Madame Louisa Howard as She Appeared in her Unequaled Equestrian Act at Welch & Mann’s National Amphitheatre. George T. Sanford, artist.
Madame Louisa Howard as She Appeared in her Unequaled Equestrian Act at Welch & Mann’s National Amphitheatre.
Madame Louisa Howard as She Appeared in her Unequaled Equestrian Act at Welch & Mann’s National Amphitheatre.
Madame Louisa Howard as She Appeared in her Unequaled Equestrian Act at Welch & Mann’s National Amphitheatre.
Madame Louisa Howard as She Appeared in her Unequaled Equestrian Act at Welch & Mann’s National Amphitheatre.

Madame Louisa Howard as She Appeared in her Unequaled Equestrian Act at Welch & Mann’s National Amphitheatre.

[New York]: Lith. of G. & W. Endicott No. 59 Beekman St. N. York, 1846. Lithograph image and text 25” x 19” on sheet measuring 28” x 22”.

A rare, early, and very appealing circus lithograph promoting the equestrian act of Louisa Howard, one of the day’s most highly praised performers, designed and drawn on stone by G.T. Sanford.

Louisa Howard, a native of Baltimore, rode in various circuses operated by Rufus Welch, America’s most successful circus owner of the 1840s and 1850s. According to T. Allston Brown, Howard “received a greater amount of sincere, unbought and enthusiastic applause than was ever awarded to any person who has attempted the daring and heroic art which she practiced…with no superior in any part of the world.”

The central image depicts the great equestrienne recumbent on horseback, striking a Mazeppa-like pose, in Welch’s premier winter show, Welch & Mann’s, which operated for twelve consecutive winters at the National Amphitheater in Philadelphia. After its winter run, the show spent the summer on the road, traveling throughout the Northeast, with occasional stops as far West as Ohio. The line at the bottom with space for the date and place of a performance to be written in, suggests that this print was produced for the circus’s summer traveling run.

George Theodore Sanford (1815–1848), was a multitalented artist who worked for the Endicott company for several years, and whose artistic pursuits extended to playing the flute and violin as well as composing doggerel verse. Sanford is known to have drawn at least one other circus equestrian print for Endicott, of similar design, advertising a performance by “Madame Macarte in some of her favorite acts, as she appeared in Welch and Delavan’s National Circus. Philadelphia, January 15th, 1847.”

A rare and very handsome American circus lithograph.

REFERENCES: Bumgardner, Georgia Brady. George and William Endicott : Commercial Lithography in New York, 1831–1851, pp. 55–57 in Tatham, David ed., Prints and Printmakers of New York State, 1825–1940. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1986. Also Rufus Welch’s Worst Season in Stuart Thayer’s American Circus Anthology, Essays of the Early Years.

CONDITION: Expertly repaired horizontal tear on left extending approx. halfway through center of image, discreetly repaired vertical tear through vignette in lower left quadrant, lightly soiled; a very handsome and presentable print.

Item #2863

Price: $4,750.00

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