Item #8349 Barnum’s Museum…Monday, October 13th, 1862…The Living Colored Tropical Fish…The Sacred Bull & Cow of the Hindoos…Ned, the Living Seal. P. T. Barnum, Waters-Son E S. H., del.
Barnum’s Museum…Monday, October 13th, 1862…The Living Colored Tropical Fish…The Sacred Bull & Cow of the Hindoos…Ned, the Living Seal.

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Barnum, P. T.; E.S.H., Waters-Son, del.

Barnum’s Museum…Monday, October 13th, 1862…The Living Colored Tropical Fish…The Sacred Bull & Cow of the Hindoos…Ned, the Living Seal.

New York, October 13, 1862. Illustrated broadsheet, 21” x 7.25”, plus margins. Engravings, 4.25” x 6.65” and 5.25” x 6.85”. CONDITION: Good, a few 1” tears along old horizontal folds, light creasing, light dampstaining in lower portion of the broadside, a few tiny punctures to engraving and in the middle of the broadside, but no losses to the text.

A scarce Barnum’s Museum broadsheet highlighting the aquatic and land animals on display and a drama set in the Swiss Alps. 

Described here are fifty Angel Fish (“outvieing even the tints of the rainbow”), Squirrel Fish, Surgeon or Doctor Fish (“a very grave and dignified piscatorial gentleman”), Cow Fish (“with head and horns like a cow, and changes its brilliant colors like a chameleon”), Porcupine Fish (“covered all over with spines, like porcupine’s quills, and with head and eyes like a bulldog”), Crimson Cavaretta (or Jenny Hine), Spanish Lady, Zebra Fish, and more. These specimens are said to have cost the Manager (i.e., Barnum) over $7000. Other animals on display include a “Sacred Bull and Cow of the Hindoos,” Bears, an Electrical Eel, Monster Snakes, and “Ned, the Living Learned Seal,” who was “trained to shoulder the musket, play the organ, make bows, shake hands with the ladies, send them kisses, and show them how to swim,” and performed three times a day in the Lecture Room. Listed are several dozen merchants (and their addresses in New York), who advertised on Barnum’s “Mercantile Advertising Curtain.” These include patent medicine companies, the Bowery Clothing Co., photography dealers, The Soldier’s Friend; Mark’s Artificial Limbs, bootmakers, manufacturers of hair restoration medicine (“it’s not a Dye”), and Holloway’s Pills for diarrhea and dysentery (“the scourges of our Army”).

The verso promotes the performance of Dio Boucicault’s (1820–1890) drama Pauvrette (or “Under the Snow”), which is described as 

full of elegant dialogue, interesting and powerful situations, permitting the use of Sketches from the ice clad Alps in Chilling Grandeur frowning in solitary magnificence, also the village of St. Didier, one of the beautiful spots in glorious and sunny Switzerland, from which as the interest increases and piece progresses, the scene is changed to the Palaces and Chateaux of ‘La Belle France,’ forming a succession of romance and passion that none but this great master of the dramatic art has ever effected. 

Pauvrette opened on October 18th 1862, and was performed twice a day during the week and weekend. The drama and its tableaux were produced by E. F. Taylor (the Museum’s “Director of Amusements”). Seventeen characters are listed. The Five Acts of the production consist of Act I, Russia, 1812; Act II, Switzerland, 1830; Act III, Summit of the Alps, where there takes place an Alpine Hurricane and the fall of the avalanche; Act IV, France at Chateau of Grandval; and Act V, Pavilion and Gardens of Grandval Illuminated.

No copies of this broadside are recorded in OCLC.

Item #8349

Price: $750.00

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