NELLY MARTYL : SINGER, NURSE, WAR HERO, AND PHILANTHROPIST

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).

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

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$22.00

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Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) 3418

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$31.00

VERA VASILYEVNA KHOLODNAYA : BEAUTIFUL RUSSIAN SILENT FILM STAR : VICTIM OF THE SPANISH FLU

This vintage real photo postcard features Russian actress Vera Vasilyevna Kholodnaya (1893-1919). Sometimes she is referred to as Holodnaja). She was the first star of Russian silent film. The number of films that she appeared in, is unknown. It is estimated the number of appearances is somewhere between fifty and one hundred. It is unfortunate that only five of her films survived the passage of time. She was born in Poltava which was part of the Russian Empire, and is now located in the Ukraine. At the age of two, she moved to Moscow to live with her grandmother. As a child, she fantasized about becoming a classical ballerina. She eventually enrolled in the Bolshoi Theatre ballet school From early childhood, she participated in family theater productions, While attending her school prom to celebrate her graduation she met Vladimir Kholodny, whom she married in 1910. He is known as one of Russia’s first race car drivers. The pair had two children. In 1908, after seeing actress Vera Komissarzhevskaya in a stage role, she decided that she wanted to pursue a career in films. She sought out Vladimir Gardin, a major Russian film director, and he gave her a minor role in Anna Karenina. In 1915, film director Yevgeni Bauer was searching for an actress who possessed great beauty. After meeting Vera Kholodnaya, he found the enchantress that he was looking for. Bauer’s film was a resounding success. He then made a second film starring Kholodnaya. These two Bauer films made Vera a major celebrity. She soon became known as “the Queen of Screen” and had great successes with other films. By 1918, she was a film phenom. When Russia entered World War I, her husband joined the military. She participated in charity concerts to support the soldiers and their families. It is reported that she was “worshipped” by soldiers. By the time of the Russian Revolution (1917), a new Kholodnaya film was released every three weeks and she continued to experience acclaim and success. Around this time, the actress moved with her film company to Odessa. She died there, at age 25, during the 1918 flu pandemic.This version of the flu, was known as the “Spanish Flu” and it infected 500 million people around the world between 1918 and 1920. Estimates are that between 50 and 100 million people died during the pandemic.  (SOLD)