A Collection of Vintage Photos feat. Actress Ethel Warwick (1882-1951)

Ethel  Warwick (1882 – 1951) was the daughter of Frank and Maude, born in Hardingstone, Northampton. Her education began in Margate and Hampstead, but by the early 1890’s she was studying to become an artist at the London Polytechnic.

She became an artists model to help pay her tuition there, which led to her meeting Herbert Draper, who used her as a model for several of his paintings, including The Lament for Icarus. Through him she became a favoured model for several artists, including John William Godward, who painted several portraits of her, and Linley Sambourne, for whom she posed nude in a series of photographic studies. She was also sketched by James McNeill Whistler.

She began training as an actress at Henry Neville’s acting school in the late 1890’s, and first appeared on stage at the Grande Theatre in Fulham in July 1900 as Emilie de L’Esparre in The Corsican Brothers. She later appeared in several films.


Ethel Warwick published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd bromide postcard print, © National Portrait Gallery, London, circa 1906 via


Ethel Warwick by Reautlinger via


Ethel Warwick by Reautlinger via


Ethel Warwick, 1900 via

Vintage Portrait of Legendary Opera Singer Nellie Melba (1859-1931)

Dame Nellie Melba GBE (1861 – 1931) born Helen “Nellie” Porter Mitchell became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century. She was the first Australian to achieve international recognition as a classical musician.

She was an operatic soprano. She sang at Richmond (Australia) Public Hall at the age of six and was also a skilled pianist and organist, but she did not study singing until after her marriage to Charles Nesbitt Armstrong in 1882, with whom she had a son named George. In the 1890s she had an affair with Philippe, Duke of Orleans, that led to scandal and eventually divorce.

After the brief and unsuccessful marriage, she moved to Europe in search of a singing career. Failing to find engagements in London in 1886, she studied in Paris and soon made a great success there and in Brussels. Returning to London she quickly established herself as the leading lyric soprano at Covent Garden from 1888. She soon achieved further success in Paris and elsewhere in Europe, and later at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, debuting there in 1893. Her repertoire was small; in her whole career she sang no more than 25 roles and was closely identified with only ten.

Melba continued to sing until the last months of her life and made a legendary number of “farewell” appearances. Her death, in Australia, was news across the English-speaking world, and her funeral was a major national event.


Drawing of the young Nellie Melba by Frank Haviland, published 1908 via


Yvonne Arnaud by Bassano (1912)

Yvonne Arnaud (1890 – 1958) was a French pianist, singer and actress.

After beginning a career as a concert pianist as a child, Arnaud acted in musical comedies.

until 1911, she performed with leading orchestras throughout Europe and the US. In 1911 she decided to try the stage instead of the concert hall and obtained an engagement at London’s Adelphi Theatre as understudy to Elsie Spain in the role of Princess Mathilde in The Quaker Girl, first going on stage in that role on 7 August 1911. She next played the leading role of Suzanne in the musical The Girl in the Taxi (1912), earning popularity with her vivacity and charming French accent.

Around 1920 she switched to non-musical comedy and drama and was one of the players in the second of the Aldwych farces, A Cuckoo in the Nest, a hit in 1925.

She also had dramatic roles and made films in the 1930s and 40s, and continued to act into the 1950s.

She occasionally performed as a pianist later in her career.

by Bassano, whole-plate glass negative, November 1912

Yvonne Arnaud by Bassano, whole-plate glass negative, November 1912


© National Portrait Gallery, London

by Bassano, whole-plate glass negative, November 1912

Yvonne Arnaud by Bassano, whole-plate glass negative, November 1912

© National Portrait Gallery, London

by Bassano, whole-plate glass negative, November 1912
Yvonne Arnaud by Bassano, whole-plate glass negative, November 1912


© National Portrait Gallery, London


Victorian/Edwardian Circus Acts


Circus Performer Zelda Boden, 1910s via


Circus cyclists, c. 1891 via


“Trick Rider”. Usually they would ride in circles doing various tricks on the ponies via


Circus Girl with horse, 1908 via


CIRCUS HARLEQUIN Performer, c. 1910 via


Sanger’s Circus carriage, late 19th century Great Britain via

Beautiful Ethereal Edwardian Postcards


Detail of a French postcard via


Antique Hand Tinted Real Photo Postcard via


Antique theatre photo postcard, vintage stage artist Marguerite Brésil via


Woodland Nymph Examines Leaf, German Postcard, Posted in France, 1909 via


Romantic Portrait of Edwardian Lady in Ethereal Green Gown by Seaside with Pink Flowers & Columns, early 1900s via


Edwardian Ballet Dancer Gwen Hope in Sparkling Tutu Costume and Fairy Wings, early 1900s via