Picking Flower, Near Mississippi Headwaters, Minnesota

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1950s.

Price:  $15.00

This Real Photo Postcard is one of (at least) four that we see that had been taken, circa 1950s, of an Indian woman named Picking Flower. The other three vintage cards are currently on ebay:  One shows a very similar view to the photo taken for this card, and the other two show Picking Flower standing at the Headwaters of the Mississippi River, Minnesota, with captions. My guess is that she’s Chippewa, a.k.a. Ojibwe or Ojibwa, and it’s possible she might have been a member of the Mississippi River Band Chippewas, but of course, that is mere speculation. The artwork of flowers and leaves that she’s working on (or more likely it was some finished work that was used for the photo shoot) and that which adorns her dress, is very distinctive to Chippewa beadwork design (not to mention stunningly beautiful). Here’s a quick screen shot of a Google search for examples (note the similarity in the top right design to that in the postcard.)

And, if you enlarge the postcard image, you’ll notice the little pair of moccasins that’s attached to the dress (on her left) and the shells interspersed in the shoulder areas. Always the case, we get to wondering about the circumstances surrounding a photo session, about the person themselves, how they felt at the time, what the rest of their life was like. I think Picking Flower is maybe in her 50s, from the graying hair we note, and she looks like she was squinting a little from the sun, when the photo was taken.

Sources:  Mississippi River Band of Chippewa Indians. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_River_Band_of_Chippewa_Indians (accessed May 21, 2017).

“Images of Chippewa beadwork”  Google.com search. (accessed May 21, 2017).

Norge, Lappekone (Med Barn)

Divided back, unused postcard. Date unknown. Publisher:  Mittet & Co., A/S, Oslo, Norway. All rights reserved. Number or series:  3000/54.

Price:  $15.00

Norway, Lapp Wife With Child

The translation for the publisher’s description is just “Norway. Lapp wife” so we added med barn (with child) to the title to be correct for the view. And this is the perfect postcard for being (1.) the third in a short Norwegian theme (see prior two posts) and (2.) the first for Mother’s Day, this year.

A little about the publisher

Mittet & Co., A/S was started in 1899 by Ingebrigt Mittet (1875 – 1950) and carried on and expanded by his sons Knut and Søren Mittet. It was a major Norwegian publishing firm and produced thousands of postcards as well as books and art literature. It appears to have been sold in 1987, but in the 1950s about 15,000 to 20,000 negatives and some albums were sent to the Riksantikvaren (Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage) some of which then went to the Norwegian Folk Museum and Norwegian Technical Museum. The National Library took over the Mittet archived material in 2007. A/S is the abbreviation for Aksjeselskap, the Norwegian term for a stock-based company.

Northern lights

The indigenous Lapp people, Laplanders and People of the Reindeer, as the terms Westerners have traditionally known them by, are today referred to as the Sami, also spelled Saami or Sámi. They live in the region called Sápmi:  northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. And, we’ll not try to summarize further but instead share this Google search result (a picture says a thousand words, as maybe a jump start to further reading, or visiting in person?) for images of Sami people…the colors (!) the patterns, the beautiful faces, the reindeer….beauty in the northern light.

Life is in the details….

As per usual, you can click on all of Laurel Cottage’s images to enlarge them, but we added the two crops below, as they seemed to warrant scrutiny:  Look under the white printing and you’ll see the very faint original wording. You can see the rectangular outlines of the newer info, as if it was taped on. So, it says “Norge Lappekone” in the top image, that’s pretty easy to read, but for the “Mittet” one we’re not so sure. Maybe it says the same publisher, or maybe not, or maybe it holds the photographer’s name. See what you think….Oh (well, duh!) after further searching, it’s likely that the first word there is “Enerett” which in English is “all rights reserved.” It says the same on the back. So, darn, no great mystery solved, or anything exciting but it does hint at the card maybe being a more modern production of the same image. (Indeed, there’s another one out there that must of been the earlier version.) And, you can see that someone had x’d over the “Co.” and scribbled after it, probably to make the original wording less noticeable when they were adding the new.

Sources:  “Fotoarkivet etter postkortforlaget Mittet & Co.” Preus Museum. (www.preusmuseum.no) Accessed May 14, 2017.

Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Directorate_for_Cultural_Heritage (accessed May 14, 2017).

Aksjeselskap. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aksjeselskap (accessed May 14, 2017).

Sami history. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_history (accessed May 14, 2017).

“images of Sami people” Google search. (accessed May 14, 2017).

Dog And Skier, Finnish Handicraft Series

Divided back, artist-signed, unused postcard. Finnish Handicraft Series. Circa 1950s – 1980s.

Price:  $20.00

The date is unknown for this postcard, as no other cards were found online under any form of the back description:

Finnish Handcraft Series. Hemslöjdsföreningarnas Centralförbunds serie. Kotiteollisuusjärjestöjen Keskusliiton sarja. Maybe 1950s – 1980s as a broad guess. The artist’s initials “H. T.” appear at the bottom-left of the cross-country ski scene. Underneath are a reindeer and tree motif and above a diamond pattern. This is just a beautiful card. And that’s a Sami (Saami) man in traditional dress with a Four Winds Hat. I love the dog in mid-spring! as in bounce, that is. If you’re weary, the dog’s exuberance will rejuvenate you!

Sources:  Four Winds Hat. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people (accessed May 13, 2017).

Sami People. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people (accessed May 13, 2017).

The Road To The Dance

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Velox stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $4.00

The who and where are unknown in this RPPC (for some reason I keep thinking Oregon) of three young men and a young woman, dressed up for the evening, heading up the dirt road to….a country dance, we think. The young lady carries a parasol, and per the norm for the time-period, all four are wearing hats. That’s a wide hat band ribbon around the fellow’s hat, second from left:  You can just barely discern the crown that’s blending in with the background.

Women In Greek Costume

Divided back, unused Greek postcard. Publisher:  Delta, Athens, Greece. Circa 1960s.

Price:  $1.00     Size:  4 x 5 and 13/16″

Just something to go with the prior post, for Greece….specifically regarding the traditional dress of Ίωάννινα or Ioannina in English, though the photo was taken near Acropolis at Athens. See the comment on this post from Maria.

Publisher Delta Editions was owned by Emmanuel Diakakis & Son. Address:  4 Apelou St., Athens. Greece.  “Έμμ. Διακάκης & Υίός – Άπελλοϋ – 4 – Τηλ – Άδήυαι.”

Source:  Ioannina. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ioannina (accessed April 2, 2017).

View From The Pier, 1930s

Real Photo Postcard, cropped. ECK stamp box. Circa 1930s.

Price:   $1.00      Size:  About 4 and 5/8 x 3 and 1/2″

This is a mystery spot. Okay, we’re off to drive up and down the West Coast of the U.S….leaving now, with digitized photo in hand for comparison 😉 (Wouldn’t that be nice!) Seems like that’s almost the only way to pinpoint the location of this photo and we’d be peering through the layers of development down thru the years, too….but, maybe someone will recognize this place. We hope so! Guessing it’s West Coast, but that’s just a guess. The stamp box on the back, per Playle’s, is circa 1930 – 1950, but the vehicles look more like ’20s and ’30s rather than later. Some signs on the buildings are readable: We see a hotel, a building with big lettering advertising “Refreshments” and toward our left…Cabins.

Cabin(s)…backwards…

This is odd:  The one sign showing “Cabins” that appears backwards makes sense since the lettering stands alone above the building its perched on and we’re just looking at it from the other side; the other, “Cabin” appearing lower, just further left, looks like it’s painted backwards on the side of a building. Since that doesn’t make sense, then is it also a stand-alone type of sign? Or, could it be a reflection? Or maybe our photo is two photos spliced together, one reversed? But that seems highly unlikely.

Source:  “Real Photo Stamp Boxes, D-E.” playle.com. (accessed April 1, 2017)

La Calèche De Québec

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Librairie Garneau, Québec, PQ Canada.  Circa 1931.

Price:  $3.00

La Calèche:  a popular subject for old Québec postcards

The calèche, as shown in the postcard, is a light carriage with two large wheels, drawn by one horse, and usually seen with its top folded back. After searching old newspapers (the term calèche abounds) and books online, it seems the name was perhaps used generically for carriage, maybe at some point having something to do with the hood style. (This Wiki article in french shows the different look with four wheels) and after many searches the only thing that seems clear is that when exactly the two-wheeler came into being would be a subject for a more in-depth search, but here’s an excerpt from an article in 1850 that appeared in the Christian Watchman (Boston).

And we couldn’t resist including this next snippet from a short story by Fred Hunter from the newspaper Flag of Our Union (Boston) re a mysterious woman in a blue bonnet, bringing to mind the two-wheeler, really, if conjuring an image…

Speaking of bonnets, the women’s bonnet in images below, was aptly named the “caleche capote” (carriage hood). Newspaper articles in 1879 reference this as the latest style.

Surface romance

But back to the conveyance:  Is the vehicle as seen in the postcard above still in use today? No, today we’re talking about the horse-drawn four-wheeled carriage that has been a part of the tourist industry in the cities of Montréal and Québec. This is an eye-opening topic, if you have not yet heard of the plight of the carriage horse. Glad now that we never took that carriage ride, well what –  twenty years ago in Montréal? But, still. And through the surface of charm and romance we’d probably have thought anyway, “But is the horse happy?” You know how it is when you get that feeling that you’ve bought into something fake, something glossy on the surface but behind the scenes, “not so much.” So, in many cities the use of the carriage horse has already been banned, while in other places the fight continues. Below, a couple of excellent websites:

Anti-Calèche Defense Coalition

Horses Without Carriages

On to the postcard….

After some online digging we found that our card originated from a Real Photo Postcard:  One is currently showing on eBay, “The Old World Caleche, Quebec, P. Q.,” published by S. J. Hayward, 1448 Mountain St., Montréal, and dated by the sender in 1931. The photo itself could have been taken earlier. In addition to our tinted version there is a second colorized rendition from Toronto publisher, The Post Card & Greeting Card Company, Ltd., as shown below, second from left, top row, in some images from a Google search.

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Sources:  Calèche. The Canadian Encyclopedia. (accessed March 18, 2017).

Calèche. n.d. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cal%C3%A8che (accessed March 18, 2017).

“A Trip to Quebec.” Christian Watchman (Boston, MA) Thursday, October 10, 1850. p. 4. (GenealogyBank.com)

Hunter, Fred. “The Blue Velvet Bonnet – A Parisian Tale.” Flag of Our Union (Boston, MA) Saturday, March 31, 1949. p. 4. (GenealogyBank.com)

“Images of caleche bonnet.” Cropping of Google.com search result. https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+caleche+bonnet&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8. (accessed March 18, 2017).

“Old World Caèche Montreal Quebec Canada 1931.” ebay.com http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/Old-World-Caleche-MONTREAL-Quebec-Canada-1931-S-J-Hayward-Postcard-3874-/192109228919?hash=item2cba9a3377:g:j~cAAOSwEzxYdbBK(accessed March 18, 2017).

“Images of Quebec postcards calèche.” Cropping of Google.com search result. https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+cal%C3%A8che+postcards+quebec&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6_9-rwODSAhUQ32MKHYs4Bf0QsAQIGQ&biw=1205&bih=522. (accessed March 16, 2017).

Bundled Up For The Cold

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, circa 1910s. CYKO stamp box.

Price:  $4.00

This particular style of CYKO stamp box enjoyed a pretty broad range, from about 1904 to the 1920s per Playle.com. Presuming with the divided back it would start at 1907 at the earliest, but I think the most likely time-frame for the photo might be the 1910s. The children look to be between about two and four years old, posing outside on the top porch step with wooden door behind them. The little guy wears a button-down wool sweater with dark contrasting band at the neck, cuffs and below the waist (the latter giving the sweater that tunic effect) short pants, high leather boots, mittens and a striped knit cap. The little girl wears some type of raised pile or plush coat that falls halfway below the knee, slightly puffed at the shoulder seam, leggings and hat of the same material and mittens. We’re guessing the ribbon bow was part of the bonnet, after seeing similar styles on Pinterest for a 1915 Sears & Roebuck ad.

Needham Mass, Ice Storm, Nov. 28, 1921

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Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Cyko stamp box. November 28, 1921, Needham, Massachusetts.

Price:  $10.00

Here’s another weather-related post, and well, someone thought this storm newsworthy, to make a postcard from their photo; we just didn’t see anything in historical newspaper accounts (online anyway). Probably there would be something in a local library about this ice storm. That’s a 2-story wood-shingle siding house there on our right, with another house next to it, which we barely glimpse through the trees. What a beautiful place to live this must have been, in any weather.

Funny Guy In Top Hat

funny-guy-in-top-hat-pc1funny-guy-in-top-hat-pc2

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1918.

Price:  $15.00

Another great comic one, this time of the chuckle and guffaw variety. And at first I thought that this might be the same man as in the last post, but no.

So, the set up for this photo reminds one of the “head-in-the-hole” type, sometimes called “end-of-the pier” painted board photos, but it’s not the same thing. For this one, it looks like there was the board or sheet with the painting on it, and our subject with top hat and cigar put his chin over the neck area, and then another sheet, or board or what have you, was placed behind him, the photo was taken and then any needed touch-up work was done by the photographer. You can see that the area under the cigar and just above his collar on our right, looks like it’s been painted in. The cigar and smoke seem to have been enhanced a little, too.