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Portrait Art, French Actresses, Paris, Antique Photographs, c. 1885-1910


Group of 17 Photographs of French Actresses, Late 19th Century
Albumen photographs, collotypes, cabinet cards, etc.
Benque, Ogerau, Flak, Sarony, Chalot & Co., Gilbert Rene et al.
Paris: c. 1885-1910
3.5 x 2 inches to 5.75 x 4.25 inches
Provenance: R. H. Ellsworth Ltd.; Collection of Herbert Schimmel
$75 each
(Not all available cards are shown. Cabinet cards of Emilienne D’Alencon and Clara Ward are sold.)

Portrait photographs and cabinet cards of famous French actresses and a male songwriter associated with them, of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Comprising six albumen cabinet card portraits of 19th century actresses Clara Ward (two), Carmencita (two), Juliette Mealy (two); a printing-out paper portrait of Julia Lubra; an albumen cabinet card portrait of the French comedian Jeanne-Julia Renault Bartet; a matte gelatin silver carte postale portrait of the dancer and courtesan Caroline “La Belle” Otero; four albumen cabinet card portraits of actress/dancer Emilienne D’Alencon; an albumen print cabinet card of Lona Barrison by Reutlinger; and a portrait of Emma Calve by Aime Dupont. Together with two carte postal collotype portraits of Xavier Privas.

Product Description Continues Below


Xavier Privas was a popular French songwriter of the 1890s. There is a street named after him on the Left Bank in Paris.

Caroline “La Belle” Otero (1868-1965) was a Spanish-born dancer and courtesan of the Belle Epoque, romantically linked with King Edward VII and other wealthy and powerful men. Emilienne D’Alencon (1869-?) was an actress and dancer who also was the subject of Lautrec’s paintings and drawings.

Lona Barrison was one of the five Barrison sisters, whose act featured risqué humor and outfits. They wore white petticoats when singing the bawdy song “Meine Kleine Katze.” Toulouse-Lautrec drew them in “Mrs. Lona Barrison avec son manager et epoux.”

Emma Calve (1858-1942) was a dramatic French soprano singer renowned for her interpretation of Carmen, who chronicled her career in the autobiographies “My Life” (1922) and “Sous tous les ciels j’ai chante” (1940).

Condition: Generally good, very good, or better, with the usual toning overall, some with a few scuffs, scratches, tears & creases, light foxing, age-lightening or ink marks to the surface of the prints. Photo or card edges generally lightly worn.


Schimmel, Herbert D., ed. The Letters of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Oxford University Press, 1991, pp. 320-21 and 293.

Uglow, Jennifer S. “Caroline Otero.” Macmillan Dictionary of Women’s Biography, 1999. Online at

Additional information


19th Century