Swords, autographs, and Stage Stars:
5 Cabinet Cards and 6 theatrical CDV's

Miss Mary Anderson by Downey, London. Famous stage actress (1859 - 1940).

A mystery scene by Miller's Modern Studio of Fakenham, Norfolk. "Who Is It?" wrote someone under what looks like a father with three children. Or perhaps it was just a fanciful family scene?

A serious looking boy in a serious looking costume with a serious looking wig, carrying a serious looking sword. Taken by W.R. Call, Pickering Block, Manchester, N.H.

Sarony Card of Miss A.S. Neilson as Cymbeline. Another sword, a risque costume, a heavy cape. Her full name was Adelaide Nielson; her born name was Elizabeth Anne Bland. She was already famed in England when she went to America. She performed in Cymbeline at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York in 1877, the same year she divorced her husband.

Another Sarony card, this one inscribed, of Ethel Knight Mollison, April, 1901, the year she starred on Broadway.

6 CDV's : top row, left to right: Mary Anderson by Sarony; risque CDV; European actress with flower necklace by Loescher & Petsch, Berlin. Bottom row, left to right: Lillie Langtr; Mary Anderson; Burlesque dancer.

Bogardus Souvenir Cabinet Card of Col. Ruth Goshon. 
Age, 43 years. Weight, 620 Lbs. Height, 7 feet 11 inches.
This very rare cabinet card of one of the great stars of the Barnum circus was in a recent trove of cabinet cards.  Col. Ruth Goshon, also known as the Middlebush Giant, stands between two men of average height. Goshon is clad in his uniform and high helmet, which makes him appear even taller. The card looks hand tinted, with pale traces of green and red. Under the photograph, in red type: COL. RUTH GOSHON, Age, 43 years. Weight, 620 lbs. Height, 7 feet 11 inches. Goshon served in the Crimean and Mexican wars, was spotted, apparently, by P.T. Barnum on the street and hired in an instant, was married three times, and died in 1889 at the age of 52.
The standing man looking up at Goshon is leaning on a studio table.

Goshon's hands are as big as the onlooker's head, and his walking stick goes up to the man's armpit. There was no doubt about the sense of scale this photograph was set up to convey. But there is something oddly detached, possibly lonely, about Goshon's gaze.

The statistics of a circus star. Throughout Goshon's career, these changed — they rose, they fell, they may have been an exaggeration. According to the Wiki bio, they were.

Another look at the entire card.

On the back it appears that the giant himself autographed it, and then someone else had the idea of labeling it as well.

This was a Bogardus Souvenir Card. Bogardus was a successful photo studio in New York City. The logo here, of letters contained in an ornate painter's palette, makes the link between photographs and art, between the photography studio and the painter's studio, and may also have referred to the hand tinting done to some cards. There's also writing on the bottom of the card, in fainter pencil, that's hard to make out.
The signature says "Col R. Goshen" in the finer hand, and "Col R. Goshon" above it.

Set of 7 Cabinet Card and CDV photographs including Lillian Russell and Fanny Gillette

Left, Mrs. Howard Paul as Lady Macbeth (inscribed on back of card), a "Carte Imperial" by Gurney, NY and sold by Joseph Ward, Looking Glasses and Pictures Frames, Boston. Right, Uniformed, unidentified actor by Warren's Studio.

Left, unidentified actress by Dana, NY, dated 1889. Right, Alice Dunning Lingard, a Sarony CDV in superb condition.

Lillian Russell by Falk NY — a rare angle for this famous star

Closeup of the back decollete of that amazing dress.

Bertha Galland, stage actress, by Falk, NY. A reprint of this photo appeared on the cover of Theatre magazine in 1901. Galland became a stage sensation, retired when still in her 30s, and died in a car accident in 1932.

Handworked lace bodice, floral sleeves, giant hat, ingenue's expresion.

Autographed and inscribed cabinet card of Fanny Gillette by Falk, NY. Is she holding a recipe book? A book of her culinary writings?

The inscription, dated 1887-8: "Therefore be merry Cassio, for thy solicitor shall rather die than give thy cause away."

Written to Mr. Charles Mason, right around the time Gillette's immensely popular White House Cookbook was published.


Profiled in Hand and Seek

I was thrilled to be featured in Hand and Seek's indie business profile this month, as the head cook of Luncheonettevintage. Hand and Seek is a new collective of makers and sellers and the blog looks great. Recipes, how to's, DIYs, profiles, gift guides and a lot more, all from these amazing people. It's one of the best new maker and seller collectives I know, and I'm looking forward to following it — and contributing when I can!

The profile has some great photos of the shop and some great questions and answers. Thanks so much for Jill and all of those who put it together. Some photos and outtakes below. Enjoy.
Ready to wrap.

Maya in an amazing vintage sweater.
Outtake: Hazel the Viszla, napping as I work.

Outtake: the even more crowded view of the crowded corner.