Item #7853 Blondin Donkey—Comic. Asheville and Vicinity series. Thomas H. Lindsey, photographer.
Blondin Donkey—Comic. Asheville and Vicinity series.

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Lindsey, Thomas H., photographer.

Blondin Donkey—Comic. Asheville and Vicinity series.

Asheville, N.C., [ca. 1890]. Cabinet card photograph, 4.375” x 7” plus mount. Printed text at verso. Early pencil annotation below title: “April 12 1890.” CONDITION: Very good, excellent tonality.

A sweet photo of a handsome Black boy on a donkey, intended to riff on a popular comic trope, although we find no trace of humor in the image.

North Carolina photographer Thomas Lindsey included this photo in the “Character and Comic” section of his Western North Carolina views: “In this class, as the heading indicates, is represented all kinds of Character and Comic Subjects, such as rude Mountain Teams, Mountain Vehicles, Cabins where the lower classes exist,—views photographed from real life during our rambles through the mountains. To many, this is the most interesting class in our entire list.” The figure of “Blondin,” a horse or donkey played by two acrobats in a single animal suit, took its name from Charles Blondin, who crossed the Niagara Falls on a tightrope in 1859, and quickly became comedic stock.

Thomas H. Lindsey (1849–1927) was born in Virginia and worked for several years in Tennessee before moving to Asheville, where he became the city’s leading commercial photographer.

REFERENCES: Lindsey, Thomas H. Lindsey’s Guide Book to Western North Carolina. Illustrated (Asheville: The Randolph-Kerr Printing Co., 1890) p. 91; “Lindsey and Brown photographs, circa 1890,” Duke University Libraries online.

Item #7853

Price: $275.00

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