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THE ORIGINAL ELIOPHOBUS FAMILY [carte de visite (CDV)]
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THE ORIGINAL ELIOPHOBUS FAMILY [carte de visite (CDV)]

By [Lucasie Family; Eisenmann, Charles (photographer)]

New York: Charles Eisenmann, 1885. First Edition. Photograph. Near fine. [1880s]. Carte de visite, approximately 4 1/8 x 2 1/2 inches. Imprint of Charles Eisenmann on verso. Light foxing in upper margin of photograph and very minor wear to gilt edges, else a fine, crisp card and print. A splendid example of one of the most iconic images of the albino Lucasie family, whom P. T. Barnum brought from Amsterdam to New York in 1857 and advertised as white Negro natives of Madagascar, sometimes with the Barnumesque label, Eliophobus (sun-fearing), as seen here. The Lucasies, whose family included a daughter in addition to the son shown in this image, toured widely for Barnum and were one of his most popular attractions at his American Museum in New York. After the demise of the Museum, they performed on the circus circuit until what appears to be the death of both parents, Rudolph and Antiana, and their daughter in 1898. The son, Joseph, had studied violin from a young age and was reported to have distinguished himself in the art. He would continue to perform musically until his own death in 1909.

$350.00

CHE-MAH, THE CHINESE DWARF [carte de visite (CDV)]
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CHE-MAH, THE CHINESE DWARF [carte de visite (CDV)]

By [Che-Mah; Eisenmann, Charles (photographer)]

New York: Charles Eisenmann, 1885. First Edition. Photograph. Very good. [1880s]. Carte de visite, approximately 4 1/8 x 2 1/2 inches. Imprint of Charles Eisenmann on verso. Signed by Che Mah in blue on verso in Chinese characters and Roman letters. Light foxing in caption area of recto and edges of verso, light wear to photograph. Very good to near fine. Carte de visite portrait of Che-Mah (1838-1926), the "Chinese Dwarf," and an unidentified man of normal stature. In 1881, facing the the retirement of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Thumb and the recent death of Commodore Nutt, P. T. Barnum was scouting for new little-person talent and found Che Mah in London, where he had been performing for a year. Che Mah signed with Barnum and worked with him until Barnum's death in 1891. He went on to perform for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and various sideshows and dime museums in the Midwest before retiring to Knowx, Indiana around 1901. Although he was said to come from a farm in Ningbo, China, there is some question as to Che Mah's true origins. In his 1936 memoirs, THIS WAY TO THE BIG SHOW, retired Barnum and Bailey Publicity Director and circus collector Dexter W. Fellows declared matter-of-factly that "the Chinese dwarf ... was a London Jew."

$300.00

[Carte de visite (CDV) of Bearded Lady Annie Jones]
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[Carte de visite (CDV) of Bearded Lady Annie Jones]

By [Jones, Annie; Eisenmann, Charles (photographer)]

New York: Charles Eisenmann, 1890. First Edition. Photograph. Very good. [ca. 1890]. Carte de visite, approximately 4 1/8 x 2 1/2 inches. Imprint of Charles Eisenmann on verso. Some fadgin, light wear, and very minor foxing. Very good. Annie Jones (1865-1902), billed as the "Esau Child" as a girl and later as the "Esau Lady," was the most famous bearded lady of the 19th century. She toured with P. T. Barnum for many years as a member of his congress of freaks," a term she is said to have campaigned against. An 1898 press release from the Barnum and Bailey Circus in advance of a European tour announced that Jones had called a meeting on January 6, 1898 to protest the word and find a less "oppobrious" alternative. The event, as Leslie Fiedler notes in FREAKS, may have been "dreamed up by the Barnum and Bailey public relations staff" (the release had made a point of noting that the meeting had been chaired by Sol Stone, the Human Adding Machine, and its minutes taken by the Armless Wonder with his feet). She was, in any event, a leading, lifelong member of the Barnum troupe before her early death from pneumonia at the age of 37.

$200.00

AN EVENING'S ENTERTAINMENT BY MR. SELDEN CROSBY : SUBJECT-PHRENOLOGY .... THE WORKING POWER OF ELECTRICITY .... ALSO A MAGIC LANTERN EXHIBITION ... [caption title]
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AN EVENING'S ENTERTAINMENT BY MR. SELDEN CROSBY : SUBJECT-PHRENOLOGY .... THE WORKING POWER OF ELECTRICITY .... ALSO A MAGIC LANTERN EXHIBITION ... [caption title]

By [Phrenology]

[S.l.: s.n., 1880. Broadside. Very good. [ca. 1880]. Broadside, 19¼ x 8 inches. Early horizontal fold, minor chipping, two closed tears (1-inch and 1¼-inch) in lower margin, small marginal stains, very light occasional foxing. Very good. An unrecorded broadside advertising a lecture by Selden Crosby on phrenology and electricity, with public phrenological examinations offered, skulls shown, an electric battery demonstrated, and a magic lantern show given. The magic lantern exhibition includes life-size pictures of two famous late-18th/early-19th-century human anomalies: Daniel Lambert (1770-1809), who weighed over 700 pounds, and Calvin Edson (1788-1832), the "living skeleton," who weighed only 45. Spaces for venue, dates, and ticket price remain uncompleted. No records of or relating to this broadside have been located on OCLC or elsewhere.

$350.00