These risque vintage real photo postcards feature Maud Allan (1873-1956). She was a Canadian-born dancer, choreographer, and actress, who performed in the United States and Europe at the turn of the 20th century. She was known for her performances of the “Vision of Salome”, an interpretive dance based on the Oscar Wilde play “Salome”, in which she portrayed the title character. Allan’s performances were controversial and often drew criticism for their erotic content. She also was known for her court case in 1918 against a British newspaper, the Illustrated Times, who published an article accusing her of promoting immorality and lesbianism. She sued for libel and won. In regard to Allan’s sexual orientation, she was a lesbian and was involved with women her entire life. She had a long affair with Margot Asquith, the wife of Herbert Henry Asquith, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 through 1916. Allan also had a long affair with Verna Aldrich, her secretary.

 Postcard 1 presents Allan dancing as “Salome”. She is wearing a sexually provocative costume. She is covered with jewelry. This postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (No.4946B). Miss Allan’s photograph was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield studio. An inscription on the card’s reverse reveals that the card is from 1908. (SOLD)

Postcard 2 This postcard also presents Allan dancing as “Salome”. Once again, she is wearing a sexually provocative costume and is covered with jewelry. This postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (No.4946Q). Miss Allan’s photograph was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield studio. This card is from circa 1908. (SOLD)




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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millard 2




MILLARD 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                               POSTCARD 4  (SOLD)

                                                         The top vintage real photo postcard (#1) features  a portrait of English stage actress Evelyn Millard (1869-1941). She was well known for her acting in Shakespearian theater as well as for her beauty. She is also noted for creating the role of Cecily Cardewin in the premier of Oscar Wildes play “The Importance of Being Earnest” (1895). This postcard was produced by the Rotary Photo Company of London, England.

    The second postcard is a portrait of Miss Millard taken by the Davidson Brothers studio in London, England. The postcard is part of a series (“Real Photographic Series” no. 2195). Davidson Brothers was located in both London and New York City. The firm operated between 1901 and 1911. Some of their theatrical postcard portraits have the same format as many of the Rotograph photo cards.  This postcard was postmarked in South Lambeth in 1907. Lambeth is a district in Central London. The writer of the message on this postcard starts the communication with “Dear Lizzie, I think this is one of your favorites”. Most likely the writer was stating that Evelyn Millard was one of the favorite actresses of the recipient of the postcard. Collecting postcard images of theatrical stars was certainly quite popular at the time this postcard was written.

The third postcard is color tinted and was produced by the Rotary Postcard Co. as part of the Rotary Photographic Series ( no. 191G). The photographer was T. C. Turner who operated studios in London and Hull, England. Thomas Charles Turner (1839-1896) operated his London studio between 1870 and 1900. Millard is clearly in costume for this portrait. Note her unusual pin. It looks like a multi-eyed horror movie insect. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

Postcard number four is rare. Miss Millard looks quite beautiful and is dressed in an exquisite gown. Note, that unlike most of her other portrait postcards, Evelyn has blonde hair. Most of her photo postcards show her with dark hair. It is very possible, even likely, that she is wearing a wig in this portrait. The photographer of this image was the Lafayette studio. The firm was founded in Dublin in 1880 by James Stack Lauder. His father, Edmund Lauder was a pioneering and successful photographer. The elder Lauder used the name “Lafayette’ to give the company a touch of Paris, which was a a city considered the center of the art and photography world. James was joined in business by his three photographer brothers. By the 1900, the company had studios in Glasgow, Manchester, London and Belfast. The studio also was invited to photograph Queen Victoria. The company still exists today. This postcard was published by J. Beagles & Co. of London, England. The postcard is part of a series (no. G 511.P). The “G” is an abbreviation for “glossy”. There was also a matte version of this postcard portrait. John Beagles (1844-1909) was born in England. At age 17 he was a “pupil teacher”. In the census of 1891, he is listed as a “photographic publisher” in Nottingham. Later he established J. Beagles & Co. in London. He and his successors produced a variety of postcards including an extensive catalog of celebrity (stage and screen) portrait postcards. The firm also published topographic and view cards, as well as a series called “Matrimonial Cats”. After Beagle’s death, the business continued as J. Beagles & Co. until it closed in 1939.        

                                                                   POSTCARD  1

millard 2 1

                                                                       POSTCARD 2

millard3                                                                   POSTCARD 3

                                                                                                MILLARD 4 2        POSTCARD 4


This cabinet card features British actress, Lillie Langtry (1853-1929). She was born on the island of Jersey, was known as the “Jersey Lily”,  and was known for her beauty. She had many prominent lovers including the future King of England, Edward VII. At 20 years of age she married a wealthy Irish landowner, Edward Langtry and quickly became part of London’s high society. Due to her great beauty, she became a sought after model for a number of well known portrait painters. Beginning 1877, she had a three year affair with the Prince of Wales, Albert Edward. At the suggestion of close friend, Oscar Wilde, she began a stage career. She made her debut in “She Stoops to Conquer” (1881) at the Haymarket Theatre in London. She then embarked on the first of many United States theatre tours where she was a resounding success. She continued to have a number of affairs including a relationship with New York City millionaire, Frederic Gebhard with whom she became very involved in the sport of thoroughbred horse racing. In 1897 she became an American citizen. She is known as one of the early celebrities to make money endorsing commercial products. Among the products she advertised were cosmetics and soap.   The photographer of this cabinet card is famed celebrity photographer, Mora, of New York City. The image was copyrighted in 1884. To see other images by Mora, click on this site’s category of “Photographer: Mora”.

Rose Coghlan: Stage Actress


Beautiful stage actress, Rose Coghlan (1851-1932) is the subject of this photographic portrait by celebrity photographer, Jose Mora. Coghlan was an Irish actress who began her theatrical career in both England and the United States in the 1870’s. The IBDB  reports that Coghlan appeared in 21 Broadway productions beginning in 1872. These plays included The School for Scandal (1909) and Vanity Fair (1911). She also appeared in Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance (1893) which was not on Broadway. In 1902 she became a naturalized American citizen. In addition to theater, Coghlan raised livestock on her ranch in Montana. The reverse of this card has a pencilled note indicating that this photograph was taken while Rose Coghlan appeared in “Jealous Wife” (1878).

Published in: on December 20, 2008 at 2:51 pm  Comments (3)  
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