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March 18, 2014

Maud Branscombe (1854?-), English actress and singer
(lithograph advertisement for Rathbone, Sard & Co’s Acorn Stoves and Ranges, Chicago and Detroit, after a photograph by Sarony, New York, circa 1880)

Maude Branscombe Digital ID: 111726. New York Public Library
(photo: Sarony, New York, circa 1880, collection of New York Public Library)

‘The photograph of no American woman has been sold as widely as that of Mary Anderson. Literally hundreds of photographs of her have been taken in different roles and poses, but of all of these incomparably the most popular is that which shows her as Ophelia. Although it is about 15 years since she played the part, her photograph is sold all over the English-speaking world to-day. As a rule, the photographs of actresses which sell the best for a few months are entirely forgotten in a year or less, but Mary Anderson is an exception. A striking example of the other class is Miss Maud Branscombe. For a time her photograph had by far the best sale of any actress in America or England. The secret of the success of her photographs lay entirely in a pair of large, sympathetic, tender, upturned eyes. Only the photograph which showed her full face was popular. She was not remarkably handsome, and could not stand a profile picture. An intelligent photographer made a handsome fortune out of her ”full face.”’
(The Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Monday, 23 February 1903, p. 6h)

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