Sitter: Miss Ada Bertha Carter (1877–1969).
Biog: [Information kindly provided by John Culme]:
"Ada Bertha Carter (31 December 1877 - 30 March 1969), who was one of the children of Rowland Wimburn Carter (1831? - 20 October 1907), who was born at the Cape of Good Hope and was sometime a doctor and officer in the Army in India; and his wife Louisa Bertha (née Larkins, 1857-1950), who were married at Holy Trinity, Dover, Kent on 13 July 1875.
Miss Carter was married at Marylebone parish church on 12 May 1900 to Isidore Bernard Birnbaum (26 November 1870 - 17 March 1954), a son of Bernard Birnbaum (1831?-1911), who had emigrated from Poland to England at the age of 18, where he became an India rubber manufacturer and a prominent member of London's Jewish community. Soon after his marriage, I.B. Birnbaum assumed the name Guy Burley, a change which appears to have been informal rather than by Deed Poll. Among his other business connections, he was the founder and managing director of the Sterling Telephone & Electric Co. Ltd. (Frank Andrews, ‘Seymour and Sykes – Sykes and Seymour,’ The Hillanddale News, London, April 1977, no. 95, p. 128)
One of the witnesses to the Birnbaum/Carter marriage was A.E. Matthews (1869-1960), an actor who later became well-known for character parts on stage and in films. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._E._Matthews)
This theatrical connection is interesting because Miss Carter, known professionally as either Ada Carter or Aida Carter, was for a short time in the late 1890s an actress/showgirl under contract to the London impresario, George Edwardes. She made appearances in the choruses of the musical plays, A Runaway Girl (Gaiety Theatre, 1898/99) and San Toy (Daly's Theatre, 1899/1900).
About 1969, when she was in her early 90s, I was invited to have tea with Mrs. Burley (Ada Carter) and one of her daughters when they were living at 18 Courtfield Gardens, Kensington. She then told me that the highlight of her brief theatrical career was when she stood in during the indisposition of the Australian-born actress, Grace Palotta (who had replaced Ethel Hayden (Mrs. George Robey)) in the part of Dorothy Stanley in A Runaway Girl. She was required to sing one of the hits of the show, Lionel Monckton's 'Soldiers in the Park' although her singing voice was not strong enough to sustain the part for more than three weeks. (For information about this production, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Runaway_Girl ; and for a recording of 'Soldiers in the Park' go to YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDxiPtxhPYA).
Mrs. Burley also told me that before appearing at the Gaiety she had had experience as an amateur actress. This is mentioned in the caption to the W. & D. Downey photograph of her reproduced in The Sketch (London, Wednesday, 16 August 1899, p. 151)."
Date: 21 October 1898.
Location: The Lafayette studio, 179 New Bond Street, London, W.
Furniture & Props: Rococo style painted backdrop; Rococo fireplace with painted mirror; lamp with support and shade; studio Persian rug.
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