The Fountain of Youth

Artist:Morris & Bendien N.Y.
Medium:Trumeau Mirror With Hand Colored Erotic Photograph
Dimensions:Framed 31" x 10"
Original Use:Decorative Arts
Price:S O L D
Above: Detail of Evelyn Nesbit
Above: Full view of Trumeau Mirror

A very fine arts & crafts, art nouveau aesthetic erotic nude Trumeau Mirror. The nude model is Evelyn Nesbit, the notorious Girl In The Red Velvet Swing.

Manufactured by Morris & Bendien, New York and titled Fountain Of Youth. Retains its original and flat out great "bat wing," pie-crust E.S. Curtis-esque gesso frame, with original verso paper and title on back panel as seen.

Above: Detail of pie crust Art Nouveau frame
Above: Verso label and backing paper

Evelyn Nesbit Biography

A former artist's model turned "Floradora Girl," Evelyn Nesbit (née Florence Nesbit) married Philadelphia society scion Harry K. Thaw in 1906. After dining at the famous Madison Square Garden roof a few months later, Thaw shot and killed Evelyn's reputed lover, famed architect Stanford White. Amazingly, this tragedy not only turned into the era's foremost cause célèbre but made a quasi-star of Nesbit , whose performance on the witness stand at her husband's trial was worthy of one of Broadway's better actresses.

Nesbit herself reportedly made her own screen debut in a depiction of the affair, the plainly titled The Great Thaw Trial (1909). Thaw, who was given an extremely lenient sentence due to friends in high places, answered back with Escape from the Asylum (1913), from actor/producer Hal Reid, after which curiosity finally seems to have been satisfied. Evelyn, meanwhile, toured vaudeville and starred in The Threads of Destiny (1915), which featured her young son Russell Thaw and future husband Jack Clifford.

Even more significant was the aptly titled Redemption (1917), in which Nesbit played a young mother forced to confess a past indiscretion to her son. She chose to bill herself Evelyn Nesbit-Thaw for this much hyped melodrama and the ensuing notoriety earned her a contract with Fox, who obviously saw her as something of a real-life Theda Bara. The result was a series of potboilers whose titles -- I Want to Forget (1918), Her Mistake (1918), Thou Shalt Not (1919), and The Fallen Idol -- once again played up her somewhat soiled reputation.

Sometime in the late 1910s, Nesbit made her final film, The Hidden Woman, again with little Russell, but it sat on the shelves for years before being dumped on the States' Rights market in 1922.

More than 30 years later, Nesbit's old studio, Fox, hired her as a "consultant" on The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955), a highly fictionalized account of the Thaw affair featuring Joan Collins as Evelyn, Ray Milland as Stanford White, and Farley Granger as Harry. According to a friend, Nesbit was ill and nearly destitute at the time and in dire need of the salary.

Years after her death, Evelyn Nesbit once again became the focal point of a fictive account of the Thaw affair, this time when author E. L. Doctorow incorporated the scandal into Ragtime, his sprawling indictment of the so-called "Gilded Age." Milos Forman's 1981 screen version featured Elizabeth McGovern as Evelyn, with author Norman Mailer as White and Robert Joy as Thaw. Hans J. Wollstein.


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