Archive for the 00s Category

Hard Rock Cafe Sexy Witch Pins, part 2

Posted in 00s, 90s, Pins, PSFW on 24 April 2010 by redwitch1
[Las Vegas 2009]

In my 2006 post on sexy witch Halloween pins/badges issued by Hard Rock Cafe I said that fewer than thirty of the tens of thousands of designs they have issued are suitable for this blog (i.e., actually sexy witches). Well, the number is certainly higher than thirty now.

Although the number of sexy witch designs vary from year to year (in 2005 there are eight different designs, in 2007 there was only one), I thought I had a fair idea of how many designs had been issued. Back in 2006 I did not own that many of the pins/badges, but I have continued to collect them. And in collecting them I have discovered an ever-increasing number of designs.

[Las Vegas 2009, detail]

This is not just because they keep making more badges every year: I keep finding ones from the past that are new to me. For instance, I was pretty sure that the earliest HRC sexy witch badge was from 2001. But I was wrong, ’cause I have since found one from 1999.

So, abandoning any pretense at completeness, here is another random selection of half-a-dozen HRC sexy witch pins. Enjoy!

[Gatlingburg 1999, the 1st one? (Does the design seem familiar? It should, it is Gil Elvgren's Riding High]
[Osaka 2002]
[Tokyo 2004]
[Atlanta 2007]

Celebrate Easter with a Man on a String!

Posted in 00s, Easter Witches, Lithograph, Postcard, SFW on 3 April 2010 by redwitch1

Nothing else says Easter quite like a man-manakin in a top hat and tails. Which is why every self-respecting witch has one. How else would you celebrate Easter—if you are a Swedish Easter Witch—than by dragging your dapper little man along to the sabbat on a string?

Isn’t he adorable? And when you need your mustachioed man to do something useful just ‘zap’ the little fella and he is back to full size, ready to dance, bow, pass food, offer a ready compliment and scratch you in those places you just can’t reach. (Not in a corset anyway.)

So, if you haven’t got a man-manakin already, get one now! But remember, one is enough. More than that and the next thing you know the little ones will be arguing over who gets to carry your ostridge-feather hat or your drinking-horn, they’ll be puffing out their wee little chests, knocking off each others top-hats and challenging each other to a duel. Which is all terribly tedious.

Sexy Goth-Girl Witches! ca. 1900

Posted in 00s, Halloween, Postcard, SFW on 20 March 2010 by redwitch1

There is nothing quite like a bit of innocent girl-on-girl contact from the days of yore to set eBay spruikers aflame. Here we have a lovely image of two young women dressed as witches from about 1900. The one on the left, seated on the floor, seems to be reading the palm of the one on the right, seated on a chair. If you don’t see this as “hot lezbo action,” “gay-interest goth grrrls,” or “grill-on-grill” action, never set yourself up as a seller of antique postcards on eBay!

Of course, I love the pose and the costumes. And the girls do look very contemporary in a witchy, goth-girl kind of way. The clothes (ignoring the hats!) and the hair styles would not be at all out of place. Which is why the way that the two girls are looking at each other is so easy to misinterpret. What appears to our eyes to be two modern goths totally into each other is probably just the usual, somewhat formal, studied, and glassy-eyed pose that is the result of long photo-exposure times.

From very early on it was possible to print photos like this on paper which had postcard information pre-printed on the back so, although this looks like a postcard, it would never have been sold, it was never sent, and the image is probably unique (like the glass-plate negative of a couple of weeks ago). As you can see above, the back is undivided, suggesting a date pre-1905; the high necks on the costumes suggest a date ca. 1900, probably a touch earlier.

The photograph on this “real-photo” postcard is amazingly detailed, like a normal photo. And, although the image is tiny, the details I have pulled up are fabulous (as you can see from the pair of shoes at the bottom of this post).

Note the pom-poms on the shoes.

31 Days of Halloween-Day 17-Another Day, Another Coven

Posted in 00s, Costumes, Decorations, Halloween, Halloween Countdown, Photograph, SFW on 17 October 2009 by redwitch1

This is another private boarding school or sorority group, of ca. 1900 this time, dressed as witches and … well I am not sure what those with towels on their heads are supposed to be.

As you can see, the witches are very cute: there are a few witches dressed in white and one in black.

Here is one close-up of each.

And here is a close-up of the hat of one of the others. What a great Halloween design!

It is enough to make you smile, isn’t it?

Zahl’s Not So Little Witch, ca. 1905

Posted in 00s, chromolithograph, Photograph, Postcard on 18 September 2009 by redwitch1

This German postcard is signed “H. Zahl,” about whom I can discover nothing at all. The caption, in German, French, English and Russian, is: Das Hexchen, Petite sorcière, Little witch, Čarodějka.

The caption on the back of the card is “AR. & C. i. B. Nr. 825” and “V.IV.20.” The first part stands for “Arthur Rehn & Co. Berlin, No. 825″ (you’ll have to trust me on this); and the second part seems to be “20 April 1905″ (i.e. 05 April 20).

As for the witch, well, a lot of what I buy comes from eBay, as I have mentioned before. Many eBay sellers, either intentionally or inadvertently, do not give very clear images of the items they are selling. As a consequence I have ended up buying quite a few things that I can’t use here, either because they are not really witches, or depict witches who are not really mature enough to be described as sexy.

(Because of the title I chose for this blog I have been anxious to exclude any images of witches who are depicted as more child-like than womanly. In the Renaissance portraits often have an statement on the canvas, in Latin (like this one of Sir Richard Southwell by Hans Holbein the Younger), which reads: “etatis suæ …” ["at the age of …"]. With no such statement, and no model-release forms to guide me I must make a judgement based on the apparent physical maturity of the witch depicted.)

So, I hesitated a little before buying this postcard because, although this witch has quite a young face, this petite sorcière, is not petite in terms of … well, in terms of her “apparent physical maturity,” her secondary sexual characteristics; what you might describe as her diaphanously, but decorously, draped d-cups. If you were crude, and given to alliteration.

More on la Sorcière Isoline, ca. 1910

Posted in 00s, Real Witch, SFW on 11 September 2009 by redwitch1

Last week my post was on the beautiful Isoline, who I described as “a real-life French Sorceress or Witch.” Lightdragon and Robin left feedback questioning whether Isoline is really a witch. Have a good look at the above image, because it will take a few paragraphs to answer this objection before we can get back to the postcards!

Obviously I have included on this blog a lot of images of women who are not really witches, in fact most of them are not really witches! But the French word for “witch” is “sorcière”—the French title for “I Married a Witch” is “Ma Femme est une Sorcière”—and this is the word Isoline uses to describe herself: “Porte-Bonheur de la Sorcière ‘Isoline’” [Talisman of the Witch "Isoline"].

In the past I have said that I define my terms—”sexy” and “witch”—reasonably loosely. So I include on this blog images that are clearly of witches, or images that are described as being of a witch, as long as they are not clearly intended to be images of hag-witches. Of course, my focus is on the obviously sexy witches, but I have included boarder-line cases before (such as some of the Easter Witch postcards).

I think the problem here is that I have included Isoline among “real” witches like Marina Baker and Fiona Horne. In answer to this I will only say that Isoline seems to have a great deal in common with Charles Leland’s Maddalena, that many witches would recognise her as a sister of the art, and that many purists would not consider Marina Baker or Fiona Horne witches either! In fact, if you look over the feedback to my many posts on “real witches” you will see that many people believe they have a monopoly on identifying “real” witches, and that every single person seems equally open to the charge that they are not “real” witches.

In the absence of any consensus on what constitutes a real witch I can only continue to use the method I have adopted thus far: if a figure has the traditional accoutrements of a witch (esp. a broom or a pointy hat) or is described as a “witch” (in any language) then the only question remaining for me is whether they can be considered a positive image in aesthetic terms. Are they not-hags: pretty, young etc? I obviously considered this question before buying the first of these cards, and I would not have bought the rest of them, and spent so much time looking for them, if I was not satisfied that Isoline was a “witch.”

So, having settled the first question—at least to my satisfaction—let us consider the second. Well, can I say open your eyes ladies and gentlemen because this is one saucy sorcière: look at that amazing waist! And the dress, and feather boa, the perfect “do” and the jewels: Isoline is one successful sorcière too!

As you can see, in these later cards, Isoline explains that “Partout où je pénètrerai, j’y apporterai le Bonheur et la Prosperite” [Everywhere where I go, I bring Happiness and Prosperity]. I am sure she did.

She also explains that “Pour recevoir votre horoscope graphologique, écrire à Isoline …” [to receive your graphological horoscope, write to Isoline…] and that she can tell you all about your “Destinée; Consils sur Héritages, Procès, Successions, Mariages, etc.” [destiny; Inheritance, Lawsuits, Successions, Marriages, etc].

As you can see, these last two cards are very similar to the previous two, but that in each image she seems to be getting a little bit older. I have seen a few cards in which Isoline is a little older again, but haven’t managed to get a hold of any.

How long she was at 42B on the Avenue de Suffren in Paris is not clear, but it must have been at least a decade. The postcards themselves are rarely postmarked (i.e. date-stamped). The few that are are dated 1905 and 1906, so I would guess she was there from about 1900 to the outbreak of WWI. But afterwards? Well I hope she led a “charmed life”!

BTW Jill Preston, you are a genius! If “Isoline” is a french opera of ca. 1888, featuring magical elements and curses, then “Isoline” would have been a perfect stage name for our sorcière. And, of course, the thing about a stage name—like a magical name—is that it hides your mundane identity. Drop it, and you vanish…

Isoline, the Sensational, Musical Sorceress, ca. 1900

Posted in 00s, Postcard, Real Witch, SFW on 4 September 2009 by redwitch1

I have six postcards of the beautiful Isoline, a real-life French Sorceress or Witch. I have looked everywhere I can think of for more information about Isoline and can find nothing. So, as usual, I can do nothing but describe what I have.

The series of postcards seems to start with this one, in which Isoline is among the “Sensational Act[s]” at a carnival or circus. As you can see above, the card has no less than four captions. The main one is: “Isoline Le Voyante Musicienne” [Isoline The Musical Visionary]. Isoline is depicted in a stunning pearl choker. In the background are two scenes from her act.

The first scene shows a blindfolded Isoline on stage, playing the guitar and singing (she is surrounded by a cloud of musical notes), while a presenter stands in the isle, hailing her and interacting with the audience.

It seems that Isoline’s “sensational act” involved her singing and telling fortunes (or, as one of her later cards puts it, revealing one’s “Destinée; Consils sur Héritages, Procès, Successions, Mariages, etc.” [Destiny; Inheritance, Lawsuits, Successions, Marriages, etc.]). Another possibility is that she relayed the visions that she had by singing them to the audience.

The second scene shows Isoline, still blindfolded, meeting individuals from the audience on stage. She takes each man’s hand in turn, relating her visions.

The presenter stands in the background in the isle. Having called members of the audience up on stage, I presume he is now offering a running commentary for the benefit of the audience.

Remember folks, this is in the days before microphones. Isoline’s singing may be heard by the whole audience, but it required a strong, loud—a stentorian—speaking voice to be heard throughout such a large auditorium. Thus the man among the audience. It is not hard to imaging his patter in the first scene: “Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you (pause and flourish; pointing dramatically at the stage, where a singing Isoline is revealed by the rising curtain) the SENSATIONAL ISOLINE!” Cue wild applause etc.

Anyway, the rest of the captions read:

Porte-Bonheur de la Sorcière ‘Isoline’ … Isoline, 42 bis, Avenue de Suffren, Paris … Partout où je pénètrerai, j’y apporterai le Bonheur et la Prosperite.

[Talisman of the Witch 'Isoline' … Isoline, 42B, Avenue de Suffren, Paris … Everywhere where I go, I will bring Happiness and Prosperity.]

This talismanic postcard was “Imp.” (i.e., printed by) “G. Dervois, 91, rue Ganterie, Rouen”; it has an undivided back and probably dates to about 1900. The mustachioed men on stage and Isoline’s choker look slightly earlier, so it is possible that the card is as early as 1895, but until I find one that has been posted I can only guess.

The address on the card, 42B Avenue de Suffren in Paris, is the place where Isoline could be privately consulted. Next week I will post the rest of these cards and you will see that Isoline must have been very successful, because she continued to advertise her rooms on the Avenue de Suffren for some time.

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