Friday, June 28, 2013

Tremendous Tresses

The featured cards in our shop currently include images of women with beautiful, long hair.

Prior to the 1920s, the traditional hairstyles for women almost always seemed to include long hair. That hair might be pinned up to fantastic heights, but take out the pins and the hair fell well past the shoulders, sometimes to the waist, hips, or even farther. And, as anyone who's ever worn long hair knows, taking care of that extra long mane takes lots of time and effort. Which may be one reason that we look with such amazement at these images of women wearing their long and luxurious hair down, so that it accentuates their beauty and grace.

The first of our featured cards is, of course, the card that we will be giving away with our 1,000th purchase. (See details.) In this image, Cléo de Mérode wears her hair down and we can see that, at least in front, her hair descends below her bustline, indicating that the full length is almost certainly well down her back. As always, of course, she is lovely.

Exquisite Cleo De Merode Giveaway Card for 1,000th Purchase, circa 1900

The second of our featured images is a lovely photograph of an unidentified model, holding a bouquet of violet-colored flowers, whose hair falls down her back to arrive in the vicinity of her derriere. This model's hair may be the longest of those featured. The beautifully hand-colored card was published by Misange, most probably in either France or Germany sometime about 1910.

Polka Dots and Peonies. So Lovely. circa 1905/10

Our next featured image depicts an actress with beautiful long curls and a wild feathered hat. The expression on her face is so wonderful, making us think that she offers some words of wisdom for some wanderer. Perhaps, given the deliberately tattered nature of her gown, she is a fairy in disguise, and is about to gift some hero or heroine with some magical ability. Her hair, certainly, is worthy of any fairy queen.

Miry Cassari Belle Epoque Stage Performer in a Lovely Big Hat, dedicated, circa 1912

Of note is the fact that this is a signed card, apparently signed in 1912 following a stage performance in Beaune (pronounced almost as in the English word "bone"), Burgundy, which is between Paris and Geneva. Based on her signature, the actress' name is Miry Cassari, or perhaps Lassari, but we have been unable to find any information about her and she remains a mystery. This is a wonderful image, and in a way there is something wistfully romantic and magical about the autograph of a forgotten actress. So often we have read about the immortality of the old gods having been dependent upon the worship of their followers. Perhaps, merely through the appreciation of this fine, evocative image, we can breathe a little life into the "joie de vivre" expressed by this lovely young woman, so long ago, and share in some of it ourselves.

The final featured item is this lovely biogravure by Steglitz, circa 1905. The maiden portrayed in this image is crowned by a wreath of flowers, which, together with her long, unbound hair symbolizes Spring and the purity and innocence of youth. Appropriately, the photographer has captured her with her gaze turned down, deftly maintaining the Arcadian ambiance.

Crown of Flowers, Jugendstil Epoche Maiden, Biogravure by Steglitz, circa 1905