Light in the darkness (WWI)

This postcard came to me from a dealer in Pennsylvania who specializes in photographs from Russia and Eastern Europe. He said the photo was Russian, which made sense. The only woman in the photo is wearing what appears to be a Russian nurse's outfit from the First World War. But who were the men, and... Continue Reading →

Russian family at their dacha

This photo postcard likely dates to the final years of Imperial Russia (1910-1917).  It came to me from modern-day St. Petersburg.  The back has some standard lettering but no personal information:   I'm guessing that this family is at their dacha, or summer house in the country, because of the trees in the background.  Their... Continue Reading →

Musical family in Finland (1915)

This postcard was sent from Helsinki (Swedish: Helsingfors), the capital of Finland, to the Finnish port town of Hanko (Hangö) on February 16, 1915.  At that time Finland was a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire.  Because Russia was engaged in the First World War, the card had to be cleared by a wartime government... Continue Reading →

Two Russian friends in white

This portrait of two friends was probably made in late imperial Russia (1910-1917).  The only thing written on the back is a pair of names, which look to me like Tyosha and Marusya (Tеща и Маруся).  I'm not sure about the name Tyosha, as I haven't encountered it before:   The girls are both dressed... Continue Reading →

Tamara and her little sister

I joked in an earlier post about sibling portraits being amusing, but a more appropriate adjective for this studio portrait might be "intense."  Looking at the back, the postcard was likely printed in the United States.  A note is written in a young hand in Russian: "To dear Grandma and Grandpa from Tamara."

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