MAUD D’ORBY : BEAUTIFUL COMIC OPERA STAR : RISQUE MODEL AND FASHION MODEL FOR THE MOST PROMINENT FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHERS

This vintage postcard features Spanish model and operetta star, Maud d’Orby (1851-1929). She performed during the Belle Epoque era. d’Orby was born in Valladolid, Spain. She began her career as a comic opera singer toward the end of the nineteenth century. It is unknown whether she performed in Spain, she only appeared in the French press from that period of time. She worked in Paris (theaters included La Cigale, Scala, Olympia, Lyric) and Brussels (Folies Bergere, Theatre du Vaudeville). She received praise for her acting talent and for her singing ability. She was described as having a “melodious cheerful voice”. She often played the role of “La Commere”. This role involved being the character who narrated the opera’s story and connected the adjacent scenes. One writer stated that she was successful in this role because of her “playful and cheerful way” and her “eye-catching appearance”. d’Orby was also a successful fashion and postcard model. She was photographed many times by Leopold Reutlinger. These photos were published in the most popular fashion magazines. She looked phenomenal in her beautiful clothes, large feathered hats, and magnificent jewelry. At the exhibition of 1900 in Brussels, her photographs were exhibited and well admired. d’Orby was also a model for Jean Agelou, a prominent photographer who specialized in taking erotic photos. The photographer of this postcard’s photo is also an esteemed lensman of his era. The photograph was taken by Henri Manuel (1874-1947). In 1900, Manuel opened a portrait studio in Paris with his brother Gaston. He quickly became well known for his portraits of politicians, artists, and athletes. His images were used by news agencies . His studio became the largest studio in Paris and it attracted many young photographers who sharpened their skills there. In 1925 the brothers expended their business to include fashion photography. They worked for such designers as Chanel, Patou, and Lanvin. The studio shut down during World War II and many of their photographic plates were destroyed. Manuel was the official photographer for the French government from 1914 through 1944. The publisher of this postcard was CCCC (Charles Collas et Cie, Cognac). CCCC was established by Charles Collas (1866-1947) in Cognac, France. It began operating at the end of the 19th century as a bookstore and printing business. He began to produce postcards in 1894. The company also produced books and maps. By 1914, the publisher employed 500 people. CCCC postcards are cherished by serious collectors today. In 1914, the firm was taken over by Fleury & Cie. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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BRIDESMAIDS FOR RENT IN REDWING, CORNWELL, ENGLAND (GILBERT AND SULLIVAN, “RUDDIGORE”)

This vintage real photo postcard features twelve identically dressed bridesmaids standing in a row. These young women are not ordinary bridesmaids; they are professional bridesmaids. The women are professional bridesmaids. These professional bridal party stalwarts are for hire. This photo was taken in 1931 and the women resided in the fishing village of Redwing in Cornwell, England. In reality, the women in this photograph are actresses appearing as the bridesmaids chorus in the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera, “Ruddigore”. The words “Sutton Coldfield” are written in pencil on the reverse of the postcard. Sutton Coldfield is a suburban town in Birmingham, England. Perhaps this is the venue where the comic opera appeared. A penciled inscription on the reverse of this postcard indicates that James Speight (1879-1977) is the photographer of this image. His father was the headmaster of a school in Rugby but later established a successful photography business. In 1897, at age 18, James went to work at H M Whitlock’s photography studio in West Bromwich. Speight’s interest in photography must have been in his genes. All 5 of his brothers became photographers. After working for a few more photographers, James decided to go to Paris for a few months, and once there, he worked for the celebrated photographer, Reutlinger. In his diary, James wrote that his retouching work for Reutlinger included making waists smaller. James returned to England and in around 1902, opened his Sutton Coldfield studio. He continued to operate the studio until he retired in 1950. This vintage postcard was published by K Ltd sometime between 1918 and 1936. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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THEATER STAR YVONNE SAUTROT: PORTRAIT BY REUTLINGER IN PARIS, FRANCE

yvonne12020-06-14_170137 yvonne22020-06-14_170238Yvonne Sautrot is the subject of this 1896 cabinet card portrait by Reutlinger, a well known celebrity photography studio. Miss Sautrot assumes a most seductive pose in this risque image. To view other photographs by this celebrated studio, click on the category “Photographer: Reutlinger”. The reverse of this photograph lists the address of the studio as “Paris 21 Boulevard Monmarte, Paris. A stamp on the back of the image states “Hazebrouco, Incenieur – Opticien Paris”. Miss Sautrot assumes a most seductive pose in this image. Munsy Magazine (1896) published a portrait of Yvonne Sautrot and announced that she was playing in an adaptation of a popular English Melodrama called “The Fatal Card”. The French production went under the name of “La Dame de Carreau” (“The Queen of Hearts”). The writer of the article was preoccupied with Miss Sautrot’s beauty. He described her “charming features” and stated that “her beauty might well fit her to take” the place of actress Amy Busby who acted in the earlier version of the play. The writer also complimented Sautrot’s “special talent for posing effectively” in front of the camera. The Reutlinger Photography Studio was opened by Charles Reutlinger in Paris in 1850. Reutlinger was of German descent. The studio took portraits of many of the world’s beautiful, rich and famous people of the era. In 1880, Charles’ brother, Emile (1825-1907) took over operation of the studio. He was joined by his son Leopold (1863-1937) in 1883. Leopold took over the studio in 1890 and operated the business until 1930 when he lost an eye in an accident involving a champagne cork.  (SOLD)

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MLLE POLAIRE: FRENCH SINGER AND ACTRESS (PHOTOS BY REULINGER & NADAR)

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Mlle Polaire is actually the stage name used by French singer and actress Emilie Marie Bouchaud (1874-1939). Polaire was born in Algiers, Algeria and began her theatrical career as a cafe singer at the young age of 15. She moved to France two years later and ad0pted the stage name Polaire and became a music hall singer. In 1895, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec drew a sketch of her which appeared in the satirical magazine Le Rire. In 1900 her portrait was painted by Leonetto Cappiello and her popularity rose even more. She began acting in Paris in 1902 and became a major celebrity star. She was thought to be a gifted comedic actress but was also very well known for her beauty. She was famous for her tiny, corsetted waist. She was five feet and three inches tall. She lavishly overdressed in furs and dazzling jewels. In 1911 she appeared in her first silent film role and later appeared in six films of director Maurice Tourneur in 1912 and 1913. She then returned to the stage and toured the United States and England. She later made a reappearance in films, performing in ten (some were talkies). She died at age 65 and was buried in France. This cabinet card photograph (Photo 1) was taken in Paris, France at the studio of Reutlinger. Charles Reutlinger (1816-1860) was a French photographer whose studio operated between 1850-1937 in Paris, France. Among his subjects were many celebrities including the prettiest ladies of Paris. To view other photographs by Reutlinger, click on the category “Photographer: Reutlinger”.                                                       The second photo of Miss Polaire is featured in this vintage real photo postcard (Photo 2). She looks beautiful in this image. She is sitting cross-legged and wearing dark clothing, boots, and a large bow. Examining the print of the front of the card provides some interesting information.  We learn that the photographer of this image is the celebrated and talented Paul Nadar (1856-1939).He was a French photographer. He learned photography by his father, Felix Nadar, also a talented portraitist. Paul eventually ran his father’s studio. The establishment catered to a affluent clientele and was very successful. In 1890 he began shooting photographs from a hot air balloon. The press referred to him as “The Fearless Paul Nadar”. Nadar also photographed sites in Europe and Ssia along the ancient silk route. Some consider his work from that trip to be the first incidence of “photo-reportage”. In 1893 he became an agent in France for Eastman Kodak. The word “Eclair” appears in the bottom right hand corner of the photo. The Eclair Company was a movie production company established in 1907 and headquartered in Paris. The company produced many silent shorts in France beginning in 1908 and it’s American division produced films from 1911 through 1914. Included in their productions was one of the first film version of  “Robin Hood”.  In the top left hand corner of the photograph is the word “Bouffes”. The “Theatre des Bouffes-Parisiens” is a theatre located in Paris and founded in 1855. It was the location of the production that Miss Polaire was appearing in when she posed for this photograph. The name of the production can be seen in the bottom border of the card, “Claudine a l’Ecole”. The translated title of the play is “Claudine at School”. The story is from a 1900 novel by the French writer, Colette. It is a tale about a 15 year-old girl and her brazen conflicts with the headmistress and fellow students in her school. This vintage postcard has a great deal of back story. It is in excellent condition (see scans).

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MISS DORCY : PHOTO BY LEOPOLD REUTLINGER : CASINO DE PARIS : 1905

Miss Dorcy poses for her photograph at the Reutlinger studio in Paris, France. She is quite pretty and has a wonderful smile. The operator of the studio was celebrated theatrical photographer, Leopold Reutlinger. The postcard was published by Societe Industrielle de Photograpie (SIP) of Rueil, France. The Casino de Paris is advertised on the front of the postcard. The Casino de Paris was one of the better known music halls in Paris. Dorcy clearly performed there. I could find little information about this performer. In one article she was referred to as “Paulette Dorcy” but I can not confirm that “Paulette” is her first name. The card has a French stamp that was postmarked in 1905. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

 

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LUCY JOUSSET : PRETTY STAGE AND FILM ACTRESS (PORTRAIT BY LEOPOLD REUTLINGER)

This vintage real  photo postcard features stage and film actress Lucy Jousset (1884-1914). She is beautifully dressed. Note her beaded necklace and large hat. She also has a feathered wrap partially around her shoulders. Jousset’s IMDb filmography includes three films, all produced in 1914. Unfortunately, she lived a short life, dying at the young age of thirty years old. The cause of her death and additional biographical details were not determined in my preliminary research. Miss Jousset’s portrait was taken by celebrated theatrical photographer, Leopold Reutlinger of Paris, France. This postcard was published by Societe Industrielle de Photograpie (SIP) of Rueil, France, as part of a series (no 14-65). The postcard is postmarked in Arlon, Belgium (1907.) The postcard is in very good condition (see scans).   SOLD

 

MADIA BORELLI: BEAUTIFUL FRENCH DANCER (PORTRAIT BY REUTLINGER)

“Madia! I’ve just met a girl named Madia. And suddenly that name. Will never be the same.” With apologies to Leonard Bernstein, I just couldn’t resist. This vintage real photo postcard features dancer Madia Borelli. She was a Parisian dancer active in the early twentieth century. The photographer of this portrait of Miss Borelli was the famed photographer Leopold Reutlinger of Paris, France. The postcard was published by S.I.P., which is the Societe Industrielle de Photograpie of Rueil, France. The postcard is part of a series (no. 1239).   (SOLD)

BELGIAN STAGE AND FILM ACTRESS: JANE MARNAC

This vintage real photo postcard features pretty Belgian stage and film actress, Jane Marnac (1892-1976). She appeared in dozens of parts on stage and sang in numerous operettas. She is well known for appearing in “Au temps des valses ” (1930), a play by Noel Coward that played at the Apollo Theater. She is also remembered for her role in “The Darling of Paris” (1931). Wikipedia provides a list of twenty of her play appearances (1912-1938) and notes that it is an incomplete list.  Wikipedia also lists six films (1911-1931) in which Marnac made appearances.  In regard to her personal life, she was born in Brussels, Belgium. She married an English officer in 1927. This postcard was published by K.F. (Kunzli Freres) of Paris, France and is part of a series (no. 2315). The company was one of the largest pioneer postcard publishing houses. The company was established in 1874. It had offices in Zurich and Paris. Beginning 1898, it became known for publishing postcard maps throughout Europe. The photographer who took Miss Marnac’s portrait seen on this postcard, was Leopold Reutlinger.

PORTRAIT OF FRENCH FILM STAR MLLE BARBIER (PHOTOGRAPHED BY LEOPOLD REUTLINGER)

This exceptional real photo postcard comes from the Paris studio of Leopold Reutlinger. His subject for this photograph is a beautiful theatrical actress, Mlle Barbier. The actress is spectacularly dressed and wearing hoop earrings in this color tinted photograph. The postcard is part of a series published by SIP (no. 1357). The home of SIP (Societe Industrielle de Photograpie) was Rueil, France. Research did not yield a firm identification of Mlle Barbier. A strong possibility is that the attractive actress photographed for this postcard was Charlotte Barbier-Krauss (1877-1938). The French actress was best known for appearing in “The Empty Cradle” (1910), “Le calvaire de Dona Pia” (1925), and “Poil de carotte” (1925). In 1914, she married director Henry Krauss. Mlle Barbier’s filmography includes about 34 films between 1909 and 1938. She is also credited with appearing in six plays between 1921 and 1937.

FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPHER SHOOTS FAMOUS POLITICIAN: PORTRAIT OF THEODOR TANTZEN BY CHARLES REUTLINGER (CARTE DE VISITE)

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This carte de visite image features German politician Theodor Johann Tantzen. The photographer who took this portrait of Mr. Tantzen was the celebrated photographer, Charles Reutlinger (1816-1881). Theodor Johann Tantzen (1834-1893) was from a political family in the Oldenburg State. His father was a member of parliament. Two of Theodor’s children became important political figures. His son, also named Theodor, became Prime Minister of Oldenburg. Tantzen’s grandson was philosopher Karl Jaspers (1883-1969). Theodor Tantzen grew up in Heering and at age twenty-one, he took over his fathers farm. In 1866 he was elected to the Oldenburg parliament. He remained in parliament for several terms and in fact died while still a parliament member. While in parliament he served in a number of other political roles. Now some words about the photographer. Charles Reutlinger was also part of a prominent and talented family. Charles Reutlinger was of German descent and founded the Reutlinger Photography Studio in Paris in 1850. The studio took photographs of many of the city’s rich and famous residents and visitors until 1937. The British Journal of Photography (1867) provides a wonderful description of Reutlinger’s studio. Charles’s brother Emile took over the studio in 1880 and he ran it until 1890. Emile’s son, Leopold took over in 1890 and among his accomplishments was that he developed the company’s esteemed and economically successful postcard business. The studio became known for it’s unusual art nouveau style of postcard designs. These were very notable in it’s portraits of actresses. Leopold also introduced risque/erotic postcards. He operated the business until losing an eye in an accident with a champagne cork in 1930. He died seven years later.

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