Gottschalk, Dreyfuss & Davis Co Ltd of London

An archive of original retouched photographs of London used by Gottschalk, Dreyfuss & Davis Co Ltd of London for their GD&DL Star Series of postcards in the early part of the 20th century. The company was based in New York, but also had offices in London and Munich and were active from about 1904 to 1915, and were certainly at the offices at 4 and 5 Bunhill Row in London from about 1906. Cards produced before 1906 by the company may well have been published by F. Frankel & Co of London. The cards were printed by Graphia GmbH in Munich, not to the best quality it must be said. The materials featured here all derive from the archives of their London office, though a few have handwritten notes in German. The postcards are generally pasted to the back of the photos which has proved useful for keeping them together but in some cases obscures some of the manuscript notes and other details. It is likely that the retouching would have been undertaken by Alfred Davis himself as he is known to have been the artist on several of the artist-drawn postcards that they produced. Dreyfus left the partnership in 1914 after which point they were known simply as Gottschalk & Davis.

Page under construction. Much more still to be added.


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Kingsway and Aldwych, London, c.1910

The original heavily retouched sepia albumen photograph of Kingsway and Aldwych in London. The back of the photograph is titled and numbered 5775 and is stamped "This photograph and copyright is the property of Gottschalk, Dreyfuss & Davis, 4 and 5 Bunhill Row, London, E.C." and has the name Brunell in pencil, possibly William Joseph Brunell (1878-1960). The majority of the area used in the postcard (see below) has been retouched in white, dark sepia and various shades of grey and the billboard to the left of the photo has been altered to produce an advertisement for GD&D's Star Series of postcards. The extreme right side of the photo remains unaltered, such that the left side of the gentleman on the bicycle has been obliterated so that he does not appear on the finished card, but his right side remains.

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Kingsway and Aldwych, London, c.1910s

The finished postcard, produced for GD&D's Star Series.


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The Guildhall, London, c.1905-10

The original sepia real photographic postcard by Bell Photo of 23 Church Road, Harlesden on the left has very little retouching save for a few of the darker areas, mostly to the left of the photo and to a triangular part of the white canopy on the right. The final printed postcard on the right has been coloured and features the addition of blue skies and red stripes to the canopy, though the area painted white on the original photograph has no stripes. The original photographic postcard is numbered 1229 by hand on the back and as with most of the photos here has the same company stamp with name and address.


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Charing Cross, London, c.1910s

The original retouched sepia albumen photograph of Charing Cross in London, again by Brunell. The back of the photograph is titled and numbered 4798 and is again stamped with the same notice as above. The majority of the photograph is unaltered with the exception of some dark areas on the omnibus and on the gentleman to the bottom right. As with the Kingsway and Aldwych photo above, the side of the bus has been altered to create an advertisement for the Star Series of postcards.

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Charing Cross, London, c.1910s

The finished postcard, produced in monochrome for GD&D's Star Series. The back of this particular example is blank and is probably therefore a proof.


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The Nurse's Paradise, Hyde Park, London, c.1905-10

The original retouched sepia albumen photograph of The Nurse's Parade in Hyde Park, London, photographer not stated. The back of the photograph is titled and numbered 22562 and 374, with the usual company stamp, but also has "page 3, porteon [sic] 3, London life". The majority of the darker areas of the photograph have been retouched, especially for the bark of the tree in the foreground.

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The Nurse's Paradise, Hyde Park, London - London Life Series, c.1905-10s

The finished postcard, produced in colour for GD&D's London Life Series and printed in Germany.


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Holborn Viaduct & City Temple, London, c.1905-10

This original sepia albumen photograph has a minimal amount of retouching at all to the outlines, so presumably most of the original detail and contrast was considered suitable for conversion to a postcard. The back of the photograph is titled and numbered 1776, crossed through and changed to 1999, also 2845, 192 and 357, with the usual company stamp and "page 2, porteon 6, London Life". The back also features the note "Illus press, P/Cds Only"

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Holborn Viaduct & City Temple, London - London Life Series, c.1905-10

The finished postcard, produced in colour for GD&D's London Life Series and printed in Germany.


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Covent Garden, London, c.1905-10

This original sepia albumen photograph has some retouching to the darker areas and outlines of the windows. The back of the photograph is titled and numbered 2023 and 192, again with the usual company stamp and "London Life" notice, though the rest of the details are obscured.

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Covent Garden, London - London Life Series, c.1905-10

The finished postcard, produced in colour for GD&D's London Life Series and printed in Germany.