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    Civil War Era Theater. Two Playbills for the Boston Aquarial & Zoological Gardens, 1861. 1) 4.75" x 12.25" rare two-sided playbill (circa June 1861) announcing the live specimens to be seen, including a Beluga White Whale. The back of the playbill includes a description of the whale by the eminent Harvard University professor Louis Agassiz, excerpted from the May 27, 1861 issue of the Boston Journal. 2) 4.75" x 12.5" playbill for the April 3, [1861] performance of "The Robbers of Bagdad" at the Boston Aquarial & Zoological Gardens. The playbill announced that after the performance, the audience would be entertained in the ring by the Arabian horse "Abdallah," the Central African Sphynx, and Educated Bear, along with seals "Ned" and "Fanny." Both playbills have shadows of glue residue on the top and bottom corners without affecting text. Playbill #2 has a small piece missing from the top right corner without affecting text.

    The Boston Aquarial & Zoological Gardens opened in Boston in 1860 as a public aquarium and zoo. During 1861 and 1862 the institution began to offer stage performances such as "The Robbers of Bagdad." Around June 1862, P.T. Barnum purchased the establishment, renovated the building, and re-opened it as the Barnum's Aquarial Gardens, which lasted no more than year, closing its doors in 1863.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2016
    17th Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 117

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