Title: A Strange Little Scrapbook and Photo Album, ...
Publication Date: 1910
Book Condition: Very Good
Sheep over flexible boards, trifold with two 6-ring binder clasps, holding 6 cardstock leaves (90x165mm), each with small silver print photographs and reproductions of broadsides affixed to the recto and verso, advertising the appearances of Harry DeCoe, who performed his balancing act all over the world. With newspaper clippings laid-in (these age-toned, brittle, and chipped). Trifold a bit scuffed, and lightly chipped along the edges. Images a bit rubbed and silvered, and some with handwritten captions direct on the image (usually recording a location or offering a quip). The highlight, perhaps, are two loose silver prints (each, 3x4.5 inches) showing DeCoe performing (rehearsing?) his act onstage, seemingly to an empty room. A somewhat slapdash album, remarkable for its shorthand shabbiness. It's unlikely that this is the collection of an obsessed fan -- it has the feel of the quick recordings of someone familiar with theater, likely DeCoe himself. One image shows a police officer and a lone man standing outside the Theatro Casino, handwritten direct on the photograph, it reads, "Extra police to keep crowd in line at my opening Casino Theatre Montevideo Uruguay. Dec - 15 - 1917. Note orderliness of crowd considering rush"; a word bubble is drawn outside the policeman, "Go on, I dare you. Go in." Broadsides include the Casino-Kursaal, Eden Casino, Shea's, Temple Theatre, Empire (Glasgow, Liverpool), Alhambra, London Coliseum, Orpheum, Palais d'Ete, Apollo, Hippodrome, Casino Music Hall d'Algear (this captioned by hand), Bijou Theatre, National Theatre, B. F. Keith's. Harry DeCoe was billed as a "Sensational Equilibrist," "The Man With the Tables and Chairs," "Notable Equilibrista", "Ein Wunder der Balance," "and/or "le Plus Fort Equilibriste du Monde," depending on where he went. Known for balancing himself atop multiple chairs atop multiple tables, he was a big hit in the vaudeville circuit. This album records, however briefly, performances in the United States, South America, the UK, Europe. Bookseller Inventory # D12524
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