PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT OF A BRITISH BEAUTY

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This vintage real photo postcard features a pretty young woman with an engaging smile. She has beautiful eyes. This postcard was published by Rotary Photo and is part of the British Beauty series (no. A 113-6). This RPPC is in excellent condition (see scans).

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Published in: on May 19, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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KITTY COLYER – ENGLISH TRIPLE THREAT (SINGER, DANCER, ACTRESS) – PLAYED CINDERELLA

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The pretty actress seen in this vintage real photo postcard, is Miss Kitty Colyer (1897-?). Here are some biographical facts that I discovered in preliminary research about the English actress. She started her career at age eleven. In addition to being an actress, she was also a dancer. She has also been described as a music hall singer and a comedian. Her dance routines were varied but her favorites were acrobatic, toe, buck, and national dancing. She performed primarily in the 1920’s. She played the role of Cinderella in “Cinderella” (1920).  As the roaring twenties came to a close, her career fizzled out and she left the entertainment business. A review of Miss Colyer can be found in John Culme’s “Footlight Notes” (website). A writer from “The Era” (1911) wrote “Miss Kitty Colyer’s sensational dancing reaches its climax in some very energetic handsprings and her lissomness and activity are quite irresistible in her rendering of “By the Light of the Silvery Moon”. Look below to see an example of sheet music (1920) featuring Kitty Colyer. Now, back to the vintage postcard. It was published by Rotary Photo and is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 11522 C). The photographer is unknown. The postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

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MISS PHILLIDA TERSON – THE PAST AND THE FUTURE MISS PHYLLIS NEILSON- TERRY

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phillida 4This vintage real photo postcard features Miss Phillida Terson (1892-1977). She is better known as Phyllis Neilson-Terry. Phyllis was a member of the third generation of a well know English theatrical family (the Terry family). In her early career years, she was a successful classics actress. She played leading roles in several Shakespeare productions. She then spent four years in the United States appearing in lighter theater. She returned to England in 1919 where she showed a great deal of versatility by appearing in Cabaret, Pantomime, and Variety roles. She still found time to appear in Shakespeare and other classic theater. During her career, she also appeared on Broadway. The IDBD states that she appeared in three Broadway shows between 1915 and 1957. Her last appearance on the Broadway stage was in “Separate Tables” for which she was nominated for an Emmy. Phyllis also appeared in films. The IMDb reports that she had 15 credits between 1915 and 1960. Phyllis was born in London. Her mother was famed actress Julia Neilson and her father was celebrated actor, Fred Terry. She had one brother; and he became an actor. Part of her education was in Paris and later she was enrolled at the Royal Academy of Music, in London. She was training to become a singer. Her stage debut was in 1909 as part of her parent’s touring stage company. In that production she used the name Phillida Terson in order to hide her connection to the Terry family. The ploy failed and in about a year, she returned to her real name. She received enthusiastic reviews in her early career. Her later career did draw some criticism. It was thought that she took less challenging roles upon her return from the US to England. Phyllis was married twice, and both husbands were actors. This should be no surprise considering her parents were major theater stars, and her brother, niece, aunt (Ellen Terry), and cousin (John Gielgud) were all stage actors. This vintage postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of the Rotary Photographic  series (no.11716). Given the name on the postcard is “Phillida Terson”, this postcard was published 1909 or 1910. An inscription on the reverse of the postcard dates the card to 1910. The inscription also has the name “His Majesty’s Theatre”. There are theaters by than name in Aberdeen, Scotland (opened 1906) and Perth, Australia (opened circa 1904). This vintage postcard portrait is in very good condition (see scans).

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MISS MURIEL BEAUMONT – BEAUTIFUL ENGLISH STAGE ACTRESS

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Muriel Beaumont (Lady du Maurier (1876-1957) is the featured subject of this vintage real photo postcard. She was an English stage actress and was married to actor Sir Gerald du Maurier. He was the first person to play “Captain Hook”. Two of their daughters became accomplished writers. Her stage career ended in 1910. Beaumont was born in Sutton, England. Her father was a solicitor and when Beaumont decided to pursue an acting career, her father disapproved. In 1898 she made her stage debut at the Haymarket Theatre. In 1902 she appeared in “The Admirable Crichton” and met, for the second time, fellow cast member Gerald du Maurier. Within five short months, they were married (1903). Interestingly, they never appeared on stage together again. In 1905 she appeared in “The Merchant of Venice” with Violet Vanbrugh. This photo postcard was published by Rotary Photo and is part of the “Rotary Photographic Series” (no.1763 A).The photographer of Miss Beaumont’s portrait is Reinhold Thiele and he is known for his photographical talent. Thiele (1856-1921) also used the name “Karl Anton”. Seven of his photo portraits can be found in Great Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. He was born in Germany and learned about photography there. He came to London in 1878 and after a stint with photographer, William Henry Prestwich, he was hired by the London Stereoscopic Company (1880). In 1894, he established a studio known as Simmons & Thiele. Initially, Thiele specialized in photographing football teams. He is considered to be one of the early press photographers. Later, he operated a studio in London. He photographed many theatre stars. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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THREE GORGEOUS BULLDOGS REPRESENTING ENGLAND, IRELAND, AND SCOTLAND

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This vintage real photo postcard features three gorgeous bulldogs. The caption beneath the photo indicates that the dogs represent England, Ireland, and Scotland The postcard is published by Rotary Photo and is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. P 530). This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on December 4, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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FIVE PORTRAITS OF BEAUTIFUL STAGE ACTRESS ALICE CRAWFORD (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARDS)

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These vintage real photo postcards feature a beautiful actress named Alice Crawford (1882-1931). Miss Crawford was born in Bendigo, Australia. Her sister, Ruby Crawford was also an actress. Miss Crawford came to England with actor Wilson Barret in 1902 after appearing with him in Australia. Her London debut was in 1902 in in the play “The Christian”.  She was in the revival of the play in 1907. Other stage credits include “Antony and Cleopatra (1906), Matt of Merrymount (1908), and “The Passing of the Third Floor, Back” (1908). The New York Times (1909) announced her arrival in New York to perform in “These Are My People”. She is credited with film roles in “False Ambition” (1918) and Glorious Adventure (1922). There are fifteen portraits of Alice Crawford in the National Portrait Gallery, eight of which are by the photographer of the top photo postcard (Alexander Bassano}. Bassano  (1829 –1913) was a leading royal and high society photographer in Victorian London. Crawford was married to George Valentine Williams. He was wounded twice in WW I and was awarded the Military Cross. He later worked as a journalist, mostly in trouble spots. During WW2 he conducted “confidential work” for the British Government. He is best known as an author of Detective Fiction. He died in 1946. This postcard captures Miss Crawford in costume for her role as “Diantha Frothingham” in “Matt of Merrymount” (1908). Alice Crawford certainly qualifies as a “stage beauty” and she has an amazingly engaging smile. Bassano photographed the actress for Rotary Photo’s, Rotary Photographic Series (no.1852 R).                                      

The second photo postcard features Miss Crawford looking quite beautiful. Her hair is long and flowing and she has a flower hair band. Her eyes are beautiful and she appears to be holding back a smile. Like the first postcard, this card is also published by Rotary Photo and was part of a series (no. 1852 K). In fact both postcards seen here are part of the same series.  The postcard’s photograph was taken by the Dover Street Studio.  The studio was active between circa 1906 and circa 1912. The gallery specialized in taking theatrical portraits and was located in London, England. They were the successors to the Biograph Studios as well Adart (a studio that took advertising photos). Examination of the reverse of this postcard (see second postcard below) reveals that it was postmarked in 1907. The message on the back of the postcard is quite interesting because it contains comments about the photo on the postcard. The writer reports that she was charmed by a postcard from the addressee and she asks her how she likes “this one”. The writer also states that she was planning to go see “The Thief” at the St. James Theater. Billboard (1907) contains a review of the musical and describes it as an English version of Henry Bernstein’s “Le Voleur”.  The play was produced by Mr George Alexander and it’s cast included Mr. Alexander, Irene Vanbrugh, and Lillian Braithwaite. 

The third photo postcard portrait of Miss Crawford was produced by Rotary Photo and photographed by Dover Studios. The postcard was part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no.1852 P) and was printed in England. This photograph captures Alice Crawford appearing quite dismayed.

The fourth real photo postcard in this collection features a close-up portrait of Miss Crawford. This image confirms that Alice Crawford was certainly a stage beauty. The photograph is very similar to the second postcard in this group and the two images were likely taken during the same photo session at the Dover Street Studio. This postcard was published by Raphael Tuck and Sons and is part of the “Celebrities of the Stage” series (no. T 1148). Raphael Tuck and his wife started their photography business in 1866 in London. Their store sold pictures, greeting cards, and in time, postcards. Their success came from the sale of postcards during the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. In the early 1900’s the firm conducted postcard competitions for collectors of Tuck postcards. These competitions offered cash prizes and they were very popular. The winner of one of these competitions had a collection consisting of over twenty-five thousand cards. Three of Tuck’s four sons participated in the business. The company was devastated by German bombing during World War II. In 1959 the company merged with two other printing companies. This postcard was written and postmarked in 1908. It was postmarked at Bradninch, England. The message on the card is a “Happy Birthday” wish.

The fifth photo postcard features a close-up view of Miss Crawford. She looks pretty with her rolled curl hair and her engaging eyes. This postcard was published by Raphael Tuck and Sons. It is part of the “Celebrities of the Stage”  series (no. T 1202).

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                                                                        POSTCARD 5

 

RARE PORTRAIT OF STAGE ACTRESS MISS MARY GREY

 This vintage real photo postcard features actress “Miss Mary Grey”. A search for biographical information about Miss Grey was not very fruitful. It should be noted that postcard portraits of Mary Grey are rare. Only one other postcard image of Miss Grey could be found, and it was a different pose than the one above. I found a morsel of information about one actress named Mary Grey but I can not verify that the Mary Grey seen in this postcard is the same Mary Grey that I am about to describe. Mary Grey was an actress known for her appearance in the British musical film”His Majesty and Co” (1935). She was married twice. Her first husband was James Bernard Fagan, an Irish-born actor, theater manager,producer and playwright in England. This postcard is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 4954 B) published by Rotary Photo. Note the actresses winter coat, collar brooch, and fancy hat. The photograph was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield Studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio in the 1900’s through the 1920’s. This real photo postcard is in very good condition (see scans). 

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PORTRAITS OF EVELYN MILLARD: SHAKESPEARIAN STAGE ACTRESS (VINTAGE RPPC)

POSTCARD 1  (SOLD)

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POSTCARD 2  (SOLD)

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POSTCARD 3  (SOLD)

MILLARD 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                               POSTCARD 4  #2466

                                                         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. This postcard has great clarity and is in excellent condition.                                     

MILLARD 4

    POSTCARD 4         

 

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                                                                   POSTCARD  1

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                                                                       POSTCARD 2

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BRITISH STAGE ACTRESS: MOLLIE LOWELL

Mollie Lowell, a stage actress, is featured in this vintage real photo postcard. According to the Internet Broadway Data Base (IBDB), she appeared in one Broadway play. The play was a musical comedy and entitled “Our Miss Gibbs” (1910). Sketch (1899) reports that Lowell was born in Newcastle-on-tyne and was of Irish descent. She joined the Carl Rosa Opera Company and played small parts. Next, she was signed by George Edwardes and she appeared in “The Geisha” (1896) and “A Greek Slave” (1898). She then had great success in the production of “Her Royal Highness”. Play Pictorial (1906) cites her appearance in “The Beauty of Bath”. This photo postcard, published by Rotary Photo, was part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no.1964B) and was printed in England. The photographer of Miss Lowell’s portrait is listed as Play Pictorial magazine, indicating that the photo likely appeared in that publication.

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PORTRAITS OF LILY ELSIE: BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED STAGE ACTRESS (VINTAGE RPPC)

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This vintage real photo postcard features celebrated stage actress Miss Lily Elsie (1886-1962). At the time of her portrait sitting for this image, Miss Elsie was also known as “Mrs. Ian Bullugh”. More about that later. Lily Elsie was a very popular English actress and singer. She was most known for her starring role in the London production of “The Merry Widow (1907)”. The show ran for 778 performances. A critic for The Pelican (1907) wrote that “the youthfulness, the dainty charm and grace, the prettiness and the exquisite dancing with which Miss Elsie invests the part…. I share the opinion of most of the first-nighters, who considered it could not have been in better hands, and could not have been better handled…. The night was a genuine triumph for Miss Elsie, and she well deserved all the calls she received”. She began as a child actress and before her big break had appeared in a number of Edwardian musical comedies. She was charming and beautiful and became one of the most photographed actresses of her time. Lily Elsie’s dad was a theater worker and her aunt was well known actress Ada Reeve. Shortly after the turn of the century she joined George Edwardes’ company at the Daly Theater. Some of her early appearances included “A Chinese Honeymoon”, “Lady Madcap”, “The Little Michus (1905)”. In the years between 1900 and 1906 she appeared in 14 shows. After the “Merry Widow” she appeared in  26 more shows including “The Dollar Princess” (1909) and “A Waltz Dream” (1911). She clearly was an actress who was in demand. Men paid her much attention but apparently she did not enjoy the attention. Lucile, her costume designer for “The Merry Widow” stated that Elsie was “absolutely indifferent to men and had once said that she disliked “the male character”. She added that men would only behave well if a woman “treated them coldly”. Now, some words about her marriage. In 1911 she he left the cast of a play in which she was performing to marry Major John Ian Bullough (1885–1936). Major Bullough was the son of a wealthy textile manufacturer. He was formerly married to actress Maude Darrell who only survived one year after their 1909 marriage. The marriage between Elsie and Bullough was reported to be very unhappy. Elsie’s health began to deteriorate and her husband pressured her to quit the stage and she was ready to do so. She returned to the stage during the war years (World War I) and was active in fund raising for the war effort. She next took a ten year break from the stage only to return once again. Her final performance took place in the Daly Theater in the play “The Truth Game” (1929). In addition to her theater career, Elsie made recordings, and appeared in two films, including D. W. Griffith’s “The Great Love” (1918). Also appearing in that film was Lillian Gish. In 1930 Elsie’s marriage ended in divorce. Her health began to deteriorate more and she developed hypochondriasis causing her to spend much time in nursing homes and sanitariums. Due to her psychological problems she had brain surgery. Her final years were spent at St. Andrews hospital in London. This postcard is part of a series (Arcadian no. A 26). The photographer of this image of this beautiful actress is the well known celebrity photographer, Rita Martin. She was considered one of the best British photographers of her time. She opened her studio in 1906. Martin’s sister, Lallie Charles was an esteemed society photographer. Many of Rita’s photographs can be found in the National Portrait Gallery. To view more photographs by Rita Martin in the cabinet card gallery, click on the category “Photographer: Martin”.

The second postcard of Miss Elsie provides a terrific close-up photograph of the beautiful Miss Elsie. She is wearing a dark jacket, a frilly high collared blouse and a ribbon bow tie. Her accessories include a long necklace, a pin low on her blouse, and a corsage. The postcard is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 4159 J) published by Rotary Photo. The photograph was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield Studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio in the 1900’s through the 1920’s.

The third postcard features Lily Elsie clutching a bouquet of flowers and glancing sideways at the photographer. She looks absolutely beautiful. She is wearing a fancy beaded dress and a bracelet. She stands in front of a window. This photograph, like the second postcard’s photo, was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield studio. The portrait postcard was published by Rotary Photo and is part of a series (11840 F). The postcard was printed in Britain.

The fourth postcard is a portrait of a smiling Lily Elsie. She is wearing a flower, beads (pearls?), and a hairband. This photograph was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield studio. The portrait postcard was published by Rotary Photo and is part of a series (11593 B). This postcard captures Miss Elsie in her role as Alice in “The Dollar Princess” (1909).  The venue for the play was Daly’s Theater in London and cast members included Joseph Coyne, Gabrielle Ray, Emmy Wehlen, and Gladys Cooper.

 

                                              

                                                       Wedding Photo (1911)

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