The pretty young woman seen in this carte de visite portrait, is named Anna Lesian. An inscription on the reverse of the cdv reveals her name and the year (1890) that the photograph was taken. The photo was taken at the studio of A. Liebert, in Paris, France. The Getty Museum, located in Los Angeles, California, as well as other fine museums, have  photographs in their collections by Paris photographer, Alphonse J. Liebert (1827-1913). Many of his Parisian subjects were actresses. Perhaps Miss Lesian is one of those actresses. Mr. Liebert has an interesting story. He was a photographer in Nevada City, California (1857-1862),  and later, operated in Paris (1863-1890’s). He was born in France. He became an officer in the French Navy. He left the navy in 1848 to study daguerreotypy. He must have reenlisted in the navy because In 1851, he arrived in San Francisco, as a Lieutenant on a French ship. This was a time when there was much excitement about Gold mining. As a result, there was a mass desertion of the ship’s crew. The sailors joined the rush for gold. Liebert had in mind, his own venture. He and two partners decided to take on the project of refurbishing a steamship. They sought investors and hired workers to transform the ship. However, due to the partners inexperience, the venture failed. Liebert than tried gold mining but met little success. In 1857 he opened a photo gallery in Nevada City. He lost thousands of dollars after a fire in 1858. In 1859 Liebert ridiculed a former photography pupil of his, named Louis Celarie, in the press. This started a bitter professional feud. Soon after, Liebert announced that he had won a medal at the state fair. Unfortunately, there was no evidence to confirm this claim. The competition between Liebert and Celarie was fierce. Each offered special promotions to best the other. By 1861, Liebert triumphed, evidenced by the sale of Celarie’s studio. About a year later, Liebert sold his photo gallery. By 1863, he had returned to France and opened a gallery specializing in tintypes. Liebert closely identified with his photography experience in America, and as a result, he named his Paris gallery “Photographie Americaine”. That very name can be seen on the reverse of this CDV. Liebert began to write photography articles and books, and ultimately, invented a prototype solar camera. In 1867, Liebert had a problem with the law. He was sentence to two months in prison and levied a fine of 200 francs. He was charged for the intent to distribute banned post mortem photographs. These were not photos of some random person. Instead, they were images of Emperor Maximillian, who had been executed in Mexico. Liebert ultimately did exhibit these photos. Liebert was becoming more and more successful. His photo gallery was so lavish that a reviewer for the British Journal of Photography wrote that it was “worthy of the smiles of the ‘God of Light’, and a repository for some of the best productions of the photographic art”. In 1879, Liebert’s gallery was the first studio to utilize electric light. By 1880, he was considered to have the most impressive photo studio in Paris. This carte de visite portrait has excellent clarity and is  in very good condition (see scans).   (SOLD)





This vintage real photo postcard features a pretty young woman posing for her photograph at the Endrey studio in Paris, France. The photo was taken in 1919. It is difficult to read her expression. Is she sad? Apprehensive? What do you think?  (SOLD)





Published in: on June 1, 2019 at 12:37 pm  Comments (3)  
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TRADE CARDThis vintage trade card advertises “Au Bon Marche” located in Paris, France. The translation from French to English is “At the Good Market” or “The Good Deal”. The shop was founded in 1838 and it sold lace, ribbons, sheets, mattresses, and other miscellaneous goods. The store opened with twelve employees. The entrepreneur Aristide Boucicaut (1810-1877) became a partner in the business in 1852 and instituted many innovative changes in the business. The store became more and more successful evidenced by its rising revenue. The store is known as the first modern department store. Interestingly, Gustave Eiffel, creator of the Eifel Tower, was involved in the redesign of the store. A drawing of the Au Bon Marche can be seen on the back of the card. The picture on the front of the card features a Black woman in a fancy dress and wearing feathers in her hair. She is walking into the store and is being directed to the entrance by a well dressed gentleman. The caption on the right bottom of the trade card states “No Purse”. Apparently this woman is going into the department store without any money. This trade card was published by Testu & Massin. This vintage trade card is in very good condition (see scans).


Buy this original Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2619

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Buy this original Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes international shipping outside the US) #2619

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Published in: on December 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This Carte de Visite features an adorable child displaying a skeptical but very inquisitive expression. The toddler is sitting on a chair and wearing a short gown with strings across his/her shoulders. The child’s attire would be unacceptable today due to safety concerns. The photograph was taken by Jean Emile Dessendier of Roanne, a city in central France. The cdv was produced in 1889 or later as evidenced by the printing on the bottom border of the photograph which states that Dessendier won a photography medal at the 1889 Exposition at the University of Paris.  (SOLD)

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Published in: on November 24, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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This vintage press photo features a beauty queen and her maids of honor. They participated in a Paris beauty contest in 1933. The three finalists are wearing furs and tiaras. The woman in the center, Mle Henriette Pointal was selected as the “Queen of Paris”. The 20 year old beauty was received, as was custom, by the President, Albert François Lebrun , at the Elysee Palace at the opening of the Mi-Careme festivities. This press photo was the property of the “Agence ROL”. The news agency was founded in 1904 by Marcel Rol (1876-1905).

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Published in: on February 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This vintage real photo postcard features a costumed stage actress named Violet Bowman. Her clownish costume’s pattern includes men in tuxedos and blackface. Preliminary research yielded little information about Miss Bowman but it appears from the postcard that she performed at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris France. The theatre was designed by Gabriel Davioud after it was requested by Baron Haussmann between 1860 and 1862. Although it has been remodeled, the theatre is still in operation and currently seats 2,500 people. Violet Bowman is quite pretty in this portrait by celebrated Paris photographer, Paul Boyer (1861-1908). He photographed many famous people during his career. This postcard is published by Societe Industrielle de Photograpie (SIP) of Rueil, France and was part of a series (no. 1264). The postmark of this French stamped postcard is from Castelnaudary, France and is dated 1905. It is addressed to Mazamet, France.

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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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This vintage real photo postcard features French theatre actress Gabrielle Rejane standing on the sideboard of her chauffeur driven limousine. A little boy (most likely her son) peaks over her shoulder at the camera. The car in this photograph is beautiful, as was Rejane. A cabinet card image of the actress can be seen below. The photograph was taken by celebrated photographer Felix Nadar. Gabrielle Rejane was the stage name employed by Gabrielle-Charlotte Reju (1856-1920). She was born in Paris and had theatre in her blood as her father was an actor. She studied under Regnier at the Conservatoire and excelled in comedy. She made her debut in 1875 playing a number of “soubrette parts. Her first major success was in Meilhac’s “Ma Camarade (1883) and she quickly became known as a talented emotional actress. She played roles in “Decor”, “Ma Cousine”, and “Lysistrata”. In 1892 she married M. Paul Porel, the director of the Theatre du Vaudeville. The marriage lasted twelve years. In 1893 she appeared in Paris and soon thereafter she appeared in her most famous role as Catherine in Sardou’s “Madame Sans-Gene” in London and New York. In 1906 she opened the Theatre Rejane in Paris. She and Sarah Bernhardt served as the models for the character of the actress Berma in Marcel Proust’s novel “In Search of Lost Time”. Gabrielle Rejane’s acting is thought to represent what wikipedia describes as “the essence of French vivacity and animated expression”. Rejane appeared in a number of short films during the pioneering days of early cinema. Réjane died in Paris and is buried in the Cimetiere de Passy. Her obituary appeared in the New York Times (1920) and it was chock full of praise including; “She was the supreme comedienne of her time.” The image of Me. Rejane seen on this postcard was photographed by Paul Boyer (1861-1908) of Paris. He invented the use of magnesium for the flash in photography. He also was a very talented and award winning photographer. His studio was located at 35 Boulevard des Capucines in Paris. He produced many portraits of theater actors and actresses as well as other celebrities of his time. This postcard was published by Societe Industrielle de Photograpie (SIP) of Rueil, France and was part of a series (no. 2000).The postcard is addressed to Lyons, France and the writer of the message written on the card dated it 1908. This postcard is particularly special because it is a rare image of Gabrielle Rejane.


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This post cabinet card era photograph features a very cute baby photographed by the Angelidis Studio in Paris, France. The photographer did an excellent job of posing this incredibly adorable child. The photograph measure 4″ x 5 1/2″.

Published in: on October 29, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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A beautiful border collie sits on a bench and cooperates wholeheartedly with a photographer. The bright eyed dog displays an “eager to please” expression. A basket of flowers sits beside the adorable pooch. This vintage real photo postcard was produced by Marque “Etoile” (Star Brand) of Paris, France. The postcard is marked V B C Series (N. 3746).

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Published in: on September 25, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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