Greetings And Heaps Of Good Luck

Christmas card, publisher and date unknown. Circa 1900s – 1930s.

Price:  $4.00       Size:  About 3 and 1/4 x 4 and 1/4″

In looking up Christmas pudding images we linked to a lovely website (one of many, for sure, but we stopped at the one) with a recipe, and discovered an unlooked-for but welcome answer to the full meaning behind the title of the card:  A silver coin or trinket was traditionally baked into the dessert and whoever found it was supposed to be granted good luck. How nice that the children are offering the dessert to Santa (a skinny Santa, at that). And he must be taking a break from deliveries, as he still has toys spilling out of his very full bag of goodies. Back to the pudding – not a pudding in the American sense, but in the British use of the word (a dish, either savory or sweet, that’s steamed or boiled in something). In this case, a steamed cake made weeks ahead with dried fruit and spices…..then topped with brandy and set aflame (remember the scene in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol?) then topped off with cream sauce and garnished with holly.

Sources:   “Traditional British Christmas Pudding (a Make Ahead, Fruit and Brandy Filled, Steamed Dessert).” December 3, 2016. (www.christinascucina.com).

Nelson, Libby. “British desserts, explained for Americans confused by the Great British Baking Show.” November 29, 2015. (www.vox.com).

A Folk Victorian Home, About 1910

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Unused. KRUXO stamp box. Circa 1908 – 1910.

Price:  $10.00

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this house style is Folk Victorian. Two such features are the lace-like decorative spandrels (side-brackets) that help form the archways on the front porch and porch posts that are either turned spindles, or in this case, square with chamfered (beveled) corners. Enlarge the image twice to see the detailing. The thing that seemed weird at first, to me anyway, is that each porch support appears to rest on a short and very narrow piece. Seems like that would be the opposite of what any builder would want to do. However, I’ve been informed that those narrow pieces are likely steel secured from below and going up into each post. The advantage is that rain won’t collect as in a wood-on-wood situation, won’t pool underneath and rot the deck and won’t wick up to create rot in the wooden posts . Smart builder and/or designer!

Other details: We see part of a barn on our right, behind the house, and part of maybe an outbuilding on our left. And….not really noticeable at first, there’s a little boy in one of the windows! Too bad there is no identifying information on the back of the card, but it’s such a nice house, looking brand new, and so charming, almost like a doll house that was just set down on someone’s farmland.

The estimate of the postcard date was determined from scrutiny of the KRUXO stamp box examples online at Playle.com. (Two examples are really similar but I think ours is like the one Playle’s has dated 1908 to 1910.)

Sources:  McAlester, Virginia, and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. 1984. New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1990. Print.

Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes. K-L. Playle.com. (accessed December 12, 2020).

Hilton Graham, Rydene Johnson and Ronald Walling

Divided back, unused Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box. Circa 1913.

Price:  $15.00

Pals and neighbors….

From the 1910 Federal Census for Durand, Winnebago County, Illinois:  Hilton Graham, son of John H. and Nellie Graham, was born in Illinois, about 1908; Rydene Johnson, son of Elof and Julia M. Johnson, was born in Illinois, about 1904; and Ronald D. Walling, son of Laura Walling, was born in England, about 1902. We’re judging Hilton to have been about five years old in this photo, thus estimating the date it was taken as about 1913. Hilton and Rydene appear on the same census page and Ronald on the next page over.

Source:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Durand, Winnebago, Illinois; Roll: T624_336; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0142; FHL microfilm: 1374349. (Ancestry.com)

George Paden, Sardis OH

Old photograph, white border, circa 1920 – 1921.

Price:  $8.00            Size:  2 and 1/2 x 3 and 3/8″

We’re estimating George was four or five years old here, so cute in his double-breasted checked coat and white hat. The house across the “street” is likely George’s paternal grandparents’ George E. and Catherine (Kate) Paden’s house, per the 1910 and 1920 Federal Census records for Lee Township, OH. Sardis is in southeastern Lee Township, Monroe County. George is the son of Clyde Paden and Martha (Mattie) Dunn.

Sources:  The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Pennsylvania, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1896. (Ancestry.com).

Marriage Records. Pennsylvania Marriages. Various County Register of Wills Offices, Pennsylvania. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Lee, Monroe, Ohio; Roll: T625_1419; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 52. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Lee, Monroe, Ohio; Roll: T624_1219; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0155; FHL microfilm: 1375232. (Ancestry.com).

Mrs. Monika Urbanski and Grandaughter Mary Ann Ferguson, 1942

Vintage photograph, white border dated November 8, 1942

Price:  $10.00            Size:  About 3 and 1/4 x 4 and 1/2″

“11-8-42    Mrs. Monika Urbanske      granddaughter Mary Ann Ferguson. Now Mrs. K. Shiflett.”

I thought I had a Thanksgiving card waiting to get put up for this year. Hmmm, well, no – but I like this grandmother/granddaughter one for the holiday. It reminds me of baking pies for Turkey Day (it’s probably the apron that does it) and then just being with family. Mary Ann would have been eight years old when this picture was taken. The photograph seems vivid even though in black and white (love b & w photos!) with those expressions, and then the patterns – plaid (hair bow), stripes, flower prints….the tree branches in the background.

Mary Ann Ferguson, born August 1934 in Washington, DC, was the daughter of James Scott Ferguson and Mary Elizabeth Urbanski. Mary Ann’s second marriage was to Kenneth Shiflett.

Monika (Lubiewski) Urbanski, born in Poland, about 1867, was the daughter of Joseph Lubiewski and Francisca Buszkiewcz. She married Boleslaw William Urbanski.

Sources:  Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia, Marriages, 1936-2014; Roll: 101168604. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com family trees. (accessed November 25, 2020).

 

Young Woman With Bow, Circa 1900 – 1910

 

Small photograph, circa 1900 – 1910

Price:  $7.00          Size:  About 1 and 5/8 x 1 and 5/8″

It was so distracting to look at this original because the cropping of the actual photo was so off-kilter, so I cropped it and then ended up cleaning it up, somewhat, in Photoshop. This would be a really nice one, if professionally re-done. There is no name on the back, just evidence that it came from someone’s old photo album. And who was the lovely young woman? We’ll probably never know but we get a sense that she was bright, maybe working-class, a teacher perhaps, or maybe this was a school (or school-era) picture and she was in college. The camera seems to have caught a little sadness or perhaps it’s wistfulness in the look. She wears her hair up, in a style common in the Edwardian Era, and wears a large, dark bow, a brooch at its center, and a round pendant or locket suspended from a chain.

Dutch Woman In Traditional Headdress

Postcard, unused. Photographer:  A. W. Verschoore de la Hoiussaye. Lange Vorststraat – Goes. Telf 44. Platen blijven voor nabestelling bewaard. Circa late 1910s – 1920s.

Price:  To be determined

That last line above, in the photographer’s information on the reverse, translates to “Records will be kept for reordering.” Lange Vorststraat, is the name of the street (literally translating to “long frost street”) in the city of Goes, province of Zeeland, Netherlands.

Photographer Adriaan Willem Verschoore de la Hoiussaye (sometimes spelled Houssaije) was born November 18, 1896 in either Middelburg or Den Bosch, Netherlands and died August 10, 1981. As of the date of this web post, we’re seeing only one other possible postcard (a digital) example from the website, Saving Photography (wonderful photos on this site, see link below in Sources) but we’ve just reached out to someone who will hopefully be able to help determine this postcard’s potential value.

We see a beautiful young woman (love that direct, soul-searching gaze) in short sleeves with a shoulder wrap of gingham and embroidered border; a carefully arranged bolero necklace fastened with a small, perhaps silver or gold medal; seven strands of possibly coral beads covering her neck; and a white cap fanning out into a grand display of starched lace, framing the subject’s face, and extending all the way past her shoulders – as if the head covering could have been worn down and flowing but, of course, is pulled up and starched to show off the work and identify the location that this young lady was from (or was modeling for). The lacework is gorgeous, no surprise, but click the image twice to enlarge, and you’ll notice some parallel lines running out toward the border on our left, and more lines on our right. Looking at the artist’s patterns – something about them reminds me of angels’ wings or maybe feathers.

I have no idea what the small flag-type things are, one dark, and one light, that are on each side of the woman’s forehead – some part of the traditional costume, it would seem, and maybe they help to fasten the headdress. An expert in the field of traditional folk wear could give us a much better description than I’ve attempted to do here, but I have to say that, were I twenty again (sorry, not trying to cop out on the age thing) I would love to take up this field of study. Maybe as a hobby in upcoming retirement, though!

Sources:  A. W. Verschoore de la Hoiussaye, Dutch Photographer. https://peoplepill.com/people/a-w-verschoore-de-la-houssaye/ (accessed November 17, 2020).

Zeeuws Archief; Den Haag, Nederland; BS Birth. Ancestry.com. Netherlands, Birth Index, 1784-1917.

“Portrait of an unknown lady.” Saving Photography. https://www.nl12.nl/saving-photography/#jp-carousel-3107 (accessed November 17, 2020).

Pornic – Coiffure de l’ancien Temps

Divided back, unused postcard. Series or number 81. Photographer or printer/publisher:  L.L. Circa 1920.

Price:  $7.00

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Alex. Martin. Paris.”

“Dear Mrs. Martin, Many thanks for the lovely card and those you gave to Maman. The old women here are like this one. I will look for some others costumes for in Bretagne there are numerous. Best love from your very affectionate Jeannette.”

By coincidence, the prior post was also signed with “Best love.”  Notable also is the unusual way that Jeannette writes the capital letters M and P. And this card had apparently come from another collection, before making its way to ours, as evidenced by the handwriting “638.  Headdress of older time.”  There’s another postcard site that also has a card of this same design right now, and that one has a particular date in 1920, hence the circa date for ours.

Last, but certainly not least, and without going into great detail, the beautiful woman from Pornic, Brittany, France, featured on this card is decidedly someone you would want to have a conversation with – kind and with a great sense of humor. Which brings up the question – who were the individuals that came to be featured as “types” from a certain area on the numerous cards that had circulated at one time? How did they come to have their photographs taken, and were they always paid for their time by the photographer? Looking into these questions might involve heavy research so we’ll not jump at this bait (tempting, though), but it would be nice to happen across the info at some time or another.

Source:  Pornic. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornic (accessed November 14, 2020).

Café de Flore, Paris

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1920s. Publisher/printer:  Patras, 9 av. Marguerite, A Boulogne-Sèine, France.

Price:  $7.00

….un chocolat chaud et un croissant, s’il vous plaît.

We’re taking a mini-virtual vacation to the Café Flore (Flora Café), 172 boulevard St-Germain, for some relaxation and conversation – back to what appears to be the 1920s. After much clicking on videos recently, I’m taken with the idea that we could push the play button and have this scene come to life (!) But enlarge to get your imagination going on the stories evolving…..There’s the group of men on our left, one in uniform; the couple; the two girlfriends deep conversation; the two separate gentlemen in hats and overcoats; the woman with her young daughter, waiting for traffic to clear; the group of three who appear to have been caught in a delighted chance encounter; the man with hands in pockets at the curb; the man with the briefcase looking as if he’s hailing a cab; the others in blur, caught in motion, and those in the background or partial shadow; and last but not least, the contented-looking young woman at the second story window, arms folded, surveying the scene below.

Young Woman In Hanover, Pennsylvania

Photograph by John G. Feeser, Hanover, PA. Circa 1880s.

Size of photo:  About 4 x 6″       Size including cardboard frame:  About 5 x 7″

These are digital images, front and back, graciously donated by one of our readers. The family name that might belong to this beautiful young lady may be from among the following:

-Smith
-Myers
-Beitzel
-Underwood
-Wilt

Here’s to hoping someone will recognize this woman. But in any case, this is a lovely portrait showing wonderful details:  We wonder if this was taken for a special event, evidenced by the corsage of roses she wears on the left lapel of her coat, with its two large buttons perched on the other lapel. In peering at an enlargement, the writing on the top button, one feels, is almost readable. Beneath the coat, which is heavily gathered at the shoulders, is a bodice in velvet, gathered at the neck and likely waist, creating soft folds. The bodice is set off by a wide flowery ribbon at the neck, which is tied into a bow in back. Her wavy brown hair is parted down the middle, and is probably long but gathered up from behind. She gazes slightly up to her right, from clear blue or green eyes, underneath straight brows.