DescriptionAdvertising: Nineteenth Century Lithographic Poster for The Bandit King, a Melodrama, Circa 1883. 14½" x 41¾" mounted on a larger board 18¾" x 46". The poster, by Edison and Foos, Theatrical Printers and Engravers, 112 Fourth Avenue, N.Y., advertises the Bandit King at Niblo's Garden. The two week run is billed as the "first introduction to New York of one of the most successful Equestrian Dramas ever produced." The poster describes the Bandit King as, "A charming life-story told in glowing scenes, and which has filled the largest theaters in America with delighted audiences". The play, in six acts, featured "the most beautiful and intelligent horse actors, 'Raider' and 'Charger', the most sagacious and wonderful animals ever seen on stage." One of the highlights of the play came in Act Five with a Bowie knife fight on horseback. An impressive and dramatic poster. Professionally restored and repaired, else near very fine.
The Bandit King was the creation of actor-manager James H. Hallick, who had considerable success in playing heroic and melodramatic parts on the New York stage. In 1883 he dramatized and produced the life of Jesse James in a play under the name of the Bandit King. Hallick played four roles himself. At one time, Robert Ford, the man who actually shot James, was a cast member. The play ran for over ten years on tour and brought Hallick a sizable fortune. On May 1, 1908 the New York Times reported that Hallick, described as a "formerly a well-known actor", shot and killed himself in a commercial hotel. The Times noted, "Most of the money [Hallick] accumulated in the days of his great popularity had been given away or lost."
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