Gen. Tom Thumb, The World-Renowned American Man in Miniature.

Gen. Tom Thumb, The World-Renowned American Man in Miniature.

[Janesville, Wisconsin]: 1862. First edition. Attractive broadside/handbill unusually illustrated with a wood block of Tom Thumb's "miniature chariot". The text states his intention to make another US tour, including California, and then on to Australia: "...he has determined to make one more Tour through the United States, including California, after which he contemplates visiting Australia, and returning again to England". He eventually began the world tour in 1869 from New York, and arrived in Australia in 1872.

The broadside/handbill advertises a performance of Tom Thumb with Mr. William Tomlin, "the great English Buffo and Baritone from the Nobility's Concerts, London and Mr. W. De Vere, the Celebrated American Tenor. C. G. Titcomb, Brilliant Pianist, Will Appear at each entertainment". The venue is Lappin's Hall, Janesville (Wisconsin) for two performances Saturday and Monday, Jan. 18 and 20 (1862).

The bottom of the broadside/handbill features the wood block illustration of Tom Thumb and his miniature carriage, with the text proclaiming, "This Charming Man in Miniature is undoubtedly by far THE SMALLEST MAN ALIVE, of his age. He is intelligent, sprightly, educated, perfectly symmetrical in all his proportions, and graceful beyond belief. HE IS 24 YEARS OLD, AND WEIGHS 33 POUNDS. He appears in a great variety of interesting performances, Imitations, Costumes, Songs, Dances, & c., including Napoleon Bonaparte, Frederick the Great, The Oxonian, Sailor, Grecian Statues, Highland Chieftain, Bobbing around, Villikins and his Dinah, The Court Dress worn before Her Majesty, The Polka, Highland Fling, & c., &c. THE MAGNIFICENT JEWELS, & C., &C. Presented to him by Queen Victoria and the Crowned Heads of Europe, are exhibited at each entertainment."

This text is followed by a description of the miniature carriage, "THE GENERAL'S BEAUTIFUL EQUIPAGE" and the gifts given to visitors to the exhibition. At the bottom of the broadside/handbill it indicates that Gen. Tom Thumb "is no longer under an engagement to any individual, but gives his Exhibitions solely on his own account". While operating independently at this time, Gen. Tom Thumb was signed with P. T. Barnum from age 6, and used Barnum again as the promoter of his world tour.

4 1/4 x 11 3/4". With contemporary folds, light toning on the almost tissue paper, still very bright and desirable. We found no record of it in World Cat or Trove, which is understandable since this is such an ephemeral broadside/handbill. We are delighted that we have the opportunity to own one. Very good condition. Item #22651

Price: $450.00