Zoe’s German Half-Sister



The Housewife’s Journal – Novelty Framing

I find this dour faced lady fascinating in her determination to keep the same unsmiling expression in her three excursions to a photobooth. I wonder if she kept up this photographic po-face for her entire life?

Despite this lack of humour I do like her face. She reminds me of a favourite English actor, Zoe Wannamker. I struggled to find photos of an unsmiling Zoe. She seems to have a naturally sunny disposition. She is beaming happily in most of the Google images I could find but you may be able to see the resemblance in the two pictures below.

images Unknown

I tried to decipher the wording from the bottom of the novelty photo and use a translator to work out what this says. I am not familiar enough with the German language to make good guesses where the text is unclear, so was unsuccessful. Can anyone out there help me?

  1. John said:

    That sure does look like an intentional, faux scowl. ggrrr


    • Yes, she is very posed and determined to growl. Maybe she thought that was her best look?


  2. Mike said:

    Katherine, what is your best guess as to the year these were taken? I just wonder about that VERY pained expression and what kind of misery she may have lived through if this was a WW ll era photo. German citizens paid a terrific cost for Hitler’s lunacy.


    • I’d say early 30s, so I guess that is about the time Hitler was chancellor? Could have been late 1920s at a pinch.


      • Mike said:

        Yeah, it probably predates the war. But she sure looks miserable, that one.


  3. m.lever said:

    she is positively beaming in photo 3. i think during that era people didn’t smile so much. i see photos of my grandparents and they strike a similar pose.


    • Tee hee. I guess she is by comparison, Martin!! Re not smiling so much in photos, from what I have seen there is so much variety in people’s expressions in that era, I wouldn’t say it was the norm. Maybe the top two were for more formal purposes, if she’d taken them for identity cards?


  4. m.lever said:

    i meant photo 4, but you get my drift… i think she might have been a hipster…


    • Yes, the one with the faux magazine cover. I knew you mean that one. Her lips are ever so slightly up-turned compared to the rest. She was indeed, exhuberantly happy in that one!!!! 🙂


  5. How funny, before I scrolled down, I thought she looked like Zoe Wannamaker, too!


  6. Wonderful – seems like there might be a bad smell nearby 🙂 I can . see the similarities with Zoe – one of my favourites. First saw her in Mother Courage with Judi Dench in 1984 – happy days. Thanks for the reminder and your always entertaining blog.


    • I am guessing you mean on stage in the West End? Glad you like Zoe. She is wonderful! And thanks for the compliment about my blog. I like yours, too!


      • Yes, the RSC production at the Barbican with Judi Dench as Mother Courage – a memorable night.


  7. mit unfallzer sicherung für sie und ihre familie sewie ….. fur … geghatten gemassden bedingungen – – – with accidental protection for you and your family as well ….. for … have been made according to the conditions.
    Best I could do. Two word were illegible. This is a literal translation, it looks like an insurance policy, but given the times in Germany I wonder whether it might have been connected with Jewish immigration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You speak German Tony? Fabulous! Given that this is a novelty photo made up to look like a magazine article I doubt there is anything serious in the wording, well I hope not! Having said that they have chosen an unusual subject matter. . .


    • PS Thanks for dipping back into the archive. It is fun to revisit older posts. I adore these photos!


  8. Das blatt der hausfrau – – the housewife’s sheet ( as in a sheet of paper)

    Liked by 1 person

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