Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: Yep, today is a Happy Birthday to me post and I have been saving this card for a bit to share on my birthday. I stumbled across it for sale on Etsy while searching Google for something else Felix related and scooped it up. Like almost all of my Felix photo cards it arrives at our US shores from Britain. It has inspired a bit of stretch of the imagination post today – hang on for the ride and enjoy.
This card is inscribed on the back, but not mailed. In a clear hand it reads, To My Chicken Wishing you many Happy returns of the day from Grandad & Grandmas XX. Perhaps it was mailed in an envelope or included with a gift.
The poem on the front reads, If this toy could speak I’m sure he’d say “Many Happy Returns of the day”; He’d love to join in your romps and fun To make your Birthday a joyous one. Felix appears to hold her and and she is looking affectionately at him. (Were it me I would probably be more excited at the prospect of a birthday romp with Felix and at least given him a big hug!)
This birthday Felix card has a slightly higher production value than most of the posing with Felix cards I own (for new friends, one example can be found in a post here), which are the product of itinerant Felix photographers and seaside photo studios and therefore sometimes of mixed results. The hand color tinting, which gives this little girl a nice pink dress. A yellow floor turns her Mary Janes almost gold and some blond added to her hair gives a nice contrast. They went the extra mile and gave a blue detail to her collar and cuffs. Felix’s sepia brown (the underlying color) may have a bit of the yellow in it too.
It’s a bit hard to see, but the edges of the card are raised in a floral relief – a bit grimy now. It took some magnified looking, but the credit at the bottom left of the photo made me raise my eyebrow, in tiny type it reads Photo by P’cess Yvonne. A search of P’cess or Princess doesn’t turn up much (although who could resist looking), but it did toss out this signed photo below, of Princess Yvonne. Aka Mary Ellen Norris she performed a magic and mind-reading act with her husband, Doc Irving who signed it as well. It’s a stretch but I am going to pretend that she took this photo. (Unlikely, but because it is my birthday and because I can.)
Meanwhile, Beagles & Company, the noted maker of the card, was a well-known photo postcard producer in Britain. The founder, John Beagles (1844-January 1907), had already died and the eponymous company passed into other hands by the time this card was made. The company was one of the prime real photo postcard producers, but also published some of Louis Wain’s cat postcards – all as noted in a brief Wikipedia entry.
In a cursory search I could not find more cards photographed by P’cess Yvonne, although many of the portrait ones seemed to be photographed by a Rita Martin. (I will also choose to imagine that Beagles photo postcards were largely produced by an enclave of women photographers. Indulge me please.)
Kim (who is currently hard at work producing the annual Valentine slated for grand reveal next Saturday!) and I are zipping off to a fun filled day which will include an exhibit of pop-up advertising and another of wall paper at the Grolier Club and maybe some poking around the flea market too. Pam’s Pictorama Birthday Post Part Two tomorrow!