The Romantic Road By Guy Rawlence

Divided back, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked August 8, 1910, England. Artist:  Wilmot Lunt. City of postmark unknown.

Price:  $30.00

The postcard artist

The beautiful artwork for this postcard is that of the frontispiece (the page adjacent to the title page of a book) and is signed Wilmot Lunt. He was Samuel Wilmot Lunt (1856 – 1939) painter and cartoonist, and was also the illustrator for R. D. Blackmore’s Lorna Doone. For more on Lunt see James Malone Farrell’s article,  “Keeping the Home Folks Laughing”  published in Cartoons Magazine, July 1918.

The reverse of the card shows:

“This book is by a cousin of mine and it would be so kind if you would ask for it in your Library. It is really quite readable and he is anxious[?] to [?] know[?] as it is his first book. Love, D. D.”

Addressed to:   “W.[?] Arthur Dolphin[?]  The College, Durham”

A great find

This postcard turns out to have been a pretty neat find:  It’s not in the best of shape but is seemingly rare, the only one found so far, plus the note to the addressee contains a little insight regarding the author’s feelings, according to his cousin, about the release of his first book. Some of the sender’s handwriting is difficult to read, but I think the word there is “anxious” rather than “curious” and who would not be anxious regarding the reception of their first major work?

Armchair research

It’s a little surprising (same for the postcard artist) that there is no Wikipedia or similar type entry yet on the author; we found mention of over twenty titles to his credit. Our web post here will not be in-depth, as that would require much more research, so we’ll just offer instead bits and pieces gleaned from the usual sources, including an article we found in which the author is quoted. But it’s fascinating how a little fact-finding can get the imagination going….while pulling up bits of information one pictures pieces of a puzzle starting to take shape. For instance, for me, I’m surmising Guy Lawrence liked dogs (therefor I like him) as he did at least four books about dogs, Doings In Dogland (1905), Biffin & Buffin (1934), Tob and His Dog (1938) and Bob et Bobby (1963) the latter being in french, and written with Julianna Ewing. But then after coming across an ad for sheepdog-training that stressed the necessity of correct instruction (the working dog would be vital to the livestock holder) next to a mention of James Rawlence, Esq., Guy’s grandfather, agriculturist and livestock breeder, it hit me that Guy probably grew up around dogs. Not that this is any great revelation, or not that one wouldn’t have assumed this anyway, but at this point this “dog” puzzle piece became something specific to the whole picture; it shimmered into view, and that seemed charming. But, I guess the bottom line is that our imagination about someone else’s life tells us, for sure, something about ourselves, and possibly, if we’ve intuited correctly, something about the person in question.

Guy Rawlence (1888 – 1971)

Edward Guy Rawlence was born March 10, 1888, baptized May 10, 1888 in Wilton, Wiltshire County, England, son of James Edward Rawlence, whose occupation at the time was given as auctioneer, and Constance (maiden name Vivian) Rawlence. That’s livestock auctioneer for J. E. Rawlence, as J. E.’s father (Guy’s grandfather) was James Rawlence, a very prominent land agent, agriculturist and livestock breeder in the area. Judging from a number of newspaper articles, Guy Rawlence’s stories received mostly positive reviews. The Romantic Road, published in 1910, was found mentioned in the following “snippet” view in the publication, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Vol. 34, and informs us that this book about a “girl highwayman” was well-reviewed and the story setting was largely in the author’s backyard. Rawlence would have been about twenty-two when it was published.

Prior to 1910, we found mention of a short story, The White Cavalier, circa 1905, and as previously stated, the children’s book Doings in Dogland (1905). The Highwayman, published in 1911, may have been, judging by the date, Rawlence’s second novel. Click the link to see the eBook.

Below, we were happy to come across this article, in which the author is quoted, from The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, IL) July 1, 1927.

Gushing reviews for Three Score & Ten, appeared in London’s The Observer, October 16, 1924.

Another book we’d like to read, in addition to the above, per the review that appeared in The Observer, November 17, 1935.

Sources:  Lunt, Wilmot 1856 – 1939. https://www.artbiogs.co.uk/1/artists/lunt-wilmot (accessed November 5, 2018).

Farrell, James Malone. “Keeping the Home Folks Laughing.”  Cartoons Magazine, Vol. 14. July 1918.

Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre; Chippenham, Wiltshire, England; Reference Number: 1873/1. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007.

“Rawlence, Guy 1888 – ” http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n50-54036/ (accessed November 5, 2018).

James Rawlence obituary. Goddard, Edward. H. (ed.) The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Vol. 27. June 1894. p. 70.

“The Romantic Road.” The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 1910, Vol. 34. p. 641. Snippet view, Google.com.

Rawlence, Guy. “The White Cavalier.”  The Idler:  An Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Vol. 28. October 1905 – March 1906. (Google ebook.)

Rawlence, Guy. The Highwayman. New York:  W. J. Watt & Co., 1911. (Google ebook.)

“Guy Rawlence.” The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, IL) July 1, 1927. Friday, p. 16. (Newspapers.com).

“Three Score & Ten.” The Observer (London, England). October 16, 1924. Thursday, p. 4. (Newspapers.com).

“Mother Christmas.” The Observer (London, England). November 17, 1935. Sunday, p. 9. (Newspapers.com).

St. James Park, London, April 1953

Photo, London, England. April 25, 1953.

Price:  $2.00           Size:  2 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/4″

Posing next to a bed of tulips is a beautiful young woman, St. James Park, London, England, April 25, 1953. What was crossed off on the back? I’ve looked with a magnifying glass and enlarged the scanned image but am unable to tell.

Aileen Johnston, Liverpool, 1945

Photo, white border. Liverpool, England, 1945. Velox (Kodak) photographic paper.

Price:  $4.00          Size:  About 3 and 1/8 x 2 and 1/8″

Beauty in the wheat fields….

Aileen Johnston, a stunner with a beautiful smile, posing somewhere outside of Liverpool, England.This photo was taken in 1945, right at the end of WWII, maybe in August or September, according to the wheat harvest. It’s always so nice (unusual!) to have a name, date and a location on the back of an old snapshot.

An Old Outbuilding

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1907 – 1910s.

Price:  $4.00    

Rural America….a glimpse back

This postcard’s pretty beat up but still, or probably partly because of that, I love it. I love the pattern in the wooden shingles on the face of the, what would one call this, big shed? (Guess that’s why outbuilding works so well 😉 ) Maybe it was used for storage, or was once a chicken coop, though no evidence of chickens at this time. If you click to enlarge, and look inside, you can see what looks like a patchwork quilt covering up something. I love the window that looks like it was thrown together (sorry to whoever built it) and the short boards underneath the one end to make it all somewhat level. (Was it built that way or shored up later after heavy rains?) And last but not least, the young woman, laughing, the little girl with her toy wheeled cart, and their dog (caught in the middle of a bark or a yawn.) It’s a happy photo, and a glimpse back a hundred years or so, of life on the farm.

Mrs. Frederick Mason

Silhouette dated 1935, artist-signed.

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

A beautiful little silhouette of a Mrs. Frederick Mason done in 1935. The signature of the “scissor artist” appears to be F. Castelhun, but we couldn’t find any reference to an artist by this name, or under the possible name of Castelton. Note the faint oval outline surrounding the figure, indicating that this elegant piece was once in a frame.

George A. Drew’s Jewelry Store Trade Card

Trade card, 1882 – 1883, Lewiston, Maine.

Price:  $12.00      Size:  2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/2″

I was picturing someone searching the web for a photo or illustration of this jeweler’s store, thinking they’d found it, all excited, only to find this trade card (beautiful though it is and a wonderful find.) Hence, the long post title (which made me think of Bob Dylan’s lyric, “It’s your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat.” Goofy sometimes, the associations we come up with 🙂 ).

The front of the card shows an illustration of a young woman in bathing attire with hand shading brow and looking off into the distance, alongside the title of “Old Reliable.”  I’m thinking it must have been second nature to the artists that designed trade cards, but note the nice 3-D effect on this one with the insert of the girl, and overlapping that, the insert for the jeweler (associating himself with the term “Old Reliable”) and then the artistically arranged cutting of some type of flower draped over both (with shadows drawn in). The store’s address is given as  “No. 93 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, Me.”

Find the typo

The back advertises:  “George A. Drew, dealer in Watches, Diamons, Jewelry, Silver & Plated Ware, Spectacles & Eye-glasses. Sole Agent for Hand Engraved and Silver Plated ware, something new and beautiful, also Agent for Rock Crystal Spectacles, the best in the world. Fine Watch work a specialty, Watches Cleaned and Warranted for $1.00. 93 Lisbon St., Lewiston, ME.”

Reliable and reliably on Lisbon

George A. Drew was born in Maine, about 1836. On the 1870 Federal Census for Lewiston, he appears with his wife Alice and their children, Nellie and Fred. City directories for a twenty-year span, show five different addresses on Lisbon. Note the 1893 address below doesn’t match the one on the card.

1874 to 1880 at 83 Lisbon

1883 at 131 Lisbon

1885 to 1889 at 93 Lisbon

1891 at 75 Lisbon

1893-4 at 71 Lisbon

Sources:  Year: 1870; Census Place: Lewiston, Androscoggin, Maine; Roll: M593_536; Page: 182B; Family History Library Film: 552035. (Ancestry.com).

Greenough Jones & Co.’s Directory for Lewiston and Auburn, 1874-5, p. 170; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory for 1883, p. 226; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory, 1885, p. 215; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory, 1889, p. 269; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory, 1891, p. 286; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory, 1893-4, p. 301. (Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.)

Lizzie And Mizpah

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1902 – 1910.

Price:  $12.00

“With Love & affection to add to your collection.   Mizpah.   Lizzie.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Dora Dixon, 10 Glenfield St. Glasgow.”

Which young lady in the postcard photo is which, is unknown, but Dora Dixon, was found on the 1901 Scotland Census, listed at the above address, born in England, about 1882, living with her parents, William and Margaret Dixon, and siblings Mary, Elizabeth, John, William, Henry and Robert. Dora in 1901 was age 19 and working as a waitress.

An emotional bond

The given name Mizpah, sometimes spelled Mizpeh, is one we’d never hear before. The word means “watchtower” in Hebrew and denotes an emotional bond between two people who are apart. The ancient settlement of Mizpah is thought to have been in one of two locations, both just north of Jerusalem, though several other possibilities exist. There is also a Mizpah, Montana, New Jersey and Minnesota, as well as a whole category of jewelry which began in the early Victorian Era, and enjoyed a resurgence during WWI. See Michelle Graff’s article on the history of Mizpah jewelry. In the screen shot below you’ll see one or two pieces of Scottish origin, with the thistle, but many more can be found online.

Sources:  Parish: Glasgow St Mungo; ED: 64; Page: 20; Line: 4; Roll: CSSCT1901_276. (Ancestry.com).

Mizpah. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mizpah_(emotional_bond). (accessed July 15, 2018.)

Mizpah in Benjamin. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mizpah_in_Benjamin. (accessed July 22, 2018).

Graff, Michelle. “The History Behind … Mizpah jewelry.” (https://www.nationaljeweler.com/independents/2059-the-history-behind-mizpah-jewelry). Accessed July 29, 2018.

“images of mizpah jewelry” Google.com search, July 22, 2018.

Sidewinders

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

Price:  $3.00

I couldn’t get the title of this post out of my head for possible names. Not to liken the two beautiful ladies to rattlesnakes (of all things!) And then not to say that rattlesnakes are not beautiful (though understandably not wishing to encounter one, except for maybe at a nice distance) but it’s their hairstyles:  the hair wound into a side bun for each, and a very elegant style it is. Both have a glittering hair clip as an accent. Guessing the two women might be sisters.

Down In The Holler

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, postmarked February 23, 1917, Dundee, New York.

Price:  $12.00

“Dear Brother, Wish you a happy Washing tub day also a happy birthday. I am down in the holler and am doomed to stay, by the looks at present. I suppose you have lots of snow there we have not. I am teaching today or rather am going to and as it is about time to go I will quit my scribling . Excuse pencil. Your little sister as shown on the other side. L.”

Addressed to:   “Mr. Stanley B. Todd, 127 Middlesex Roads, Rochester N. Y.”

Washing tub day, February 23rd (just kidding)

We could not find any reference to an official “washing tub day” therefor, just evidence of the sender’s sense of humor. She is Lucy J. Todd, the young woman on our right in the photo, and I’m thinking she’d be laughing if she saw me searching for this “official day” online. (Hope she is getting a chuckle out of it, wherever she is.)

Lucy J. Todd

Lucy was born in New York, about 1895. The 1920 Federal Census for Barrington, Yates County, NY, shows her occupation as teacher. She’s staying with her parents, Charles H. and Lucinda A. (Sheppard) Todd, along with Lucy’s brother, the recipient of the postcard, Stanley B. Todd. He’s about five years older than she; Stanley was born in New York, February 23, 1890.

Heirloom day

The girl in the photo, on our left, is unknown, maybe a student? The location the card was sent from, had been a mystery, until finding the following newspaper article, mentioning Lucy Todd, a teacher in Dundee (Yates County, NY). Ahhhh, it’s Dundee! Lucy is mentioned below as the owner of an old trunk that was covered in buffalo hide which was held on by over 500 brass tacks….

Sources:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Barrington, Yates, New York; Roll: T625_1281; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 189. (Ancestry.com).

“Many Rare Heirlooms Brought To Notice.” Star-Gazette (Elmira, NY). March 24, 1917. Saturday, p. 14. (Newspapers.com).

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 14 July 2018), memorial page for Stanley Benajah Todd (23 Feb 1890–6 Mar 1972), Find A Grave Memorial no. 121615568, citing Lakeview Cemetery, Penn Yan, Yates County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Kathleen Oster (contributor 47973435).

Lottie Bather On The Right

Old photo, cardboard mounting. Photographer unknown. Circa 1890s.

Price:  $6.00           Size of photo:  About 2 and 3/4 x 3 and 7/8″  Size including frame:  About 5 x 6 and 3/4″

Lottie Bather (on our right) and friend or relative:  The two ladies appear in uniforms; they are housemaids or perhaps nurses, and this photo was probably taken in the 1890s, note the wider sleeves (than the 1880 decade) and the Gibson Girl hairstyles. We searched census records for Lottie or Charlotte and even Lollie, as well as possible spelling variations for what appears to be Bather, but nothing definitive was found. But it’s a lovely photo, and you might have noticed the bottom right corner being raised just a tad. Yep, we looked underneath, ever so slightly, but no inkling of writing appears.