Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An Armful of Warm Girl

A delicious double exposure: pure Amateur Snapshot Heaven. If you look at the horizontal version, you can see the large woman (man?) whose thick arm appears to rise up out of the bosom of the seated woman. Not to mention several Christmas trees and little white picket fences.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Femme Mauresque

An attractive hand-colored pc from the seemingly inexhaustible paper-world of Orientalism. Where was that damned Orient exactly? As a visual field, it lives on in old postcards--in the illusory sphere, one might say, of Postcard Reality. Indeed, after Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon, this 'Orient'--land of camels and bangles and kif--may in fact be the perfect postcard place.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Photographic Art from Newcastle

I often find the backs of so-called cabinet cards--formal studio portraits, from the late 19th century, mounted on heavy cardboard --more interesting than the people on the front. Stunning here: the wildly mixed type styles. The striped tights. But it all works.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'd Say the Seventies

Oh, dear. One lived through all of it. Fern bars and macramé . The Bee Gees. Big rings. Futons. The Vegetarian Epicure. The Stone Age of Anti-Depressant Drugs. Somehow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Models Are Truly Charming

A pretty spectacular advertising pamphlet from the early 1900s. The ad copy is, might one say, a bit on the fey side? How many men's suits would be marketed today as being 'fair'--fair, that is, in the 'fair sex' sense? Or indeed as 'charming' and 'beautiful'? It's all quite massively girly.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Praying Gymnast

Not a tintype--rather, a snap from 100 years later. Big scores yesterday: a number of handmade postcards; a lot of anonymous photos. Several awesome trade cards--perhaps to be featured tomorrow.

Friday, May 20, 2011

All Tomorrow's Parties

Going tomorrow--if I'm not swept up in the Rapture--to the latest installment of the Postcard and Vintage Paper show at the Hall of Flowers. And I'm definitely in the mood for tintypes.

This is one of the first tintypes I ever bought--and it remains one of the most extraordinary.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Une Dame Pressée

Given one's hectic professional life, this form of multitasking begins to look feasible. One could even add in a colonoscopy.

Monday, May 16, 2011

African Dolls

Someone has obviously lavished some care here: that perfect rick-rack, for one thing. Likewise the floral blouse fabric: a silk by Raoul Dufy? For playthings, these two hardly ingratiate in the usual manner: 'cute' they are not. Yet they retain a sober, sentient dignity that is not unappealing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Did Shakespeare Play Poker?

Hmmm.... Probably not.

But I'm skeered nonetheless: 'God sake let us on. This is the last without an answer.' Gulp.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Petrol Vendor

Exquisite hand-tinting on this card--Tiepolo blue sky on the backcloth, lovely confabulations of leather and metal, the satchel and oil tin.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Speaking of Dictators

One of several mysterious newspaper clippings mounted on cardboard I found in a flea market in Barcelona last year. Viva Franco, Arriba Espana indeed. All of them have the sinister impress of the Censor on the back side, as one sees in the example below. The peculiar assortment of ink colors and lettering styles against the pinky-gray cardboard make the backs even more compelling--visually speaking--than the fronts.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Member of the Ruling Junta

One of numerous cards in my collection from mid-20th-century Buenos Aires. Obviously a Peronista from the preschool--by way of the Love Boat.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lionel & Friend

Two leggy little Deco fellows with a kite. Had a childhood pal in Folkestone--very briefly--also named Lionel. He wore girlish little shorts just like these.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Strip Shows

Not exactly Photobooth shots, but you get the idea. The first makes me think of Colette when she was young --also Sarah Bernhardt in the Nadar pictures. The contact sheet that follows: meself when considerably younger --very badly lit.

Click images
to enlarge

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sweetness, Forgiveness

Alas, not keeping up with 'post every day' injunction, but I have pledged to reform. Related existential teaser: have I acquired enough postcards and photos that were I to cease collecting overnight, I would still have enough to post an image for every remaining day of my life? Imponderable.

Unlike the lovable and humane expression on this young woman's face. Photobooth images have become highly collectable lately: the classic 4-picture strip-- the People's Photo Format of the 1940s-60s-- now seems 'vintage,' an artifact from another era. Good hand-tinted examples are especially prized. Here are a few (detached images) I've picked up.

Black and white, I realize. But this fellow reminds me of one of my favorite colleagues.

Her name was Nell.

No name, but tons of pizazz. Check out the curl in front: like Belinda's in The Rape of the Lock.