Monday, September 21, 2015

Lucy Gérard: Stage Actress of La Belle Époque France

This week's featured cards feature Lucy Gerard (sometimes spelled Lucie Gérard). Born Marie-Louise Philiberte Lucy Gérard in Lyon, France, 1872, Lucy Gérard was a popular stage actress of Belle Époque France. Unfortunately, we know very little about her, except that in the first decade of the 20th century in France she was a great beauty, and her stage performances were very popular.

In the following image, she is framed by an Art Nouveau illustration designed to leave room for the sender's message. Post cards of this type fall under the category of what French collectors call a précurseur, a card made before the back sides were divided to allow for written communication. Prior to 1904, when the backs of these cards were undivided as this one was, only the recipient's address was allowed on the back side, and often short letters were written on the image side instead. Discovering this, publishers produced picture postcards with small images, often highly decorative, and allowing lots of space for written communication.

Lucy Gérard, Stage Actress, by Reutlinger, in Art Nouveau Border, circa 1900 (unposted)

One of her most famous roles was that of Fanny Essler, or Elssler, an Austrian Ballerina who in the play "l'Aiglon," by Edmond Rostand, was the love interest of Napoleon II. The role of Napoleon II, by the way, was played by the great Sarah Bernhardt. In fact, Rostand wrote the part specifically for her. The play was a huge success, and became one of Sarah Bernhardt's favorites. Playing the romantic lead opposite Bernhardt must have been quite a coup, and this postcard image, the one we find most often of Mlle. Gérard, is of her costumed for that role.

Lucy Gérard, by Reutlinger, as Fanny Elssler in Rostand's "l'Aigon," circa 1900 (unposted)
The hand-coloring on the following portrait is particularly lovely. Note that the date 9/9 1906 is written in the bottom left corner of both the face and the reverse, and the card was posted in 1906. We have not attempted a translation of the message, but we do see the word souvenir, which is the French word for memory, so we believe it's quite possible that this card was sent as a remembrance, by Clarion to Mlle. Ninon Peyran at the Chateau St. Charles, of a special evening at the theater during which Gerard performed.

Lucy Gérard. French Actress, circa 1906 by Leopold Reutlinger

The following image is a very nice example of the sort of photo-montage Leopold Reutlinger is so well known for. Here we have famed stage actress Lucy Gérard superimposed onto an image of the Bordeaux Amphitheater. Also known as the Palais Gallien, it is surrounded by the cobbled streets of what was once known as Burdigala. Burdigala once may have been the capital of the ancient Roman province Gallia Aquitaina during the reign of the emperor Augustus. The amphitheater once held up to 15,000 spectators.

Lucy Gérard, Belle Epoque Actress, Bordeaux Amphitheater, circa 1900 (unposted)


Mlle. Gérard passed away in 1941. We feel a little sad when we think about it, how she was born into a world of horses and carriages, experienced France in one of its most glorious periods, Paris, in one of its most glamorous and hopeful, and then to have died at a time when her world had so dramatically changed, into one of machines and motorcars, with her country occupied by Hitler's forces, no end in sight, and not living long enough to experience the liberation...okay, snap out of it Red :)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fern Andra, Star of the Circus and Silent Film, "Relaxing" at Home, circa 1919/20


22.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1oTnfV7

Florence Ziegfeld's "A Parisian Model," Broadway Success, circa 1907


18.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1m764Q9

Poirot Investigates! French RPPC, circa 1910


24.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1OHGYVD

Striking Image of Pre-Flapper with Red Hair Ribbon, circa 1911


16.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/13sPirx

Belle Epoque Actress Suzanne Miéris as Eunice, in Quo Vadis, circa 1901


14.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1F3QZMf

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Young Dancers, Pozega, Croatia, by Atelier Wollner, circa 1920s

This RPPC (Real Photo Post Card) was produced at the Atelier Wollner in Prozega, Croatia (what was then Yugoslavia), a small Eastern European city whose history stretches back a thousand, or so, years.


$22.00 USD by Red Poulain via Etsy:

There was a C. Wollner there, making photographic portraits on cartes de visites in the late 19th century, and quite possibly this is the same Wollner, or another member of the family, the name of the studio having changed over time from C. Wollner, to Atelier (workshop, or studio) Wollner, as additional family members, or business partners joined in.

Was the photographer a man or a woman? We don't know, but it might surprise you to find out just how many photographic studios were actually operated by women. According to an article we found on Wikipedia, prior to World War II in Vienna, Austria, most of the photo studios were in fact operated by women, and most of these were Jewish women! This implies that at least 25% of photo studios in Vienna at that time were operated by Jewish women. Why does this matter? Because it gives us a valuable perspective on the images we love.

Way back in the 1850s, in the early days of photography, both women, and Jews, flocked to the profession. Let's remember that in those days, society placed all kinds of roadblocks in the path of those two groups of people (among others, of course), limiting their potential involvement in industry, business, and the arts. But photography was new! It was not broadly accepted in the well established arts community, and so there were no centuries-old guilds that had established rules (often legislated) restricting the professional participation of people who were so often limited in their choices of work and creative expression.

These opportunities carried forward into the 20th century, and into the publication of picture postcards, where all across Europe, and in the USA as well, a very large percentage of the people involved with the cards we sell were Jewish, and a much larger percentage than we might have imagined, women.

The Wollners of Prozega, for example, were probably Jewish. We know of at least one, an Else Wollner, born in 1902, who was a Jew, and who was murdered while in her early forties, by the fascists at Auschwitz in 1944. Many members of the Wollner family (unnamed in the records we accessed) perished in the holocaust, though we were unable to find any records concerning a C. Wollner, or a Wollner who was a photographer.

We apologize for letting some of the dark into this listing. We honestly feel that our images are not merely flat photographic prints, but that they live in a way, and are imbued with their original environment and with the life experiences, not only of their subjects, but of their makers too. So, knowing a little more about these ephemeral elements of their make up helps to round out, and add depth, lending, for example, a poignance to this wonderful image that takes us back to what was still a kinder time, filled with the joy of this group of lovely young ladies, taking pleasure in what was perhaps a recent, and triumphant performance.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Calling Forth the Spirits of the Old Trees. French RPPC, circa 1910s

Journal Entry, May 6th, 1917 (Alternate Universe A-79/B4)

"The streets are empty now. Any human beings remaining in the towns and cities shelter like me, amidst the corpses, the bones, of human industry.

Its flesh, composed of window-glass and roof shingles, paving stones, all of it returns now to the earth. Those few people who remain, they will be gone soon like the rest, herded, like obedient cattle that follow a scattering of mown hay, into one of the borderlands the Fair have prepared for us.

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$24.00 USD by Red Poulaine via Etsy:
www.etsy.com/listing/236908186/calling-forth-the-spirits-of-the-old



There is something in the air that has caused all objects made of iron or steel to oxidize dramatically over these past few months. The machines and weaponry in which we had invested so much confidence and treasure, decompose into powder at the barest touch.

And the ancient forests are returning so quickly. Growing at the pace of a year in a single day, the great trees push through once level floors, weakening foundations, slowly scattering walls, rooftops, entire buildings, into so much rubble.

This broken dross of what was our civilization is so quickly overgrown by ivy and thistles, wildflowers, raspberry canes and the like, that entire city-scapes disappear in a matter of weeks, retained now only in memory. And one begins to question memory, as if the tangled ivy growing everywhere has forced its tendrils into our skulls, strangling thought.

The rats are leaving too, now that we, their benefactors, have gone. Wolves and foxes roam the cities. They pose no danger to us. In fact, they ignore us, as if we represent not even a footnote on a page of this world's history, and are no longer of consequence, not even as food.

They treat us much as the Fair did when they first returned, appearing suddenly from amidst the trees and brambles of tame woods and copses. They did not even meet our eyes as they went about their business. So graceful, like deer at a meadow stream, so terrible and unstoppable, ever in bands of eight, gathering to dance, and to sing the forest back. They filled the air with magic so thick it closed the throat as we looked on, powerless, gasping our sudden, amazed breaths.

It was the war between the great nations, I think, that roused them. That mindless, bitter, conflict seemed certain to rain the blood of our children down upon us all. It was as if the First People, the Fair Folk, knew the world had finally endured enough of us. How certain of ourselves we were, of our place, our primacy, our gods. We are cast out now. I cannot even remember what it felt like then, what it meant to feel that I belonged, that this world was mine."

Now you tell one :)

A really remarkable image, contrasting a stark, empty, perhaps industrial landscape with this lovely, fragile, and yet strong, circle of young dancers.

It is unfortunate that the printer offset the image on the printing paper by a bit. You will notice, by looking at the back of the card, that it was not poorly trimmed, just misprinted by a little. And speaking of the printer, an interesting point! This card was printed in "Angleterre," England. This is interesting because so much photo printing was done in Germany, the European center of that industry during the early years of the photo image postcard, so it seems very likely that this photograph was taken by Monsieur, or Mme., Breuly in France, but sent for printing in England. Why? Because this was probably during the great war, WWI, during which so much of Germany's industry which had depended on trade with countries that were now its enemies, either lay idle, or was diverted to the war effort. And, of course, this clue allows us to date this precious gem with reasonable accuracy, to sometime in the mid, to late, 1910s.

Dancer and Silent Film Queen, Greta Nissen, Looks back over Shoulder, circa 1920s


18.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1llkWLG

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Gypsy Dance. Genevieve Page Autographed RPPC, circa 1920s by redpoulaine

http://ift.tt/1LjHqJj
http://ift.tt/1L1gcsR
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24.00 USD
From Pre-Raphaelite imagery in the mid 1800s, to Boho-chic through its various iterations into this present day, the "Gypsy" look will, perhaps, always be with us! But beyond the look, Romani music and dance is a vital and emotional performance genre that also continues to maintain its popularity.

Here we have an exquisite RPPC portrait of Genevieve Page in Gypsy garb, with a brief dedication on the reverse side. Apparently she went by "Gene," probably like the French "Jeanne" with the G pronounced in that soft J sound we use so rarely in English.
Image taken at the Bras studio in Montpellier. Wonderful detail. Hand-painted tambourine :)


To hear some beautiful Romani music, and see some great dancing, follow the link to the Youtube clip below, from the 1997 film Gadjo Dilo (Crazy Outsider). So charming :) This is one of our absolutely favoritest movies! The awesome Adrian Simionescu is the vocalist, and the dancer, actress Rona Hartner is, of course, wonderful as always.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MxP0B1w_4w

Please examine our high res scans for detail.

The item you are considering for purchase is, unless otherwise noted, a vintage postcard of approximately 5 and 1/2, by 3 and 1/2 inches. Postage is for fully insured, first class, shipping in a secure photo mailer (to avoid any damage to your purchase in the mails), and we happily combine shipping on all paper goods. If you purchase two cards, we will refund the postage on the second card, and when you purchase three or more cards from us at the same time, your shipping will be entirely free, except for international orders which, because of increases in international shipping rates will still be charged one card's shipping fees on orders of three or more. We do not charge for insurance or shipping materials, and as of the date of this listing are still charging below our overall cost on shipping.

And please come visit our blog at:

redpoulaine.blogspot.com

where we post biographical and historical tidbits, images of cards and photographs for sale, some already sold but remembered fondly, related images of historical interest and sometimes even images of items that have not yet arrived in the shop, but that are expected to arrive soon, as well as coupon codes, links to other related sites, and more!

Mademoiselle Beauregard Peers into Another Realm, by Reutlinger, circa 1900 by redpoulaine


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14.00 USD
"I have walked a great while over the snow,
And I am not tall nor strong.
My clothes are wet, and my teeth are set,
And the way was hard and long.
I have wandered over the fruitful earth,
But I never came here before.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!"

From The Witch, by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

Wonderful image of Mlle. Beauregard, popular Belle Epoque beauty, by Leopold Reutlinger of Paris.

Please examine our high res scans for detail.

The item you are considering for purchase is, unless otherwise noted, a vintage postcard of approximately 5 and 1/2, by 3 and 1/2 inches. Postage is for fully insured, first class, shipping in a secure photo mailer (to avoid any damage to your purchase in the mails), and we happily combine shipping on all paper goods. If you purchase two cards, we will refund the postage on the second card, and when you purchase three or more cards from us at the same time, your shipping will be entirely free, except for international orders which, because of increases in international shipping rates will still be charged one card's shipping fees on orders of three or more. We do not charge for insurance or shipping materials, and as of the date of this listing are still charging below our overall cost on shipping.

And please come visit our blog at:

redpoulaine.blogspot.com

where we post biographical and historical tidbits, images of cards and photographs for sale, some already sold but remembered fondly, related images of historical interest and sometimes even images of items that have not yet arrived in the shop, but that are expected to arrive soon, as well as coupon codes, links to other related sites, and more!

The Harpist in the Wood. Magical German Postcard, circa 1910s by redpoulaine


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www.etsy.com/listing/237482330/the-harpist-in-the-wood-magical-german

14.00 USD

"From deep within the woods she called him,
Played her fingers o'er the strings,
And sent forth charms thereby to wile him,
Visions of his love, and dreams,
To shape the crooked path and lead him
Ever nearer to the spring."

The Harpist in the Wood. Wonderfully magical image, probably a German card, circa 1910s. Nice, posted condition.
Please examine our high res scans for detail.

The item you are considering for purchase is, unless otherwise noted, a vintage postcard of approximately 5 and 1/2, by 3 and 1/2 inches. Postage is for fully insured, first class, shipping in a secure photo mailer (to avoid any damage to your purchase in the mails), and we happily combine shipping on all paper goods. If you purchase two cards, we will refund the postage on the second card, and when you purchase three or more cards from us at the same time, your shipping will be entirely free, except for international orders which, because of increases in international shipping rates will still be charged one card's shipping fees on orders of three or more. We do not charge for insurance or shipping materials, and as of the date of this listing are still charging below our overall cost on shipping.

And please come visit our blog at:

redpoulaine.blogspot.com

where we post biographical and historical tidbits, images of cards and photographs for sale, some already sold but remembered fondly, related images of historical interest and sometimes even images of items that have not yet arrived in the shop, but that are expected to arrive soon, as well as coupon codes, links to other related sites, and more!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Striking Image of Pre-Flapper with Red Hair Ribbon, circa 1911


16.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/13sPirx

Fern Andra, Star of the Circus and Silent Film, "Relaxing" at Home, circa 1919/20


22.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1oTnfV7

Florence Ziegfeld's "A Parisian Model," Broadway Success, circa 1907


18.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1m764Q9

Nude in Boudoir. Early French Picture Postcard by ELD, circa 1899/1900.


24.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1JeEvDM

Poirot Investigates! French RPPC, circa 1910


24.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1OHGYVD

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Au Clair de la Lune, Lovely Pierrot and Colombine Image by Alfred Noyer, circa 1920s.



18.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1zznWdb

Autographed Nella Regini, Italian Light Opera and Torch Singer, Autographed Card, circa 1920s



29.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1C1n2YV

Haunting Photograph of Little Girl, circa 1910



17.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1zwG1de

Belle Epoque Opera Star, Lucienne Delmay, in Costume Orientale, circa 1905, by Paul Boyer



24.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1zByRpn

Romantic Violet-Tinted Pierrot Image by Alfred Noyer, circa 1920s



14.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1wQuvIJ

Four Friends in Costume, German RPPC, circa 1920s



19.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1GQpAdn

Sweet German Pierrette RPPC, circa 1920s



14.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1Hmqkui

Belle Epoque Actress Suzanne Miéris as Eunice, in Quo Vadis, circa 1901



14.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1F3QZMf

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Superb Iconic Art Nouveau Image of the Madonna with Lilies and Incense, circa 1904



22.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1zmVivy

Angel Playing Diabolo. Wonderful Hand-Tinted Vaudeville Image, circa 1905, by Reutlinger.



22.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1IjHR4L

Reserved for Tony. Please do not purchase unless you are Tony. Thank you.



19.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1lJuSS9

Two Dreamers. Lovely Hand-Tinted Memory of Friendship, circa 1905, by Professor Stebbing.



16.00 USD, by redpoulaine via Etsy http://ift.tt/1DKAIdT