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[Cabinet Card Photograph of Snake Handler] by [Circus] - First Edition - 1885 - from W. C. Baker Rare Books & Ephemera and Biblio.com

[Cabinet Card Photograph of Snake Handler]

by [Circus]

Condition: Very good


[S.l.: s.n.], 1885. First Edition. Photograph. Very good. [ca. mid 1880s]. Cabinet card (albumen print mounted on card), approximately 6 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches. Subject's smiling face from a different photograph pasted on verso. Mild wear, tiny dent and stains in print, lower margin of card scuffed, light staining on verso. Very good.

Cabinet card ortrait of a young woman snake handler, in white circus dress, gazing at the face of a boa constrictor draped over her shoulders. The subject and photographer are both unknown, but the plain, dark cabinet card mount suggests date of production in the mid 1880s, a significant period in the history of the American circus. The item was part of the collection of the late Johnny Fox (1953-2017), the celebrated American sword swallower, sleight-of-hand artist, and proprietor of the Freakatorium / El Museo Loco, the first dime museum to appear in New York since the closing of Hubert's Museum in 1969. Located in a Lower East Side storefront from 1999 to 2005, the Freakatorium housed a collection of oddities, relics, photographs, and ephemera largely relating to human anomalies and sideshow performers.


  • Bookseller: W. C. Baker Rare Books & Ephemera US (US)
  • Bookseller Inventory #: 718
  • Title: [Cabinet Card Photograph of Snake Handler]
  • Author: [Circus]
  • Format/binding:Photograph
  • Book condition: Used - Very good
  • Quantity available: 1
  • Edition: First Edition
  • Publisher: s.n.]
  • Place: [S.l.
  • Date published: 1885
  • Keywords: Americana, Victoriana, performing arts, circus and allied arts, sideshow, snake, snake charmer, snake handler, photography
  • Bookseller catalogs: Americana; Circus & Allied Arts; Photography;


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