Friday, March 26, 2010

Girl with Headscarf and Flowers - 1942

This lovely image of a girl in a polka dot headscarf holding a bunch of flowers - Mädchen mit Kopftuch und Blumenstrauss - seems to fit perfectly with the arrival of spring! It was printed in Germany by Verlag Carl Werner, a publishing house based in Reichenbach im Vogtland, a town in Saxony, the heartland of European postcard production.

Whilst Werner often published images of children taken by the famous photographer Lotte Herrlich the other examples I've seen have always been artist-signed and in black and white – this postcard bears no indication as to who took the image, so I assume it was an in-house or unnamed freelance photograph instead. During the Second World War, Carl Werner published far more sinister postcards and helped the German war effort, issuing propaganda cards with captions in the language of the intended foreign audience.

I bought this postcard a while ago in a second hand shop in Rome. I was immediately attracted to the image and admit that I had bearly glanced at the writing on the reverse of the card at the time of buying it. In fact, it wasn't until I returned home and inspected it more carefully when I noticed that the date handwritten on the back of this uncirculated card was 26 April, 1942 – my father's date of birth! Spooky, eh?

Find more vintage postcards over at Beth's postcard blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy and join other collectors on Postcard Friendship Friday.

Postcard Friendship Friday

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lucy Doraine - 1920s

Whilst Lucy Doraine may not be a household name these days, for a brief heady period from 1918, through the roaring 1920s until 1931, when she retired from cinema at the ripe old age of 33, she starred in 24 - mostly silent - movies. She was sometimes credited as Lucy "Dorraine" and in her very early roles under her birth name of  "Ilonka Kovács".

Ilonka was born on 22 May, 1898 in Budapest in what was then Austria-Hungary and is most famous for the work she did with her husband and fellow Hungarian-born film director Michael Curtiz. Curtiz was an enormously prolific director with a hugely successful Hollywood career - just think of Casablanca, or even Elvis Presley's finest film King Creole - but before moving to the US he already had fifty or so European films under his belt. Of these films the most notorious is probably the 1922 Austrian silent epic Sodom and Gomorrah in which he cast his wife in the leading role of Mary Conway. The film went down in history as the largest and most expensive film production ever made in Austria with Vienna-based producers Sascha-Film (in full Sascha-Filmindustrie AG) footing the bill! The company is named on this card erroneously as "Sacha Film" which would date this uncirculated postcard to the 1920s.

The real photograph Italian postcard was issued by publishers G.Vettori from Bologna and bears their distinctive logo on the reverse of the card.

Unfortunately I've been unable to discovered anything esle about Lucy Doraine's later life other than that she moved to the US and died in Los Angeles,California, aged 91. If anybody can fill in the missing years please leave a comment below!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunshine Award

What a surprise! Heather Jacks at Sicilia Through Images has bestowed a "Sunshine Award" on this blog - and living in Sicily that woman knows a thing or two about sunshine! Thank you so much! Go check out her wonderful images of the region on her blog.

The rules for accepting this award are:
  • Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
  • Pass the award to 12 bloggers.
  • Link to the nominees within your post.
  • Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
  • Share the love and link to the person whom you received this award.

So, here are my own 12 nominees. Please visit this eclectic round up of great blogs!

  1. The French Factrice
  2. The Daily Postcard
  3. Plaid Stallions
  4. The Paper Collector
  5. Tattered and Lost Ephemera
  6. Expect the Unexpected
  7. Muse Swings
  8. Old Paper Art
  9. Vintage Postcards Revisited
  10. Viridian's Postcard Blog
  11. Wild Postcards
  12. Studio Eldridge

Friday, March 5, 2010

Limuru Native Market - 1950s

Another extremely fine real photo postcard issued by Pegas Studio, Nairobi as part of their "Africa in Pictures" series issued during the 1950s. It is in near mint, uncirculated condition and features an image taken by S. Skulina, a commercial photographer working in Kenya in those years.

Entitled "Limuru Native Market", this is a wonderful example of the picture postcards which were so popular in the 1950s featuring traditional ways of life and different cultures and ethnicities and which today serve as a pictorial history.

The main item for sale in this market, seen lined up in rows in the foreground, would seem to be the African bottle gourd, which was typically used as a utensil across some parts of Africa. Left to mature before being harvested, these gourds or calabashes, were then hollowed out, dried and used as either bottles, bowls, or even pipes. I love the curved necks and organic forms of these handmade and totally unique bottles! Limuru itself, on the other hand, is best known for the large amounts of high quality Kenyan tea it produces.

Beth at The Best Hearts are Crunchy is holding today's Postcard Friendship Friday, where you'll find more vintage postcards and meet other collectors.