In 1912, the silent film actress Helen Gardner founded her own short-lived production company, Helen Gardner Picture Players, to produce full-length features, one of which was her notable Cleopatra (1912). Helen Gardner’s granddaughter and biographer notes that from 1910-1924, “Gardner appeared in at least sixty-two films, including the ten features she produced. Eighteen of the films in which she appeared are known to survive” (www.helengardner.org). Gardner was truly a pioneer in film before talkies and a woman with a cinematic vision.
The collection includes items from Helen Gardner’s estate in Florida where she died.
8” x 10” photograph of Gardner (David Berns NY). SIGNED by Gardner at bottom edge.
Two (2) approximately 6” x 15” broadside announcements, in two different colors, that read “Helen Gardner Appearing in Person at the Grand Theater Monday and Tuesday Two Days Only in The Devil’s Angel.” The same image in the signed photo above is used on this broadside. Both broadsides are edgeworn with chipping and both are folded with major loss at fold, barely together.
10” x 12” photograph of Gardner. Soiling and chip to upper corner.
Matted 10.5” x 14” photograph print of Gardner in her role as Cleopatra. Soiling and 4” tear to lower edge, affecting image.
Approximately 3.25” x 6” photograph of Gardner in photo holder.
Approximately 4” x 9” purse embellished with beads, housed in original box, where Gardner has written “Angel Girl 1964.” Laid in is a folded handwritten letter signed “HLG” and addressed to “Angel Girl Christmas 1964.” The letter begins “Here we are in India!” and continues to note how she purchased these purses for friends, noting “The red one was prettiest of all. They are poorly made. How else—for the ‘easy marks?’” She goes on to speak of her feelings of happiness and joy after an illness. The letter shows signs of wear, with loss in upper half.
13” x 18” framed (approximately 9” x 12” image) painting. On verso of frame is written “Framed by Peter Larsen 27 West 8th New York City”—this Greenwich Village street is where Gardner lived in early 20th century. Not examined outside frame.
Five beautifully designed hand fans, with four in original cases, circa 1950s, presumably from Gardner’s travels. Three are from France, one unknown; the other is Tiffany and Co. although it is broken and missing pieces.
Approximately 6” x 7” painted image of Geisha (by Gardner? signed (what looks to be) “HG”) and a string-bound book, 20 pp., with colored decorated pattered covers, with “Made in China” written on ffep, with Chinese symbols and color artwork of Chinese men and women affixed to pages.
An impressive collection of Helen Gardner artifacts. Item #460