Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Civil War Era Theater. Three Playbills Featuring Comedy and Minstrels, 1862 and 1866. 1) 5.5" x 18.25" playbill for the March 27, 1862 appearance of Ned Gray, the Boston Rattler, and the Sable Minstrels at the National Theatre. The playbill was printed in Boston by Searle's Printing Establishment. The evening's program included Gray performing in "Sam Slick or-the Yankee Negro," and the "Ethiopian" comedian, Harry Ball. 2) 5.5" x 14.5" playbill for the [January 23, 1866] performance of the ballet "Love in the Highlands" and the pantomime "Old Dame Wiggles or, Harlequin and the Fairy Good Nature" at the Theatre Comique. 3) 5.5" x 14.5" playbill for the [February 17, 1866] performance of the ballet "La Fete Champetre" and the pantomime "Godensky or, The Skaters of Wilna" at the Theatre Comique. Both playbills were printed in Boston by F.A. Searle. The playbills have shadows of glue residue at the top and bottom edges and middle edges. Playbill #2 has minor tears at the bottom.

    It's not clear if the Sable Minstrels were performed by African American or whites in blackface. It is known that Ned Gray was a mulatto.

    The National Theatre opened in Boston in 1836. The National burned down in 1852 but was soon rebuilt. It burned down again in 1863. The Theatre Comique opened in Boston in 1865. In addition to pantomime, the Theatre Comique hosted acrobatic and magic shows as well as ballet performances. In 1869 the Theatre Comique changed its name to the Adelphi Theatre.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2016
    17th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 187

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $200,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $200,000 and $2,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 May 19 Manuscripts Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    You reach a customer base that is in many ways completely unknown to the major auction houses, and your marketing to this base is as professional as one could hope for. As I continue to wind down my holdings.
    Michael Z.,
    Hawthorne, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search