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Les jumeaux Chinois Célèbres.

Les jumeaux Chinois Célèbres.

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Les jumeaux Chinois Célèbres.

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Amersfoort, Netherlands
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About This Item

Les jumeaux Chinois Célèbres. [The Netherlands or Belgium?], [1901]. Pitchcard (15 x 22 cm) with portrait and brief biography in French, on heavy card stock, text and image repeated at the back.

Together with two bills in French and Dutch (29 x 23): Photographie et Biographie des célèbres Jumeaux Chinois. Prix 10 Centimes; and: Photographie en levensbeschrijving van de beroemde Chineesche tweelingen. Prijs 10 cents.

Both bills with a vertical fold and some tiny holes. The Dutch one with annotation at the top: "model van een uitvoering in Fransch 6 stuks", and in lower right hand corner: "6 stuks Fransch". Damaged at top and bottom, otherwise in good condition. The French bill with some insignificant damages along the edges and two tears along the fold. The pitchcard, finally, with a few small dents, and the back with a bowed line running vertically, otherwise in very good condition.

An extremely rare (unique?) pitchcard with a biography and photographic portrait of Chinese conjoined twin brothers Liou-Tang-Sen (Liao-Toun-Chen, or Liu Tang San) and Liou-Seng-Sen (Liao-Sienne-Chen, or Liu Soon San), together with two window bills advertising the pitchcard, one in French and one in Dutch.

The xiphopagus twin brothers were born in China on January 2, 1887. Twelve years later, on June 16, 1899, they embarked on a voyage to England, together with their father. There they joined the famous Barnum & Bailey's circus, "The Greatest Show on Earth". With the circus they toured through England, crossing the canal to Europe in 1901, where they visited Hungary, Austria, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium, spending the winter in Paris. The next year the circus toured France, crossing the ocean to America in the Spring of 1903.
In America the twins seem to have performed on their own. To avoid the Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited immigration of Chinese laborers to America, the brothers presented themselves as "Korean".

On February 24, 1903, The Boston Globe recorded a performance by the brothers at Austin & Stone's. According to the newspaper the twins attracted "hundreds of visitors" who "went home satisfied that the Corean twin brothers, Liao-Toun-Chen and Liao-Sien-Ne-Chen [...] eclipse as a human wonder the famous Siamese twins". The reviewer probably refers to famous Siamese twins Eng and Chang.

The present pitchcard (a proof?) was no doubt printed to be sold on one of the twins' shows in Belgium or the Netherlands. It portrays the brothers in Chinese wear; the image was most likely taken from a photo by Edena Studios.

Chapot-Prévot, Chirurgie des tératopages. Opération de Maria-Rosalina. Observation d'un nouveau xiphopage, les frères chinois, Paris, 1901, pp. 37-64; Vaschide & Vurpas, 'La vie biologique d'un xiphopage' in: Nouvelle Iconographie De La Salpêtrière Tome XX (1902), pp. 247-264; for Barnum & Bailey's 1901/1902 tour, see Circus Historical Society.


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Black Dog Rare Books NL (NL)
Bookseller Inventory #
Les jumeaux Chinois Célèbres.
Book condition
Quantity available
Place of Publication
[the Netherlands or Belgium?]
Date published
Freaks, Sideshow, Circus, Twins, Siamese twins
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About the Seller

Black Dog Rare Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since: 2019
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About Black Dog Rare Books

Dedicated to the weird and wonderful, Black Dog Rare Books was established in December 2018 by Steven de Joode. Based in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, we offer quirky, unusual, interesting and rare books and ephemera from four centuries.Steven has a BA (Hons.) in German and an MA (Hons.) in Book and Manuscript Studies (University of Amsterdam). Having worked as a bibliographer at the National Library of the Netherlands and as a cataloger and dealer at Antiquariaat Forum, Steven has broad experience in the world of rare books.If you have any queries, wants or comments, please get in touch.


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The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...[more]

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