Hamilton Revelle as the Wazir Mansur in Kismet

Hamilton Revelle as the Wazir Mansur in Kismet

This portrait of the British stage and film actor Hamilton Revelle in the role of the Wazir Mansur in the Arabian fantasy play Kismet on Broadway was most likely taken in 1912 by the important New York stage photographer Joseph Byron. (1847-1923) In an interesting coincidence, a profile on Revelle’s talents as an amateur photographer and water-color painter during his run at the Knickerbocker Theatre where he interacted with Byron was published in the New York Times on May 26, 1912. An excerpt:

In the half-tone section to-day appear pictures of Otis Skinner, Miss Jolivet, and Miss Woodthrope, which were taken by Mr. Revelle during the dress rehearsal of “Kismet” at the Knickerbocker Theatre. Mr. Byron, the flash-light photographer, was present with his several assistants and his ponderous paraphernalia, to make the customary scene pictures for reproduction in the newspaper and magazines. He and Mr. Revelle are old friends, and when the actor came from behind the scenes, dressed as the Wasir Mansur, and took up a position in the orchestra prepared to take pictures with his minute instrument, the veteran professional photographer made all manner of sport of his amateur rival. At every glare from the flash-light torch Mr. Revelle’s camera clicked, while Mr. Byron alternately snorted contemptuously at the “toy” and accused the actor of stealing his light. The three pictures reproduced in the half-tone section to-day were among those taken by Mr. Revelle with the light filched from Mr. Byron. The smaller pictures are the exact size of the originals. (1.)

print notes recto: titled and signed on mount below tipped photo: left: The “Wazir Mansur” in “Kismet”; right: Photo by Byron.

print notes verso: listed filmography of Revelle along with his dates in graphite along with notation that the actor reprised the role of the Wazir Mansur in the 1920 film (silent) of Kismet. This photo was possibly used for publicity for the 1920 film. The 1912 date for this photograph is confirmed by a full length portrait of Revelle by the White Studio published in the March, 1912 issue of The Theatre magazine showing the actor wearing the same identical stage garments.

1. excerpt: Hamilton Revelle’s Hobby: Pictures in To-day’s Half-Tone Section Reveal His Skill in Art Photography: The New York Times: May 26, 1912, p. 78. Kismet, by playright Edward Knoblock, ran at the Knickerbocker Theatre from 12-25-1911 to 6-19-1912.

Hamilton Revelle as the Wazir Mansur in Kismet

Image Dimensions20.1 x 15.0 cm tipped along upper margin; believed to be selenium toned

Support Dimensions27.5 x 17.5 cm linen-surface card mount with printed border