Bronze Lion’s Head

Divided back, unused postcard. Photographer:  Guido Bernardi, Genzano di Roma, Italy. Circa 1920s – 1930s. 

Price:  $15.00

A nice lion! Look at those eyes, they look human.

Genzano di Roma is a town and commune in the city of Rome, Italy – and the apparent home base for the photographer. We don’t know if he had a formal studio or may have worked out of a residence. Nothing, of note, was found for him, bearing in mind, we’re looking only from our limited vantage point here in the United States, without access to much in the way of Italian records. The wording on the reverse, “Proprieta artistica riservata”, translates to “Reserved artistic property.”

The card bears the description,  “Lago Di Nemi – Bronze di nave roma a.”  Lago di Nemi is Lake Nemi, located south of Rome.

And we found a better source for our postcard image on Wikipedia, showing a different view of the lion:

Decorazione bronzo navi di Nemi with the description:  “Navi di Nemi. Elemento decorativo in bronzo per testa di trave, rappresentante una testa di leone che stringe fra i denti un anello.”

Google translation: “Ships of Nemi. Bronze decorative element for beam head, representing a lion’s head clutching a ring between its teeth.”

Sources:  Genzano di Roma. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genzano_di_Roma (accessed July 12, 2024).

Lake Nemi. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Nemi (accessed July 12, 2024).

Decorazione bronzo navi di Nemi – Museo scienza e tecnologia Milano Nemi. n.d. https://it.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Decorazione_bronzo_navi_di_Nemi_-_Museo_scienza_e_tecnologia_Milano_Nemi_156.jpg (accessed July 12, 2024).

Link Extinguisher, York, North Yorkshire, England

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Signed. Copyright. Series or number:  6956. Photographer and publisher:  Walter Scott, Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK. Circa 1910 – 1930s.

Price:  $15.00

Link Extinguisher at York

Nice publisher logo on this one (the publisher’s initials). Walter Scott was a Bradford, Yorkshire, UK photographer. We found a listing for him in that city’s directory in 1912 at 2 Barkerend Road; an ad for him in a London newspaper in 1924; and another Real Photo card by him on eBay, with a postmark of 1932. So, estimating 1910 – 1930s for the date manufactured for ours.

The subject of our postcard, the link extinguisher, would have been notable as something rather uncommon – a remnant of an earlier age, before gas street lamps lit the way. The metal cone-shaped object was used to put out the torch carried by link-boys working the streets and servants of households of the more well-to-do.

Below, a clipping from the Manchester Evening News in 1908, regarding a different residence, also noteworthy because of its link extinguisher:

Sources:  Wm Byles & Sons, Ltd. Post Office Directory, Bradford and District Business Guide, 1912. p. 454.(Ancestry.com UK, City and County Directories, 1766 – 1946).

Link-boy. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link-boy (accessed July 10, 2024).

“A Link with the Past.”  Manchester Evening News (Manchester, England). December 4, 1908. Friday, p. 6. (Newspapers.com).

Walter Scott photographer ad. Daily Herald (London, England). January 30, 1924. Wednesday, p. 6. (Newspapers.com).

“Yorkshire Bradford BAILDON c1930s RP Postcard Walter Scott.” https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/174238687742. Accessed July 10, 2024.

Couple in Traditional Costumes, Maybe Greek

Publisher info darkened in Photoshop……

Miscellaneous Card, deckled edge. Copyright 1948. Unknown publisher.

Price:  $5.00

It seems I’ve picked up a lot of cards in the past that likely have little or no resale value, and I’ve been going through some of these (some years later, now – how easily time gets away from us!) but still, it’s always a bit of a thrill, just to see what path you get led down, and the thoughts that ensue.

So for this one:  It’s postcard size but not a postcard, something made for tourists, and with publisher or photographer info on the back – in English, mostly too light to read, except for “Copyright 1948 by”. The next line looks like initial “N” for the given name, and the surname appears to begin “Z-O-G-R-A….” Zographos is a possibility, though the name looks like it ends in N-O-S. The third line is really difficult to read – I keep seeing Hermes, but ha, no, that was one of the Greek gods.

Looking at the shepherd’s clothing for more clues for country of origin, the man’s very wide sleeves and trouser style are similar to some images showing in my Google search result for Greek shepherds, below:

And, currently I’m reading (again) Mary Stewart’s, My Brother Michael, (set in Greece, if you’re not familiar). Her description of an old man, “……beneath it he wore what looked like white cotton jodhpurs bound at the knee with black bands” caught my attention. (Just a small serendipity moment.) I didn’t find a match for our shepherd’s footwear, nor for the woman’s outfit; she, so pretty in long print dress with heavy pleats, large sleeves also, with embroidered border. She’s serving the man a small glass of something, maybe ouzo or mastika. Of course, it’s all totally staged, and too, there’s something about the photo, you kind of get the impression that some of the background was blanked out (they did that sometimes, took out something that didn’t fit). But that’s all just part of the moment – the photographer’s process and the man and woman getting paid to represent a “regional type”.

Sources:  “Images of Greek shepherds in folk costume” Google.com search. Accessed 06/05/24.

Stewart, Mary. (2010). My Brother Michael. Chicago Review Press, Inc. (1959).

Going A’ Milking in Corning, California

Divided back postcard. Postmarked August 17, 1909 from Corning, California. United Art Publishing Co., New York, New York. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $12.00

A happy couple, the man carrying his wife on his shoulder, crossing a stream to get to their cows.

The sender wrote:   “Dear B. J:-   Geo. has gone back to Mexico[?] and my good times are [?] for a while. Jim expects to come up this month some time but don’t know whether there will be any thing to go to or not. Aunt L – is in the City which I presume you know – Aunt M. is not feeling well but think we can manage until Aunt L – returns. Love to all – Joe.”

Ah, 1909, where did you go? This was back in the day when we used the dash after the colon for punctuation (  :-  ) instead of just either/or. (It was the norm; I’m not sure when it changed.) And maybe it’s just me, but I feel like it’s also back in the day when the physique on the husband (in this postcard design) didn’t have to be perfect – just whatever, normal. (Is it just me?) Anyway, a pretty typical postcard for the sender’s remarks – reports of the comings and goings, the social scene expectations, and who is not feeling tip top. George, we imagine, has gone back to do some more mining in Mexico. (Totally my imagination, of course, but I’ve seen this before.) Joe probably works a farm, Auntie L and M are doing the housework. A good life (we hope) in Corning, California.

Addressed to:   “Miss Ethel Chittenden, Box 127 R. F. D. #1, Los Angeles, Cal.”

Ethel M. Chittenden, was born in California in 1887, daughter of Albert Hawley Chittenden and Mary Lucelia (Atwell) Chittenden. A mention in The Corning Daily Observer, dated September 9, 1909, coincides with the postcard’s address:

She married Normal H. Schammell in September of 1910.

Sources:  Corning, California. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corning,_California (accessed May 16, 2024).

Find a Grave. Find a Grave®. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

The Corning Daily Observer, (Corning, California). September 9, 1909, Thursday, p. 8. (Newspapers.com).

The Corning Daily Observer, (Corning, California). September 29, 1910, Thursday, p. 1. (Newspapers.com).

Alice May Stewart’s Birth Announcement

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked September 18, 1912 from Los Angeles, California. Series 702. Publisher unknown. 

Price:  $12.00

A cute design! A happy baby steering the stork in for a landing….

“Mr. & Mrs. Stewart announce with pleasure the birth of Alice May Stewart on Sept. 7th. Weight 6 lbs. at 6:30 p.m.”

On the reverse the mom wrote:  “202 Bay St.      Dear Pinkie a few lines saying I am getting along fine. Baby is fine. Jimmie is very much in love with her. Julia.”

So, Alice May Stewart, born September 7, 1912, is the daughter of James and Julia Stewart. The address from city directories in 1911 and 1913 (nothing for 1912) shows as 2021 Bay St., rather than 202 Bay. James worked as a teamster.

Addressed to:  Mrs. Nettie Corbin. 1362D Valencia St. San Francisco, Cal.”

Nettie M. Corbin, born about 1882, appears on the 1910 Federal Census for San Francisco at 1362 Valencia with her husband, William S. Corbin, born about 1877, and their five-year old son, William Jr. Dad, William, Sr. works for the railroad as a locomotive engineer. All are California natives.

Sources:  Los Angeles City Directory Co.’s Los Angeles City Directory, 1911. p. 1371; 1913, p. 1809. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 35, San Francisco, California; Roll: T624_98; Page: 9a; Enumeration District: 0135; FHL microfilm: 1374111. (Ancestry.com).

To Aunt Cornelia

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Unused, dated July 24, 1913. NOKO stamp box.

Price:  $10.00

A couple in a farming community somewhere in the U. S. pose in front of what may be their home. (Note the lace curtain in the window on our right.) But if this is not their residence it could have been a public meeting house for church services. (The woman is holding a small book, perhaps a prayer book). But the main reason that we might think “church” are the two side-by-side doors on the front of this structure:  It was not uncommon for church services to be segregated, having two separate entrances for men and women. However, old homes also, for many varied reasons, sometimes were built with this two-door design. (See the link below.) Also, notable about the building is that it sits up on blocks.

As for the young couple, (hard-working farmers we imagine, perhaps newly wed) we remark on the fact that the man wears overalls over his shirt and tie. (Are we back to the church theory or is he just dressed up a bit for the photo?) Either way, its pretty charming and adds to the uniqueness of this photo postcard.

Sources:  Kibbel, III, William. “Two Front Doors.” (oldhouseweb.com). Accessed April 2, 2024.

A Happy Easter To Maybell Morgan

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Publisher:  Whitney Made, Worcester, Massachusetts. Made in U.S.A.

Price:  $4.00

Easter, 1927

A Happy Easter

“Songs and flowers and skies of blue

They all come with Easter and

my wish comes too

For Easter gladness”

A cute card to Maybell Morgan from Rosemary:  Three rosy-cheeked children, (their look may remind you of illustrations from England) and an adorable quacking duck, are on a hilltop with daffodils. Appearing from the other side of the hill is a cozy cottage and the silhouette of some trees.

A Leap Year Suggestion

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher unknown. Series or number 887. Made in the U. S. A. Circa mid-1910’s. 

Price:  $12.00

Cute children from a bygone era (we’re thinking 1790’s – 1810’s). A court ball gown for the girl, the boy in tailcoat and trousers with heel straps. Of course, not historically accurate – the artist just tying in the ball attire idea with the gent wanting to “get the ball rolling”.

A Leap Year Suggestion….

“Wonder why you don’t start somethin’

This is leap year don’t you see

If you start the ball a-rollin’

You’ll get lots of help from me.”

Today is “leap day” in leap year of 2024. The next will be in 2028. They arrive every four years, with some exceptions. The estimated date for this card comes from an estimate of 1916 on another card of the same design, currently online.

Source:  Leap year. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_year (accessed February 29, 2024).

Cupid’s Diary

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked February 7, 1914 from Pueblo, Colorado. Copyright 1909, H. or K.[?] Wessler. Publisher:  S. L. & Co. 

Price:  $10.00

Publisher, S. L. & Co. is Sigmund Langsdorf & Co.

This card, another in our Alice Ellison Collection, was one in a series that told the story of Cupid’s day – sharpening arrows, mailing valentines and breaking his bow after all the work was done. In ours, Cupid is looking quite tired, not to mention a little beat up, so the card above must have been the last one, or second to last, in the set.

“His spoils were great,

But sad to tell,

Poor Cupids’ suffered

Just as well.”

Addressed to:   “Mr. J. M. Ellison, 730 P. St., Sacramento, Calif.”

The sender wrote:  “Dear Papa. It snowed here last night. We are all well and hope you are to. It will soon be valentine day so I am sending you a Valentine card. from Henrietta Ellison. [?] got me a new pair of shoes.”

A Valentine’s Lament

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Circa 1910s. Publisher:  Whitney Made, Worcester, Massachusetts. 

Price:  $7.00

“O, Why Isn’t She Always Here”

A dejected-looking boy and his dog are missing their Valentine. (Sob!) A cute card, and another in our Alice Ellison Collection, this one from Louise to Henrietta.