Holiday Ice Skater

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  P. F. Volland & Co., Chicago and New York. Copyright 1917.

Price:  $7.00

“To extend

the greetings of the season

and to wish you

a happy and prosperous

New Year.”

An illustration of a very stylishly dressed young lady, ice skating amidst whirling snow. You wonder who the artist was and whether we have, unbeknownst to us, seen their work before. Because this is such a nice one, with a magical quality to it, and I hope the artist was happy with their work (and in general), because he or she has brought us happiness!

The publisher, P. F. Volland & Co. was founded by Paul Frederick Volland.

Source:  P. F. Volland. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._F._Volland_Company (accessed January 5, 2020).

Carl Stockdale and Mary Dowds

Old photo, circa 1900 – 1920s.

Price:  $7.00      Size:  About 3 and 3/4 x 2 and 1/2″

Here’s a great one for New Year’s Eve, a couple of partiers…..even though probably this was not taken in winter. Is that an open window? In any case, it’s Carl Stockdale and Mary Dowds seated on the floor and having a great laugh. We’ll have to research for the possible year according to Mary’s style of dress, for starters. But for now, just to get this one posted…..and Happy New Year!

It’s fun to pick out the details in old photos. Notice the photo within a photo on this one, top right, and the nail pattern in the sole of Carl’s shoe. (Another possible clue for the age of the photo?) And that’s a nice wallpaper pattern and then there’s the beautiful lace on the curtains.

Borealis and Sleigh Ride

Antique circular print. Artist and publisher unknown. Circa 1880s – 1900.

Price for circular print without background:  $5.00        Size:  About 3 and 3/4″ across.

This was just a circular cutout from somewhere, that someone had saved, back in the day. It had made its way to one of the paper fairs or maybe an antique store, I don’t remember. The top and bottom had gotten a little scrunched but you can’t notice it in the image. And in looking for a background to scan it on (always a fun search!) I noticed our wall calendar for this year which was all photos of the Aurora Borealis. So, I got kind of enamored of the idea of this couple, and their team and sleigh, sort of floating in space in a sky of magical Borealis colors and lights (What would be the translation into music? Surely something so beautiful!)

And note in the closeup below, the carved figurehead with draping wings of what is probably a peacock. Searching online we find that there were many stunningly ornate sleighs crafted in prior centuries, including those with figureheads. Click here to see some examples that others have posted.

Source:   Google.com search result for “ornate antique open air sleighs with figureheads.” Accessed 12/29/19.

Lorraine Bossé

Photo, circa 1940s.

Price:  $10.00       Size:  About 2 and 3/8 x 3 and 1/2″

Another stunning beauty……Lorraine Bossé, in an unmistakably 1940s hairstyle, long, in waves and parted on the side, wearing embroidered blouse lapels and a cross pendant over a dark sweater. This may have been a high school graduation photo or taken not long afterward. A potential match in records shows a Marie Marguerite Lorraine Bossé baptized in 1928 in Québec City.

Possible source:  Institut Généalogique Drouin; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Drouin Collection; Author: Gabriel Drouin, comp. (Ancestry.com).

Marguerite

Photo, circa 1920 – 1930s.

Price:  $5.00        Size:  About 3 and 1/4 x 4 and 5/8″

Continuing on with a French-Canadian theme (after a brief Thanksgiving/autumn interlude), here’s another that was found loose in a bin at the Vintage Paper Fair in San Francisco…..a portrait of a young woman in a waved bob hairstyle, pearl necklace and wide-lapel coat with braid appliqué on the darker collar. We’re unsure what the fabric for the coat was made from, but it was something elegant, note the shimmer where the light is reflecting on our right. And there’s no writing or other identifying information on the back, she is simply, the beautiful………Marguerite.

Photo Op By The Lake

Vintage photo, circa 1950s.

Price:  $4.00       Size:  About 3 and 3/8 x 2″

Maybe Michigan, probably 1950s

An African-American family possibly taken in Michigan, where the photo was found. Were they on their way out to breakfast or church? Was the location a vacation spot for them or taken near home or were they visiting relatives? We’ll probably never know unless by some amazing serendipitous event someone’s browsing and happens to recognize these people. Not unheard of. I’ve been reading Henry Z. “Hank” Jones, Jr.’s Psychic Roots, Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy.”  If you do family research, for example, chances are excellent that you can recount multiple instances of that feeling of “being led” to a spectacular find. Or, on the opposite side, if you sell or post family photos or other items you may have a story of someone walking into your store and finding their relatives’ “lost” family album, or seeing someone happen upon a postcard that they themselves had written and mailed fifty years ago. In our talks with sellers we’ve heard a surprising number of such accounts. The kind that make your hair stand up on the back of your neck (in a good way!). Here’s one from my family:

Serendipity in Montréal

Maybe fifteen or twenty years ago, I’ve forgotten by now, I was with some family members vacationing in Montréal. Sitting on the beds in the motel we were trying to figure out what to do for the day, looking at brochures. I was drawn to the one on the Pointe-à-Callière Museum and felt we “had to” go there, that it was important to go. In one of the exhibits we saw an artist’s rendition of a mother holding a child. Standing in front of this drawing I had a strong urging to take a photo. Immediately the thought came into my head,  “Why? It’s not like you’re related to her or anything.”  Ahhh, but as you’ve guessed 🙂 she (beautiful Charlotte, specifically Marie Charlotte Gloria dit Roch or DesRoches) turned out to be, not just any relative necessarily, but mine and my siblings’ 6th-great grandmother. (See Collections archéologiques for a photo of the handle of a tool? with Charlotte’s name carved on it. This was one of many artifacts that had been uncovered at the site of what is called “the birthplace of Montréal” and what later became the museum.) Now, at that point I hadn’t yet researched that particular line, and had never even come across her name. It was not till a few years later, while searching my Dufour side online, and “climbing the tree” by finding my direct ancestor Pierre Dufour that there, lo and behold, was his wife, Charlotte Roch. Wait, what??? (Jaw-dropping, falling out of chair.) Not the end of the story, though. For about a week after that, what seemed like every time I got into the car, I heard Chuck Berry’s, “You Never Can Tell” either just playing or as the next offering by the d.j. You know the lyrics, ♪ “It was a teenage wedding and the old folks wished them well. You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle.” ♪ True, Pierre was not a teenager when they wed, and though Charlotte was, that was not unusual in the least at that time, but it was the true love part that seemed to be the point of what felt like a message bridging “time.” (What is time? 😉 ) Records show that Pierre and Charlotte had eleven kids and, of course, have many many descendants. Notable is the birthplace of their second child. Their first was born in Montréal, and the youngest nine in Detroit. But the baptismal record (all are in French) for their second child, Marie Charlotte Dufour, states she was born in the  “8yattenons.”  (French-Canadian priests sometimes wrote a number to denote a sound or abbreviate a word, for instance “7bre” for septembre, which by the way, can be confusing when reading the record, the digit 7 but the 9th month!) The appellation 8yattenons was used for Fort Ouiatenon. This has been verified in other unrelated records, and the fact that Pierre was a soldier when he and his young family left Montréal adds credibility to daughter Charlotte having been born at or near this fort. Well, this ended up to be a lengthy sidetrack off the subject of this post, that of the vintage photo from the 1950s, yikes! But definitely, if you’d like to share your own stories of the serendipity-amazing luck-small world type we’d love to hear them.

Back to the photo…..

Amazing how every photo transmits so much. An everyday moment maybe, but no less special, as when we look we see the smiles, and the grace and humor, maybe get a sense of the struggles, and yet the joy, in a backdrop, no, make that of a oneness with, a particular place and time, and somehow in total it all washes over us like a blessing…. No identifying info on the back, but maybe we’re looking at a photo of a husband and wife and mother or auntie or older sister of either? All three are very stylish. Love the striped tie on the gentleman. I think of him as Clarence (heehee, he’s likely laughing somewhere now). There’s the flashy belt the older woman wears that’s caught the lens light……there’s the very chic pose of the younger woman, and….her skirt. Check out the pattern on the fabric, a surprise and a delight:  Chickens!

Gloria LoVasco, Detroit 1940s

Vintage photo, early 1940s.

Price:  $7.00         Size:  About 1 and 1/2 x 2 and 5/8″

One last summery photo before we start moving into autumn…..beautiful Miss Gloria LoVasco (also seen as Lo Vasco and Lovasco) of 3839 French Rd in Detroit. This small photo was probably given to a friend back in the day, estimating early 1940s, but almost seventy years later had been waiting to be rediscovered in a bin at an antique store. The 3839 French Road address, now a vacant residential lot, lies just north, less than two miles, from the Detroit River and Belle Isle, so, that might be the River in the background. (Note the picnic basket on the bottom left. Looks like it was a fun day!)

As for the surname, the 1940 Federal Census for Gloria and her family shows the LoVascos were of Italian descent and then a quick search for the name origin of Vasco indicates a name used for someone from the Basque region (in Northern Spain). It would be interesting to see if the family had a Basque connection going further back.

Sources:  Year: 1940; Census Place: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan; Roll: m-t0627-01849; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 84-286. (Ancestry.com).

Vasco name meaning. https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=vasco. (accessed 09/29/19).

Our Dear Deer Friend

Vintage photo, circa 1920s – 1940s.

Price:  $5.00           Size:  About 3 and 1/8 x 2 and 3/8″

Outside of a cedar-shingled, hotel, we presume, two women and a deer enjoy a visit while in the background a man and young boy appear to be in the middle of a handshake. I like the light reflecting off of those velvet-y antlers, and the surprise of that hefty tree trunk immediately in front of one of the windows. Good for viewing ants from that room, and which came first, the tree or the building?

Mrs. Minnie Perreault

Old photo, circa 1930s, white border.

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

Continuing with a very short theme of “woman with oar or paddle” 🙂 here’s a photo circa 1930s, and we’re guessing (though not certain) that the woman in the canoe is the “Mrs. Minnie Perreault” as written on the back. She was the wife of Ludger Perreault, and their address given is 479 Ann St., Hartford, CT. The 1930 Federal Census for Hartford shows them at this address, along with their daughter Lillian, age 9, with several lodgers living also in the household. This photo was found in a box of loose photos at the vintage paper fair recently visited in San Francisco.

Source:  Year: 1930; Census Place: Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0039; FHL microfilm: 2339999. (Ancestry.com).

Girl With Boat Oar

Lithograph, printing company unknown. Circa 1870s – 1890s.

Price:  $6.00       Size:  1 and 3/8 x 2 and 3/4″

Nothing printed on the back but one assumes this small card may have been part of a series, maybe of seaside scenes or women in regional dress or bathing attire. And it’s a colorful outfit she wears:  peach skirt, sleeveless top with wide vertical stripes in wine and light blue. And the lighter rose-colored material that encircles her hips, is this part of the skirt or top? Note the emblem of some sort on the skirt, and the peach tam o’shanter hat. Was that a mistake by the printer to have that line going from the hat to behind the girl’s back? And we can’t also help but wonder at the small landmark (like something manmade – a statue perhaps) that appears on the distant horizon; as if this card was fashioned after a specific location, somewhere well-known to the lithographer but that leaves us in the dark today. Lots of questions without answers on this one but maybe that’s part of it’s charm!