. Hall looks quite beautiful in this image. She is wearing earrings and an interesting hat. The photograph is a bit risque. Much of her neck and shoulders are exposed. In addition, her dress accentuates and reveals significant cleavage. Is the material at the base of her scoop neckline part of her dress; or was it added in order to make the photograph less provocative? Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery will be able to provide an explanation.

The fourth cabinet card image, once again photographed by B J Falk, features Miss Hall wearing a dark dress, long gloves, a lovely hat, and a purse. Pauline Hall certainly was a stage beauty as attested by this photograph.



The beautiful woman in this cabinet card portrait is opera singer Isabelle L’Huillier. She made her debut during the 1908/1909 season with the Metropolitan Opera Company as Musetta in “La Boheme”. She concluded the season with a role in “The Bartered Bride”. Miss L’Huillier is beautifully dressed in this photograph. She is wearing a fur and a pretty hat. The photographer of this cabinet card photograph is celebrity photographer Aime Dupont. To learn more about Mr Dupont and to view more of his images, click on the category “Photographer: Dupont”.  (SOLD)


miss howell_0004Miss Howell is the subject of this Newsboy cabinet card. Presumably, the busty and thin waisted  Miss Howell was a stage star. This photograph is number 64 of a series of theater cabinet cards. It is unknown why someone erased the Newsboy logo from the front of the photograph. Newsboy cabinet cards were distributed as premiums accompanying tobacco products. Miss Howell is quite attractive. She is wearing long gloves and a fancy hat.  An attempt to find further information about Miss Howell was unsuccessful. There was an opera singer named “Miss Howell” but it could not be confirmed that she was the appropriate age to be the woman in this photograph. Newspaper accounts reveal that Miss Dicie Howell was an American soprano who performed in many American and International cities during the 1920’s. This cabinet card was  published significantly before 1900. To view other Newsboy cabinet cards, click on the category “Photographer: Newsboy”.

Published in: on January 8, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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Paola Marie was a well known and talented French opera star. She was the sister of opera star Irma Marie. The publication “Every Saturday” (1874) tells an interesting tale about the performer. She was appearing in Bordeaux, France when an oversight or practical joke occurred in the printing of a notice advertising that her engagement was about to come to an end. The sign said that “Mlle Paola Marie was expiring on “friday next”, and there would be only four more performances of “The Perichole”. The notice should have said that the performance of the opera was about to expire. Upon reading about the star’s impending death, her faithful fans came out in mass, carrying many bouquets of flowers, to pay their “last homage” to the popular actress.  The photographer of this cabinet card, Mora, was a celebrity photographer located on Broadway, in New York City. To see other photographs by Mora, click on the category, “Photographer: Mora”.

Published in: on February 8, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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A wasp waisted woman and a mustachioed man pose for their portrait at the studio of William V. Lane, in Camden, Maine.  The woman is clearly wearing a corset. The photographer, Lane (1849-1903) came to Camden and opened his gallery in 1883. He also had a branch gallery in Vinalhaven, Maine.  He stayed in Camden for 15 years; and then moved to Boston, Massachusetts. While in Camden, Lane was the Chairman of the Board of Assessors and in that capacity, he promoted a new opera house in town.  Lane also served as the President of the Business Men’s Association and had a one year stint as Road Commissioner. To view other images by William Lane, click on the category “Photographer: Lane”.

Published in: on December 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm  Comments (1)  
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