Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: Back in February I posted about my recent birthday trip downtown which included a brief foray at the flea market on 26th Street. (That post can be found here.) While there, I quietly picked up this rather splendid postcard to give Kim three days later for Valentine’s Day. It has never been used and there was no writing on it. There is some solarization I cannot quite get rid of when I photograph it. Mostly it has a wonderful and whacky sensibility which I thought would appeal to Kim’s taste.
The seller at the flea market had just a few random letters so I was fortunate to find a D among them, however it also turned out to be an especially good photo from this series. The lyrical looking woman holds apple (?) blossoms in front of this great scene of the two children (girls perhaps) having a photo shoot complete with box camera, tucked inside the letter if you will. We see nothing but the feet and back of one, and the other posing prettily, dressed up, primped, furbelowed and curled, with a flower in hand. A photo within a photo.
The D is painted, as is the scenery landscape beyond the children and somehow they have melded the photograph pieces together by a delicate operation of painted blooms and clouds. It is pretty seamless and I have a bit of a hard time deconstructing how this was put together. As one online source questioned – is it really a photo postcard? It is certainly a hybrid and the photo over painting and photo is delightfully many layered.
I devoted part of the morning to looking for more of these and some information online. (A pleasant trip down a postcard rabbit hole I will say.)They were produced by the Rotograph Company and one source says this series is from 1914. The woman always poses, usually with a floral flourish, in front of the letter and the children appear in tableaus behind her, usually two but sometimes three as in the P I grabbed online below. I like the P, although not as much as the D. For me the two cheeky little girls, sort of up in the tree that makes the P really put it over.
In a continuing search for our initials, I found the B, but like it least of all. Despite the pup in front and a very sweet view of a home in the distance, I find the woman and children less interesting in this arrangement.
To my dismay and surprise, the K turns out to be a bit rarified and I was unable to find a photo of it to examine or snatch for my examination. Instead I offer you the letter E which I found a bit compelling along the way although it doesn’t do us much good. The woman is back in her floral mode and the two kids are hanging out in the middle of the E under an umbrella. I like the sort of marshy scene.
There is a hand tinted version below, but I can’t say I think the tinting improves them really.
Now the D is framed and has a place of pride on the wall, as you head into our kitchen – just across from a wall of Felix photos and under the Little Orphan Annie and Sandy wax cloth dolls.