Although I buy pieces of art because I like them, there are items which contain more interest due to the signatures which adorn them. This week I bought a postcard. A ‘giant’ postcard from 1900 and although it is of interest as a card, the real interest is the signature which adorns.
The card is made by Francis Firth & Co. around 1900 and is 220 mm by 290 mm. The postcard displays the home of actress #EllenTerry (1847-1928), who purchased #SmallhythePlace near #Tenterden in 1899 as a bolt hole from her London life. The ‘half-timbered’ house was originally called ‘Port House’ and prior to the sea and the River Rother receded it served a thriving shipyard. Hythe means “landing place” in ‘old english’. Ellen Terry passed away in the house in 1928.
The house, now owned by the National Trust, contains Ellen Terry’s theatre memorabilia. The cottage grounds include her rose garden, an orchard, a nuttery and the working Barn Theatre.
Although a nice piece as a postcard, it is the signature of Ellen Terry and the salutation which add interest because Ms. Terry was a stage actress. By 1878 she had joined Henry Irving’s company as his leading lady. For more than twenty years she was considered the leading Shakespearean and comic actress in Britain. She and Irving toured with great success in America and Britain. Her artistic career covered stage acting, lecturing, theatre management, and film. Over sixty years in the entertainment business.
The card contains not only her signature and the date but also a dedication. This is to a person called Montague. This might be #MontagueSummers author. He could use a chapter of his own, really. but not today.