Maude was a French opera singer and actress in Paris who posed for a number of series of nude photos for Jean Agélou. Very little is known about her life, even her date of birth, which must have been in the 1880s.
The famous model usually known as Miss Fernande - whose real name was possibly Fernande Barrey - became the lover of photographer and publisher Jean Agélou in 1908. Fernande also modelled for the artist Modigliani and later became a painter in her own right. In my collection I have 37 series of postcards of Miss Fernande, the last few released under the marks of Georges Agélou and Waléry. I put Miss Fernande's postcards in their own folder and order the series chronologically, which is not the way the publishers numbered them.
Jacqueline was a showgirl at the Folies Bergère - noted as the 'Finest Girl in France' - who competed in a beauty pageant in New York and danced in the Ziegfeld Folies. Jacqueline was featured in many postcard series by Leo de Pradet; the showgirl shot on the right is by Alfred Cheney Johnston.
As a poor 12-year-old from Châtillon-sur-Seine, Alice found menial work in Paris and, by 14, was posing nude for sculptors. As ‘Kiki’, she entered the Montparnasse social scene and sat for artists including Francis Picabia and Jean Cocteau. She became the companion of Man Ray, who made hundreds of portraits of her; she also appeared in experimental films. An artist herself, in 1927 Alice sold out an exhibition of paintings and her 1929 autobiography was introduced by Ernest Hemingway. At 28, Alice was declared the 'Queen of Montparnasse'.
Born in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Jeanne Juilla worked with her mother as a dress maker before becoming a beauty queen, being crowned Miss France in 1931 and the first French Miss Europe the same year. It was usual for the winners of such beauty pageants to have photo shoots, and some were in the nude. We are told that Jeanne Juilla was above average in height with blue-green eyes and dark hair. She became a fashion and photographic model and acted in a number of films in the early 30s.
Tania appeared in two French movies in 1935 - in rather minor parts. That's all we seem to know about this attractive, confident-looking woman.
So few of the beautiful women who feature in my collection are known to us by name. Maybe they wanted it that way. Or perhaps they wouldn't mind now, after all this time, if they were to find a little fame for the hard modelling work they did in front of the camera. Just think of the descendants these women have alive today. How proud they would be of their grannies or great-grannies if their heritage were properly known. If you can put names to any of the anonymous faces, please tell Gracie.
The women who made "the best vintage erotica on the web."