08 September 2015

Twelve rare postcards from Didier Hanson's collection

Mail from Spain. Collector Didier Hanson sent us recently acquired and - as always - rare vintage postcards. They show known and less known silent film stars from all over Europe. We will share Didier's new acquisitions with you in a series of posts. Today the first twelve.

Carl Brisson
Swedish postcard by Hörling Edition, Stockholm. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Danish film actor and operetta singer Carl Brisson (1893–1958) appeared in 12 films between 1918 and 1935, including two silent films by Alfred Hitchcock. In the Paramount production Murder at the Vanities (1934), he introduced the popular song Cocktails for Two.

Carmen Boni
French postcard. Photo: G.L. Manuel Frères. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Italian silent film star Carmen Boni (1901-1963) had a successful career in the Italian cinema of the early 1920s, before moving to Germany where she made one film after another in the late 1920s.

Fania Marinoff
Vintage postcard. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Russian actress Fania Marinoff (1890-1971) lived in the U.S. from childhood and was a prolific performer on Broadway from 1903. She appeared in a few silent films, usually in ethnic or Jewish roles, including The Unsuspected Isles (1915), The Lure of Mammon (1915) and Nedra (1915). She was married to author and photographer Carl Van Vechten.

Iven Andersen

German postcard by NPG, no. 1326. Photo: Memelsdorf, Berlin. Collection: Didier Hanson.

German actress Iven Andersen became known with the Aufklärungsfilm Das Mädchen aus der Opiumhöhle (1918). In the following years she played in several films.

Leda Gys and Mario Bonard in La pantomima della morte (1915)
French postcard, no. 7467. Photos: probably a publicity still for La pantomima della morte/The pantomime of death (Mario Caserini, 1915) with Leda Gys and Mario Bonard. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Film diva Leda Gys (1892-1957) starred in ca. 60 dramas, comedies, action thrillers and even westerns of the Italian and Spanish silent cinema. Her claim to fame came with the film Christus (1916), shot in Egypt and Palestine, where Gys performed the Madonna.

Lucien Guitry
French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 1. Photo: Sabourin. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Lucien Guitry (1860-1925) was considered the preeminent French actor of his day. For many years, he played opposite Sarah Bernhardt. He also appeared in silent films like Tosca (1908) and Ceux de chez nous (1915). He was married to Jeanne Desclois and Renée de Pont-Jest, and his son was the well known actor-writer-director Sacha Guitry.

Maria Carmi in Das Mirakel (1912)
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, no. 8579. Photo: Becker & Maass. Publicity still for Das Mirakel/The Miracle (Cherry Kearton, Max Reinhardt, 1912) with Maria Carmi as the Madonna.

With her aristocratic air, her severe looks but also her sweet undertones, Italian silent film star and stage actress Maria Carmi (1880-1957) was the cinematic translation of the 19th century Primadonna. Later she became Princess Norina Matchabelli and was co-founder of the perfume company Prince Matchabelli.

Nathalie Kovanko
Croatian postcard by Mosinger Film, Zagreb. Photo: publicity still for Le prince charmant/Prince Charming (Viktor Tourjansky, 1925). Collection: Didier Hanson.

Nathalie Kovanko (1899-1967) was a Russian-Ukrainian actress who played in Russian and French silent cinema.

Rita Sacchetto
German Postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin, no. 3164. Photo: Alex Binder. Collection: Didier Hanson.

German actress and dancer Rita Sacchetto (1879-1959) was in the 1910s a star of the Danish Nordisk Film Company.

Rudolf Klein-Rogge in Mister Wu
German postcard. Photo: publicity still for the stage production Mister W. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Rudolf Klein-Rogge (1888-1955) is best remembered for his sinister roles in Fritz Lang's silent masterpieces. He played the devilish hypnotist Mabuse in Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (1925) and the mad scientist Rotwang in Metropolis (1927), but he played more parts in classics of the German cinema.

Vera Kholodnaya
Russian postcard, no. 72. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Vera Kholodnaya (1893-1919) was the first star of the Russian silent cinema. Only 26, the ‘Queen of Screen’ died of the Spanish flu during the pandemic of 1919. Although she worked only three years for the cinema, she must have made between fifty and hundred short films. The Soviet authorities ordered to destroy many of the Kholodnaya features in 1924, and only five of her films still exist.

Vitold Polonsky
Russian postcard, no. 113, 1917. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Vitold Polonsky (1879-1919) was one of the most popular actors in pre-Revolutionary Russian cinema.

To be continued. Thanks, Didier!

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