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    Description

    Phineas T. Barnum Autograph Letter Signed to His Partner James A. Bailey. Two pages, 5.75" x 9", Adirondack Mountains, August 7, 1888. Great content letter discussing all aspects of their enterprise: "Forepaugh's writers have made a pretty taking advt for the newspapers as you will see enclosed. He expends more for newspaper advertising and less for posters than we do. I have always thought that the best plan, because newspapers have such large circulations & are taken into the families who read the very favorable notices which larger ads are sure to bring. However your observations are closer & better than mine... I have notice that funny children pantomines tickled the young'uns. Rentz in Germany played Cinderella in the ring - we used to play Jack the Giant Killer & children never forgot it. Perhaps we can pick up some idea of a circus Pantomine in Europe for next season... If you get that pair of Elk, (which would be a great novelty) the males would need to be castrated - as they have in my experience sometimes been so excited as to tear out the ring which was put in their nose with halter attached... Mrs. Barnum sends regards to Mrs. Bailey and yourself... P.T. Barnum."

    The Forepaugh mentioned at the start of this letter is Adam Forepaugh, who owned and operated a circus from 1865 through 1890; and was a major competitor, often pursuing the same talent and venues as Barnum & Bailey.

    Barnum established his "Greatest Show on Earth" in 1871, and merged with James T. Bailey in 1881. They began operating as "Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth" in 1886. Their personalities complemented each other well; Barnum was the showman and Bailey had the head for business. Although letters by Barnum are not scarce, letters to Bailey covering so many aspects of their industry are far less common.

    Condition: Very gently and evenly toned. The letter is elaborately framed in a hinged window that allows both sides to be viewed, alongside a reproduction of a Barnum & Bailey poster, a photograph of Barnum, a biographical plaque, and a plaque containing a full transcript of the letter. Overall size is 43" x 25.25".


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2016
    19th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 272

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