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Theater

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Autograph of Ethel Merman
1 Autograph of Ethel Merman
NA Very Good 
N.d., circa early 1950s. A Merman autograph written in pencil on a folded white sheet of paper. Merman was the pre-eminent star of the Broadway musical theater from her legendary debut belting out "I've Got Rhythm" in "Girl Crazy" until her stunning dramatic turn as Mama Rose in "Gypsy". Known for her thrilling and crystal clear diction that could be heard in the last row (and the lobby, and quite possibly, on the sidewalk), Merman was in numerous movies but seldom was able to excite movie audiences as she did live time and again. On stage, she had close to a perfect track record, with her hits including "Anything Goes", "Panama Hattie", "Annie Get Your Gun", "Call Me Madam", "DuBarry Was a Lady", and on and on. In her later years she was a regular presence on television, where she would belt out one of the innumerable hit songs she first introduced. 
Price: 75.00 USD
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2 Biographical Sketches of Count and Countess Philippe Nicol and their son Philippe Jr. The Midgets Palace [together with] a postcard from the Midgets' Palace entitled "Le Bebe Rare, The Rare Baby"
Wraps Fine 
Two items in all relating to the Midgets' Palace, a "small" house museum in Montreal which was in operation from 1913 until 1990, although Philippe Nicol himself, whose customized house it was, died in 1940, his wife, in 1964. (The family actually lived in the house, and visitors would pay when the museum first opened 5 cents to view the family as it went about its business.) The primary brochure is 12mo, 32 pp., French and English, with each cover serving as the front, depending on the language, and the English upside down from the French half. No date for any of these items, but the primary brochure was issued after the death of Philippe Nicol. Based on the age toning of the postcard especially, we would place these items as circa 1940s. (We assume both were acquired together.) 
Price: 45.00 USD
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Fan with College and Preparatory School Names along with Place Names, Restaurant Names, Hotel Names, Monograms, Crests, Emblems, etc. Labels Pasted On
3 Fan with College and Preparatory School Names along with Place Names, Restaurant Names, Hotel Names, Monograms, Crests, Emblems, etc. Labels Pasted On
1900 N.A. Very Good 
Quirky homemade souvenir fan with many stickers pasted on from New England and New York State towns, colleges (Yale, Harvard, Boston University, Amherst), fraternities, Prep Schools (Andover, Exeter), restaurants, hotels, clubs and other points of interest and monograms. While there is no definitive dating, this kind of fan was a popular hobby at the turn of the twentieth century. The stickers are on both sides of the fan, and the effect is same as on luggage with stickers from all the places the owner has traveled, except on the fan the stickers are much smaller. Given the preponderance of schools, we would conjecture that this particular fan was created by a young person, perhaps for his/her own enjoyment or conceived as a gift for a friend. Surely it was done as an act of love, and its very oddity must have been a source of fun for its creator. The fan has nine wooden spokes that fan out to 49 cm, and closed the fan is 26 cm tall. The labels and tags are pasted onto a black mackintosh fabric which has a luster. There is virtually no space available for additional tags, and so the project was fully realized by its creator. Solid and well-preserved. 
Price: 240.00 USD
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Fan with College and Preparatory School Names along with Place Names, Restaurant Names, Hotel Names, Monograms, Crests, Emblems, etc. Labels Pasted On
4 Fan with College and Preparatory School Names along with Place Names, Restaurant Names, Hotel Names, Monograms, Crests, Emblems, etc. Labels Pasted On
1900 N.A. Very Good 
Quirky homemade souvenir fan with many stickers pasted on from New England towns, colleges (Dartmouth, Wellesley, Mt. Holyoke College, New England Conservatory of Music, Williams College), prep schools (Phillips Exeter, hotels, and other points of interest. While there is no definitive dating, there is one sticker with the date of 1900 and another for "The Aegis: Dartmouth College Class of 1901. The stickers are on both sides of the fan, and the effect is same as on luggage with stickers from all the places the owner has traveled, except on the fan the stickers are much smaller. Given the preponderance of schools, we would conjecture that this particular fan was created by a young person, perhaps for his/her own enjoyment or conceived as a gift for a friend. Surely it was done as an act of love, and its very oddity must have been a source of fun for its creator. The fan has nine wooden spokes that fan out to 48 cm, and closed the fan is 26 cm tall. The labels and tags are pasted onto a black mackintosh fabric which has a luster. There is virtually no space available for additional tags, and so the project was fully realized by its creator. Solid and well-preserved. 
Price: 240.00 USD
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5 Japanese Leporello of 55 Original Watercolored Demonic Masks
Leporello. Fabric on boards. Very Good 
Fabulous collection of watercolors showing Japanese masks of demonic characters. The shapes of the heads are all essentially the same. Varying from one to the next is the colors used, the swirls and lines and other creepy attributes endowed onto the head-shape. N.d., circa 1900 (based on the paper and boards). Closed, 25 by 18 cm. 55 panels with one mounted watercolor on each. Light soiling to the fabric covering the boards. 
Price: 1250.00 USD
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6 Leporello of Original Paintings Depicting Characters of the Noh Theater
Leporello. Cloth (silk) cover. Outer case of clo Very Good 
Simple and straightforward presentation of stock characters from Japanese Noh Theater, all appealingly colored. N.d., 19th century. 24 by 18.5 cm. 24 pp of colorful character portraits. Several are double paged and are a bit more dynamic. Noh is a traditional form of Japanese musical drama that first arose in the 14th century and employs masks heavily in its ritualized performances. Scattered light foxing, never disconcerting. Blue cloth case with color fading, moderate wear, title label partially obliterated (the upper layer with lettering is perished). 
Price: 1000.00 USD
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Letter Signed by Audrey Hepburn, June 18th, 1954
7 Letter Signed by Audrey Hepburn, June 18th, 1954
1954 NA Very Good 
The typed letter is written from the 46th Street Theatre where Hepburn and her future husband, Mel Ferrer, were appearing in "Ondine". In the letter, addressed to a Mr. Sus, Heburn writes" "Thank you very much for your letter of June 14th. I would be very happy to help you to see the play if you will let me know which performance you and your friend would like to come to. Audrey Hepb . . ." The latter part of the last name is dropped, as typical of Hepburn signatures of the period. Hepburn had already made her stunning movie debut in "Roman Holiday". Ahead of her were her many other memorable movies, and thus this is an early autograph of Hepburn. 
Price: 1250.00 USD
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8 Opportunity Hour for Amateurs. The New Party Game with a Thousand Laughs.
New York American Toy Works (Atwo Product) 1937 First Edition NA Very Good 
Colorful, fun spoof on amateur showbiz! An uncut game sheet on linen-like paper measuring oblong, 46 by 55 cm (18 by 22 inches). Depicted on a theater stage are a juvenile crooner, a banjo-playing cowboy, two svelte girl singers, a burlesque comedian, a performer in black face and a slick announcer. The playing pieces, shaped like microphones, are to be cut out from the top of the page, with directions at the base. Included is the original envelope, which measures 23.5 by 29 cm. The characters are send-ups of theater types of the day, but one can not say that any of the characters are specific caricatures of say, Jolson or Frank Fay. Scarce, with no copies found elsewhere. Light wear. 
Price: 500.00 USD
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Painting, over a photograph, of Nineteenth Century Actresses Ada Rehan and Edith Kingdon
9 Painting, over a photograph, of Nineteenth Century Actresses Ada Rehan and Edith Kingdon
NA Very Good 
Unusual medium of paint over photograph, depicting two major dramatic actresses of the period sitting at tea. What is shown might be from a stage performance, or it might simply be a picture of these two celebrities socializing as themselves. Both women were a part of the Augustine Daly company. Ada Rehan (1859-1916) was born in Ireland as Delia Crehan. She became one of the leading Shakepearian heroine of her day, and she had many successes in other roles, both classic and contemporary. Edith Kingdon (1864-1921) retired from acting when she married George Gould, the son of Robber Baron Jay Gould. Pictorial part of work measures 12 by 16.5 cm. 
Price: 175.00 USD
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10 Schadumbeelden Jan Klaassen Spel
Very Good 
N.d., circa 1900. This shadow theater is of relatively uncommon Dutch origin. The way shadow theater works is a light is cast onto a screen or scrim, behind which figures are moved and seen by the audience as shadows. The pieces in the case of this theater are moved from below so that the audience doesn't see the intrusion of a human arm, etc. The stage for this set is brightly colored and somewhat naive in its detailing. The figures are cut on card. The stage itself has some light foxing. The figures are all in good repair although it is unknown how complete the set is. 
Price: 600.00 USD
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11 Sharpe's British Theatre (13 volumes, the first 13, of 18 issued)
London John Sharpe 1804 First edition Half Morocco. Marbled paper on boards. Very Good 
Miniature, or near miniature, 11 by 6.5 cm. Plays include Arthur Murphy's "The Grecian Daughter", "All in the Wrong", T. Southern's "Isabella", Goldsmith's "She Stoops to Conquer", Henry Brooke's "Gustavus Vasa", Arthur Murphy's "The Way to Keep Him", Thomas Otway's "Venice Preserved", Colman and Garrick's "The Clandestine Marriage", Thomas Otway's "The Orphan", Congreve's "Love for Love", Ambrose Philips' "The Distrest Mother", George Farquhar's "The Beaux Strategem", and Dr. Brown's "Barbarossa". While this is not the full set, it is the first 13 volumes of the set, and they are so numbered. Some rubbing to the leather, but overall, an attractive, if incomplete, set. 
Price: 300.00 USD
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Short inscribed note from Actress Julie Harris (1925-2013)
12 Short inscribed note from Actress Julie Harris (1925-2013)
NA Very Good 
N.d., circa early 1950s. The note says: "To Jana My Best always. Julie Harris." Jana was Jana Vasatova, who was, we believe, a Czech emigre who first resettled to London, then New York, and the note was found in a friendship album she was keeping around 1950. Julie Harris was arguably the leading dramatic actress of the Broadway stage of her generation, having won the Tony Award five times, including for "The Last of Mrs. Lincoln", "The Belle of Amherst", and "Forty Carats". While remembered primarily for her stage work, she also made a number of notable appearances in the screen, including her recreation of her first major stage role (and Tony award) in "The Member of the Wedding", "The Haunting" and her co-starring with James Dean in "East of Eden", and on television she was a part of the cast of "Knot's Landing". 
Price: 175.00 USD
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Souvenir of Werba and Luescher's The Spring Maid
13 Souvenir of Werba and Luescher's The Spring Maid
New York A. W. Young Wraps Very Good 
Photo illustrated souvenir program of an American version of the Viennese operetta "Die Sprudelfee". Book and lyrics by Harry B. and Robert B. Smith, from the German of Julius Wilhelm and A. M. Wilmer, to the music by Heinrich Reinhardt, and staged by George Marion. N.d., circa 1912 (based on Broadway opening in 1910, and this, a program from a subsequent tour, refers to the "Two year sensation in New York). 8vo. 21.5 by 14 cm. 8 pp., plus wraps. Now a forgotten work, and a type of operetta once popular but not staged in decades -- the type of work satirized, for instance, in the Cole Porter song, "Wunderbar" -- bars from four of the show's most infectious songs decorate the top of pages full of pictures showing scenes and the actors from the operetta. Condition: light wear. 
Price: 75.00 USD
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Tabarin Album Souvenir Tabarin presente le plus Parisien des Spectacles "Reflets"
14 Tabarin Album Souvenir Tabarin presente le plus Parisien des Spectacles "Reflets"
Paris First Edition Presumed Near Fine 
Racy souvenir from an erstwhile rival of the Moulin Rouge in Montmartre. N.d., circa 1950. Unpaginated, 28 pp., plus wraps, which have a suede or felt surface. 10.5 by 8 inches, 27 by 21 cm. The nightclub opened in 1904 and continued in business until 1953 when it was bought and closed by Moulin Rouge. The club was known for its elaborate thematic floor shows, which mixed ballet, cheesecake and spectacular costumes designed by the likes of Erte. A new show was presented each year. After the club closed, it served as the basis of a 1958 movie entitled "Tabarin". The album features color illustrations, all done with a fluid, loose hand, and black and white photographs, which are set amid monochrome sketch work that captures the theatrical flavor of Tabarin. Also six pages of evocative ads, some of which are in keeping in spirit with the rest of the album in their artwork, etc. From the photos one is easily transported back to the pageantry and risque panache of the show. The pages are clean. The suede wraps have light soiling. Minor abrading by staples on spine. 
Price: 125.00 USD
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Ten Colorful Intricate Cray Paper Cut-outs of Chinese Masks and Masked Performers
15 Ten Colorful Intricate Cray Paper Cut-outs of Chinese Masks and Masked Performers
Envelope Fine 
No date (that we can discern). From the mid-20th century. The ten cut-outs are highly colorful and visually exciting. Given the thinness and overall nature of the paper they are made of, they are also delicate and fragile, although ours are in mint condition, protected as they are by folded paper. The ten pieces and their protective paper come in an envelope made of thin card stock. Besides a slip with what must be a short exegesis, Chinese characters are written on this windowed envelope as well as the paper guards. The collection was probably sold as a souvenir, probably in conjunction with a theatrical performance, and the cut outs might have then often been pasted onto other objects. The envelope measures 15.5 by 11.5 cm, and the cut outs are generally around 11 cm tall. 
Price: 400.00 USD
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The Cobina Wright Dinner
16 The Cobina Wright Dinner
Beverly Hills 1964 Very Good Plus 
Bound folio containing many full page testimonials and photos of a who's who from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Most of the celebrities were past their movie making prime but many a comfortable late middle age and still attractive, if not exactly young, and perhaps with the discreet, or not-so-discreet, help of a surgeon's knife. Among this contingent of "Hollywood Royalty" are Greer Garson, Irene Dunne, Mae West, Sonja Henie, Bob Hope, Bob Cummings, Merle Oberon. More youthful, but soon to achieve similar status, were Kim Novak, Zsa Zsa, George Hamilton, Arlene Dahl, Rhonda Fleming, Jerry Lewis, Rod Taylor, and on and on. Add to the mix prominent producers (Ray Stark, etc.), the "hostess with the mostess" Perle Mesta, the comely wives of deceased movie people, and non-entertainment industry high society, and the Cobina being honored surely must have enjoyed the crowning accolade of her career. Personally making a tribute to her that evening was none other than Mary Pickford, and the entertainment included Red Skelton and Johnny Mathis. Cobina, now no longer famous, had had a brief movie and singing career before she entered that rarefied sorority of entertainment gossip columnists, from which the outpouring of love towards her could not have been less spontaneous than spontaneous combustion, And if there is any doubt as to the sincerity of the tributes, the inclusion of rival Louella Parsons should put such skepticism. The production of the folio is itself a tribute, with a number of the over hundred leaves featuring a metallic patina. And while the autographed inscriptions are virtually all copies, the brochure does have a genuine inked inscription by Cobina herself. Bound with a plastic spiral. Measures 28 by 22 cm. 
Price: 425.00 USD
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The Costumes of Mankind Designed and Created New York Costume Co.
17 The Costumes of Mankind Designed and Created New York Costume Co.
Chicago New York Costume Co. Printer: The William I. Marsh Co., Inc. Wraps Good 
Costumes, historical, theatrical, masquerade, of every type imaginable! Zulus, convicts, Pilgrims, Crusaders, Pierrot, and on and on! N.d., circa 1920. 4to. 30 by 22 cm. 16 pp., including wraps. The catalogue shows costumes in blue, with some orange highlighting, and up to a dozen costumes per page, with a vignette illustration relating to the general theme of the costumes on the page. For example, the Costumes from the Opera page has an illustration from Faust, and the Early American page shows Columbus landing in America. Scarce, with no copies located anywhere. Closed tear along joint fold, as typical of wraps, and light soiling to the cover. 
Price: 200.00 USD
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The Marriage of the Midgets or The Tom Thumb Wedding.  A Unique Entertainment A Novel Home Talent Play that Delights Everybody.  Wholesome, Full of Fun;  Helpful to the Children.
18 The Marriage of the Midgets or The Tom Thumb Wedding. A Unique Entertainment A Novel Home Talent Play that Delights Everybody. Wholesome, Full of Fun; Helpful to the Children.
Kansas City, Missouri Kellogg-Baxter Printing Co. 1914 Good 
Loopy Little People-iana! A promotional brochure for an amateur theatrical entertainment featuring an all juvenile cast playing adult midget roles in a recreation of the marriage of Tom Thumb. The brochure is 28 by 20 cm, and 4 pages. It includes nine b/w photos of the players: the bride and groom, three old maids, the clergyman, bachelor friends, best man, a guest, a rejected suitor. Also press comments, comments from personal letters, and most unusual, a list of churches where the play had been staged and their ticket sales. Lest the reader of the brochure gets any brazen ideas, there is a stern warning that the work is copyrighted and any violation of the copyright will result in a suit for damages. Scarce, with no copies found anywhere on OCLC First Search. A few short tears along folds -- the brochure had been double folded. Moderate soiling. 
Price: 200.00 USD
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19 The Poetical Works of Shakespeare. With the Life of the Author. Cooke's Edition. Embellished with Superb Engravings.
London C. Cooke 1797 
12mo, 215 pp. With frontis portrait of Shakespeare, copper engraving on title, two other plates, and some tail-piece ornamentation. Poems include "Venus and Adonis", "Rape of Lucrece", the Sonnets, "Passionate Pilgrim", and "A Lover's Complaint". Age toned leaves, some foxing of plates but little on text pages. Tight binding. Crack of outer hinge along front gutter. Full contemporary calf cracked, especially on spine. 
Price: 250.00 USD
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20 Transformations Instantanees Ombres Chinois

N.d., circa 1880. Ombres Chinois is a type of toy theater in which silhouette or shadows of figures move behind a scrim or screen upon which light is cast. The figures are held typically by wire or thread so as to avoid the inadvertent appearance of the manipulator's arms. This set of Ombres Chinois includes a stage and many figures, most of which are in good repair, and a fabulous outer box. No playlets are included, although they may have come with the original set. Typically with toy theater, the user, typically children, young adults and grown-ups who might have provided a hand, would be supplemented with plays and figurine pieces that would be purchased separately or perhaps made from scratch by the user. Also, the figures would generally come on a thin paper sheet, requiring the user to cut out the figures and then mount them onto a stiffer board or card, a task requiring more skill than a young child could probably manage on his own. Thus we find in this box both figures that are stiffened with card and then some that have yet to be appropriately mounted, as well as part of a sheet from which characters have already been cut out. 
Price: 1450.00 USD
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