Pyewacket Books is a bookseller based in Oakland, California, specializing in rare and antiquarian books, photographs, tarot cards, and assorted oddities in a variety of areas including the occult, queer history, and history of sexuality.
New York: Eisenmann. 16.5x11 cm. Cabinet card. Decoratively cut edges. Some age toning and soiling. Overall very good. Signed "Millie-Christine" on back.
Millie and Christine McKoy (1851-1912) were conjoined twins who traveled the world and performed as "The Carolina Twins," "The Two-Headed Nightingale" and "The Eighth Wonder of the World." Born in North Carolina into slavery, the twins were first sold at 10 months old, a cruelty that was repeated several times throughout their lives. In 1863 with the Emancipation Proclamation, they were finally freed and reunited with their mother, Monemia. After this they spent time in Britain, were educated, met Queen Victoria and performed with the Barnum Circus. The twins trained as singers and would duet, one singing soprano, the other alto. Millie and Christine eventually moved back to North Carolina, to the farm they were born on, which their father had purchased from their former owner and left to them. They died in 1912, within 12 hours of one another. (348)
New York: c.1887. 17x11 cm. Cabinet card. Some light toning and soiling. Overall very good.
The Sisters Levey (Adele, Carlotta, and May Lilian) were an English music and dance hall performance group, known for their pleasing voices and spectacular curves. This cabinet card dates to their time with Evans & Hoey, whose vaudeville show "A Parlor Match" ran in New York from 1884-1893. (349)
c.1895. 16.5x11 cm. Image slightly faded. Mild foxing along borders. Overall very good.
Noble George Washington Winner (along with his wife, Mary) performed with the Ringling Brothers' Circus as "The Greatest Midgets in the World." The Winners were married in a performance-ceremony in 1896. Mary died in 1921, presumably near the couple's permanent home in Monticello, Iowa. Noble is said to have drowned himself in a bathtub in San Francisco in 1926. (350)
9.5x6.2 cm. Carte de Visite. Light foxing. Overall very good.
General Littlefinger (possibly Samuel Armour) toured with P.T. Barnum and the Barnum Circus. Touted as the "Smallest Man Alive", Littlefinger was likely played by a number of men. Barnum also employed a "Baron Littlefinger,""Lt. Littlefinger" and "Major Littlefinger," who all appear to be separate entities. This cabinet card shows the General at 20 years old, standing 31" and weighing 28lbs.
Samuel Armour (1847-1937) toured with Barnum under the name "General Littlefinger," though there are no photos identifying him as such. Born in Kentucky, he died in Bridgeport, Illinois at the age of 90. (351)
New York: C. Henkel, c.1880. 11x6.5 cm. Carte de visite. Slight soiling. Overall very good.
The Three Siegrists, or the Siegrist Brothers, performed as circus acrobats. Not much is available on the brothers, though they do appear to have traveled with John B. Dorris's Great Inter-Ocean Museum, Menagerie, and Circus in 1883. First known performance of the Siegrists was 1879, and last located was 1886. They were most likely French. (352)
n.p.: c.1878. 11x6.5 cm. Carte de visite. Age toning. Overall very good.
William and Freddie O'Brien were trapeze artists and sons of Fred O'Brien, also a circus acrobat. The boys performed with their father and mother (a slack-wire artist) until Fred Sr.'s death in 1881 from injuries sustained in a double-somersault over a series of elephants. Both boys were last spotted in the circus in 1897, by which point William was an acrobat for Robinson-Franklin, and Freddie Jr. a principal clown for Cooper & Co. (353)
California: 1929-1951 28 b&w photographs and some promotional adverts, most approx. 25.5x20.5 cm. Many signed or inscribed. Some light wear. All very good.
A ridiculously charming archive of photos and promotional material for Huey the Clown, real name Myron Hooey Curtiss. Photos date from 1929-1951 with the bulk from ~1946. Most are signed or inscribed to his daughter, Myra. Photos cover Huey's time with various circuses including Clyde Beatty's (1946, 1951), Russell Bros. (1946), Robbins Bros.(1929-30), and the Kenneth Waite All-American Clown Troupe (1929). There is also a signed photograph of Phil Escalante (1947), meaning Huey likely worked with the Esacalante Circus as well. The majority are head shots, but there are some charming backstage photos as well. A few depict Huey with other clowns, including Ezelle "The Lady Clown." Most photos from Southern California, including LA and San Diego. A personal advert for Huey the Clown "Tops in Klowndom" features an Alhambra, CA address. Overall, these photos present a sweet, intimate look at clowning and circus life in the mid-1900s.
Curiously, a painting of "Huey the Clown" by Francis De Erdely is included at the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian. Dated 1946 with an unknown sitter, this may very well be our man. (354)
Ledford, Mary and Jerry. " Akron, OH: c.1952. 14 b&w photographs and promotional materials, most approx. 25.5x21 cm. Some age toning. All very good.
"The Act Beautiful"
A small archive of materials related to the Hi-Jinks on Rollers skate duo, out of Akron, Ohio. Includes adverts, letterhead, business cards, instructions for performance music and promotional photographs. Unfortunately, the black and white nature of these materials don't do justice to the fact that these two performed under blacklight, decked in highly radioactive radium paint, which was discontinued in the 1960s because that shit will kill you.
No word on what became of the pair, although "Mary and Jerry" appear to have been predated by both "Lyn and Jerry" and "Irene and Jerry" so one might infer. (355)
Paris: Editions Devambez, 1924.  pp. 32x25 cm. Staplebound pictorial wraps. Illustrated throughout with photographs and 4 tipped in Light soiling to covers. Middle signature loose. Overall very good.
Photographs and art advertising the 1924-25 season at the Casino de Paris. Includes 4 tipped-in illustrations by Charles Gesmar, noted Jazz-Age costumer, Etienne Drian, another popular fashion artist of the day, and two by Édouard Chimot, who notably oversaw the art production on Pierre Louÿs's "Les Chansons de Billitis." Also includes dozens of photographs (three with colour added) of lavish sets and costumes. Oh, these costumes. Burlesque fans take note. (356)
Reynolds, Charles and Regina. New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1976. First Edition. 112 pp. 42x29 cm. Folio. Pictorial cloth. Wear and light soiling to cloth. Some foxing to endpapers and dampstaining to bottom edge. Overall about very good.
Striking collection of over 100 magicians' advertising posters, most in colour. Includes many of the greats: Houdini, Thurston, Keller, Carter the Great, and others. (357)