Series 2001
Studio information and cross-references to Film Sterne/Verlag Ross card numbers provided by Hans Schnepper

  Fern Andra
(Film Sterne 151/3)
Studio: Fern Andra Atelier

  Bruno Kastner
(Film Sterne 138/1)
Studio: Becker & Maass

  Mia May
(Film Sterne 105/4)
Studio: Becker & Maass

  Mia May
(Film Sterne 105/1)
Studio: Becker & Maass

  Hella Moja
(Film Sterne 165/2)
Studio: Becker & Maass

  Pola Negri
(Verlag “Ross” 233)
Studio: Anny Eberth

  Lotte Neumann
(Film Sterne 194/3)
Studio Becker & Maass

  Lotte Neumann
(Film Sterne 150/2)
Studio: Becker & Maass

  Henny Porten
(Verlag “Ross” 303/1)
Studio: Becker & Maass

  Henny Porten
(Verlag “Ross” 301/3)
Studio: Becker & Maass

  Henny Porten
(Film Sterne 215/1)
Studio: Becker & Maass

  Hedda Vernon
(Verlag “Ross” 232/2)
Studio: Becker & Maass

Collection Notes from Hans Schnepper:

This is an early series of postcards with colour portraits printed on white paper. The series features seven actresses, and one actor. The series number is 2001, and the highest card number known is 12. The card numbers are printed on the back of the card. The material used is heavier than the regular postcards. Apart from the name of the artist, the front only mentions Verlag “Ross”, Berlin SW.68. All portraits used in this series have also been used on cards in the regular Film Sterne or Verlag “Ross” series. It seems probable that the use of the portraits in the 2001 series postdates the use in the Film Sterne and Verlag “Ross” series. The same typeface as the one on the corresponding cards from the regular series was used.

The back of the cards only mentions the series number and the name of the photographer. Ten of the twelve cards feature portraits by the Berlin studio Becker & Maass. Becker & Maass was founded in 1902, when the studios of Becker and Maass joined forces. The early years of the 20th century they took many of the portraits featured on film postcards of the day. In July 1916 Fern Andra set up her Fern Andra Atelier, also in Berlin, which in 1920 continued without the actress as Firma Fern Andra-Atelier. The Pola Negri portrait was done by another Berlin studio, that of Anny Eberth.

Of three of the cards I have two copies each. The colours of the portraits of each of these two sets are identical. This suggests that one hand-coloured original portrait was used for each card of this series.

One of my copies of 2001/10 has not been sent through the post as a postcard, but appears to have been sent in an envelope. The back has been written with a Christmas wish, and is dated 21 December 1919.*     Since the transition from Film Sterne to Verlag “Ross” appears to have taken place around the same time, I would date the publication of this series to 1919. This date seems to be confirmed by the date of the name-change of Fern Andra’s studio (1920)

Why was this series published? “Ross” Verlag produced many different series, in all kinds of sizes, materials, and quantities, but this did not start until the late 1920s. Was the 2001 series an early attempt at something different, perhaps a new technique for printing hand-coloured images, or was it to try out new material? In any case, this series seems to show the most popular film stars in Germany at that time. All had already established careers by the time of printing: Henny Porten made her film debut in 1906, Mia May, Lotte Neumann and Hedda Vernon in 1912, Fern Andra in 1913, and Bruno Kastner and Hella Moja in 1914. As mentioned above, Pola Negri’s cinematic debut took place in Poland in 1914, followed by her German debut in 1917.

Pola Negri was the only non-German of the eight artists. She was a relative newcomer in Germany, having arrived in Berlin in November 1916. Negri made her first film in Poland in 1914, and by 1919 she had already made more than a dozen films in Germany. Postcard Verlag “Ross” no 233 (see 2001/6) was the actress’ first card issued by “Ross”. With this in mind, the choice of Pola Negri may seem to have been a remarkable one, but obviously reflects the actress’ meteoric rise to fame in Germany.

Additional Note from the Cataloger:

*During the cataloging process a copy of 2001/5 (Hella Moja) was found with a message dated 28 Jan 1919. The card was not postmarked.