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 his 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 do that sometimes, take out something that didn’t fit). But that’s all just part of the moment – the photographer’s process; the man and woman getting paid to pose, 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).

Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil Trade Card

Trade Card, circa 1880 – 1896.

Price:  $12.00            Size:  2 and 5/8 x 4″

A rendition of a young woman in traditional dress, probably modified by the artist’s imagination. No indication of what country or region she might represent.

Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil was a patent medicine and “cure-all” sold in the U.S. and Canada from the 1850’s to the early 1900’s. The term eclectric, (not an actual word) was either a combination of eclectic and electric, (Wikipedia has an entry for Eclectic medicine which fits with the product being a conglomeration of items including botanicals) or derived from the word, electric. (See the first link above and note the lightning bolts on the label that surround the hand raised in triumph.)

And maybe I’m easily amused, but I get a kick out of the sometimes slightly odd phrasing in old ads; this one being a prime example with its “bold” statement, “You May Want It.”

The stamp on the reverse tells us that druggist, Alden A. Heath of Hallowell, Maine, carried this product in his store. Here’s one of his advertisements in the 1886 Hallowell business directory; and just because it’s so nice, the directory’s cover page (love the publisher’s tangle of initials, the extra “etc.”, the intricate corner pieces).

Alden A. Heath was born March 8, 1854 in Whitefield, Maine, son of John Heath and Abby (Palmer) Heath. By the 1880 Federal Census he was married to Mary F. (maiden name unknown). He died August 4, 1899 in South Berwick, Maine. Obituary below:

 Sources:  “Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil.” Museum of Health Care at Kingston – Research Collection Catalogue. mhc.andornot.com. (accessed October 1, 2023).

“Eclectic medicine.” n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclectic_medicine (accessed October 1, 2023).

Sullivan, Catherine (May 1984). “Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil.” Parks Canada Research Bulletin: 3 – via Parks Canada History. (accessed September 28, 2023).

Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Thomas%27_Eclectric_Oil (accessed September 28, 2023).

Year: 1880; Census Place: Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine; Roll: 481; Page: 287A; Enumeration District: 096. (Ancestry.com).

W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Augusta, Hallowell & Gardiner Directory, 1886-7. (Ancestry.com).

Maine State Archives; Cultural Building, 84 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0084; 1892-1907 Vital Records; Roll Number: 26. (Ancestry.com).

Kennebec Journal. (Augusta, Maine). August 8, 1899. Tuesday, p. 8. (Newspapers.com).

A Simoan Tribute

Vintage photo, white border, circa mid 1930s – mid-1950s.

Price:  $12.00            Size:  3 and 11/16 x 2 and 1/2″

The car…..

We look to the car in this photo for a jumping off point for approximate date. I was struck by the unusual-looking hubcaps and asked the hubby who stated the hubcap is the round center part, the rest is rim, maybe a 3-piece rim and they look painted, and it’s probably a Ford…..I was then checking Ford convertibles with rumble seats (you see it sticking up in the back minus the padding) but getting frustrated for pinpointing the year. No prob though, whenever I get stuck I go to the Antique Automobile Club of America forum readers for help. (Great people, lightning-quick, detailed responses, awesome!) And yes, it’s a Ford, likely with painted rims. Here is one of the responses below:

“Definitely a Model A Ford roadster – you can see the corner of the windshield behind the guy’s left shoulder.  The shape of the fenders and the bead on the hood above the louvers makes it a 1930 or 31.  However, the headlights might be 28 – 29 as they look a little pointy on the back.  30 – 31 are rounded.  It might be a DeLuxe as rumble seat was standard on those, although it was optional on Standards.  The back cushion is easily removed and yes, it’s missing.  The artillery wheels are similar to 36 – 39 Ford but I think they’re aftermarket.  They probably are composed of separate parts but welded and/or riveted into one piece (not counting the removable hubcap).  Yes, they probably were painted and the contrasting painted trim on the spokes was common on those style wheels.”

Gannon……

The dark-haired young man, about age 25 we’ll guess, is wearing a grass skirt (!) and posing for the camera. At first glance it kind of looks like the entire “Samoa” banner is part of his outfit and he unfolded it like a cape (or unfurled his “wings”  – gotta give credit to a different forum commenter for the wings idea – love it! Credit also due to another person for wondering if, what I’m calling a banner, could be part of a “traditional ceremonial dance costume”. Good thought.) But anyway, I think the banner was attached at each end to the car…..Presumably, either the guy’s given or surname is Gannon, since this is written on the back. (Yes, Gannon does show up in some records as a first name.) And there’s too many possibilities to try to pinpoint Gannon, or at least not without days of research, but maybe he was born around 1925, entered the Navy and traveled the Pacific, stopping in Samoa. (Just a theory.) And, though this photo could be from maybe the mid-’30s, due to its aftermarket parts, my first thought is that it was mid-’40’s to mid-’50’s for when this snap was taken.

Lastly, and if you’ve stuck with me for this long 😉 ……

In the background we see a couple of small boats perched on land, a telephone pole, a wooden fence, and on our left, maybe a couple of other boats further in the distance. We note that car and man are on a cobblestone surface. Last but not least, we see the two other people “appearing” in this shot – one was the person taking the picture. They were there, but we only see their shadows. (I love this type of thing – the contribution to the image via the shadows.)

Source:  “Help to i.d. a convertible with rumble seat.” Posted in “What is it?” Response by CHuDWah posted October 7, 2023. forums.aaca.org.

Japanese Kabuki Performer RPPC

Real Photo Postcard, unused. Date unknown. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $15.00

A Kabuki actor wearing an eboshi hat (a type of ceremonial headwear for men). Kabuki theater was invented by a woman but in the 17th Century women were banned from performing it. (It’s worth enlarging this photo to see the details – specifically the make-up, which is, not surprisingly, very beautifully done.)

The publisher is a mystery at the moment. I’ve seen the stamp box before on other Japanese RPPCs but currently am finding nothing online to identify them. The writing on the front (in the musical instrument lyre design) and on the back is, I think, in Kanji, a system of writing which has thousands of characters, so we’ll need to try to get some help on it, if possible.

Sources:  “Kazaori eboshi hat.” Google.com search. Accessed September 10, 2022.

Strusiewicz, Cezary Jan. “How Women Disappeared From Kabuki Theater.” January 10, 2022. tokyoweekender.com. Accessed September 10, 2022.

Indian Man With Monkeys RPPC

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1918 – 1936. Stamp Box:  K Ltd. 

Price:  $12.00

Jumping from Bali over to India, (at least, we presume this to be India), here’s a lovely, Real Photo Postcard of a man in a traditional style dress (the patterned portion is a lungi, I think) and cloth head covering. He likely has some fruit in his hand that the monkey is trying to get. You’ll see four monkeys in this image, probably all some type of macaque. The card is dated by virtue of the K Ltd type of stamp box.

Sources:  “What are the differences between Lungi and Dhoti?” February 23, 2021. mrlungi.com. (accessed July 26, 2022).

Joherey, Janhvi. “10 Native Monkeys of India – With Photos.” animalwised.com. January 30, 2017. (accessed July 26, 2022).

“Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes, K – L.” Playle.com. (accessed July 26, 2022).

 

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).

To Bobby From Aunt Lorilee

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked July 21, 1951, Interlaken, Switzerland. Publisher:  Photoglob-Wehrli A. G., Zurich. Number or series z 2525.

Price:  $6.00

Berner Bueb

“07/21/51     Hi Bobby! You should have been with us today when we had lunch on the Jungfrau, one of the highest mountains in Europe. You would have loved to play in the snow in the summertime! Have fun! Love, Aunt Lorilee.”

Addressed to:   “Master Bobby Burkhardt, 10629 Garden Way, Spring Valley, California, U.S.A.”

The Jungfrau is in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. The postcard caption “Berner Bueb” might be translated as Bernese boy. You can find numerous Swiss postcards with “Berner Bueb” and “Berner Bueb und Meitschi” (Bernese boy and girl, we’re guessing.) This postcard appears to be an artist-signed card per the front lower left corner which shows “Blank.” Checking in Ancestry.com Blank shows as a German and Swiss surname. According to another postcard site, this card was produced at least as early as 1946.

Sources:  Jungfrau. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungfrau (accessed April 20, 2019).

“Ziege Kuenstlerkarte Blank Berner Bueb Kat. Tiere.” https://oldthing.de/Ziege-Kuenstlerkarte-Blank-Berner-Bueb-Kat-Tiere-0024001456. (accessed April 20, 2019).

Handsome Scot In Full Dress Attire

Old photo, white border. Circa 1920s.

Price:  $7.00        Size:  About 2 and 5/8 x 4 and 7/16″

I’m guessing this photo is from the 1920s, or maybe late 1910s, due to the look of the gentlemen in non-traditional wear. Where was the photo taken? That’s a mystery, though if we could focus in on the big sign above the fence that could be a colossal clue (even if it’s advertisement). And what was the occasion? Unknown, but maybe part of a Highland games festival. That’s a sporran (purse in Gaelic) that the man wears below the belt, essential since kilts have no pockets.

Source:  Sporran. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sporran (accessed August 5, 2018).

Filipina In Baro’t Saya, Real Photo Postcard

Divided back, unused Real Photo Postcard. Juan Dela Cruz Studio. AZO stamp box, circa 1924 – 1949.

Price:  $12.00

A beautiful young woman in the traditional Filipino dress, baro’t saya, is posing for this portrait that was taken at the Juan Dela Cruz Studio. An unrelated online image was found on Flickr listing this studio location as Tondo, Manila, Philippines, and with an estimated date for that image as 1927. Our photo above of the unknown beauty may have been taken around this time, as well. The broader time frame of circa 1924 – 1949 comes from the AZO stamp box style on the reverse of the card.

The sender of this RPPC signed the back of the postcard but unfortunately, her signature is mostly covered by the black photo album paper the card had been glued to. We can only read what looks like the last two letters of her name (e-t). She wrote:

“Dear Aquiong, A Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. Lovingly….”

Sources:  Ensemble-Philippines-The Met. Metropolitan Museum of Art. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/158138. (accessed December 30, 2017).

De Leon, Eduardo. “A studio portrait of a Filipina named Loleng. Juan Dela Cruz Studio, Tondo, Manila. 1927.” 25 Nov 2014. Online image. Flickr. 30 Dec 2017. https://www.flickr.com/photos/edlei/15695528537/in/photostream/

“Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes ” AZO (squares in all four corners). Playle.com. (accessed December 30, 2017).