This spectacular photo is such a treasure. Found in a collection of antique American celebrity images at an estate sale, there are a couple of notations on the photo front and back with really not much of a clue as to who this man is. On the front is handwritten Copyrighted by Harvey??? Leer??? 1908. The back, in the same handwriting, says Chow “Fluffy Ruffles” The high quality 3 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ image is mounted on a stiff cardboard much as cabinets cards were in more Victorian times.
The Chow is of the old early type that was imported from England or even China during that time. The clothing the man is wearing is so classy and elegant from his shoes to his hat. Once I enlarged this and did the black and white restoration the details became clear, including the stable and the horse statue to the right.
If anyone has a clue as to who this actor (stage or silent film) might be, please let me know. He looks so incredibly familiar but when I do my research, no one who looks like this man is at the right age to be in 1908. See more research below.
Well I have been doing a lot of digging and have found a couple of photos of the American Philanthropist , Andrew Carnegie that are a very close match. The right age, stature, beard and hair….the expensive clothing. Even the plaid coat could be part of the Scottish Carnegie connection. I may be way off but its the closest I have found so far.
Andrew Carnegie (photo Wiki Commons)
*The chows’ name “Fluffy Ruffles” most certainly was inspired by a very popular Broadway play by the same name…”Fluffy Ruffles”, which premiered in the year before this photo was taken from my research. 1907
Everything was named after that play from food, to fashion…and apparently dogs! I will keep digging but these are all fun puzzle pieces to follow.