CIRCUS

[ Edward Byron Nicholson, Bodley's Librarian. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('E. B. Nicholson') to an unnamed party [ Alexander Ramsay ], regarding non-payment for a periodical [ 'The Scientific Roll' ]..

Author: 
E. B. Nicholson [ Edward Williams Byron Nicholson ] (1849-1912), Bodley's Librarian, 1882-1912 [ Bodleian Library, University of Oxford ]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the London Institution, Finsbury Circus, E.C. 18 August 1881.
£56.00

1p., 16mo. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. Reads: 'Dear Sir, | I got your last no. all right. I meant one particular day to pay you, and at the end of the day forgot whether I had or had not written to do so - coming to the erroneous conclusion that I had.' Postscript: 'No. 4 received and paid for also'. From the Ramsay papers.

[ George Reginald Bacchus, erotic author. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('G. Reginald Bacchus') to the composer Herman Finch, recounting his early memories of the Palace Theatre.

Author: 
G. Reginald Bacchus [ George Reginald Bacchus ] (1874-1945), erotic author who published with the Erotika Biblion Society [ Herman Finck [ Hermann Van Der Vinck ] (1872-1939), Anglo-Dutch composer ]
Publication details: 
Avenue Nursing Home, 59 Bridge Avenue, Hammersmith, W6 [ London ]. 9 December 1917.
£120.00

3pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In fair condition, aged and creased. Begins: 'Dear Finch, | Tomorrow - I read - you will have "done time" for a quarter of a century in Cambridge Circus.' He recalls that it is 'just ten months longer - Feb 1892, that I first went into the Cambridge Circus doors to hear "Ivanhoe." I was then a blushing undergraduate at Oxford, and "Jimmy's" and the long bar at the Cri [i.e.

[ 'Brock', 'equilibrist', juggler and sword swallower ('Juggling Swords . Balancing & Spinning Knives . Illuminated Clubs).. ] Four publicity photographs, two inscribed to Mr and Mrs James, with Typed Letter Signed to them, and publicity pamphlet.

Author: 
'Brock', Derbyshire 'equilibrist', juggler and sword swallower
Publication details: 
Letter on his letterhead, Shaws Yard, Kilburn, Derbyshire. 9 March 1969.
£90.00

The six items in fair condition, lightly aged and worn. The four photographs are all in black and white, and all around 12.5 x 9 cm. They show Brock swallowing and spinning swords, and balancing a microphone stand on his chin. The letter is dated 9 March 1969, and on his red and black letterhead ('New! Novel! Sensational! | Juggling Swords Balancing & Spinning Knives Illuminated Clubs'). It concerns the purchase of 'some old pro Photoes [sic] in JIMMY LYNTONS fit up article'. The pamphlet is a thin 12mo bifolium, with a drawing of Brock doing his act.

[ 'Brock', 'equilibrist', juggler and sword swallower ('Juggling Swords . Balancing & Spinning Knives . Illuminated Clubs).. ] Publicity material (five photographs and two pamphlets), with three Typed Letters Signed to Barry Duncan and others.

Author: 
'Brock', Derbyshire 'equilibrist', juggler and sword swallower
Publication details: 
Brock's letters on his letterhead, Shaws Yard, Kilburn, Derbyshire. All from 1969. The pamphlets by Hawkins, Printers, Kilburn, Derby.
£150.00

The collection is in fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Two of Brock's three Typed Letters Signed are addressed to theatre bookseller Barry Duncan. In one of them, written on 18 March 1969, he writes: 'I have been knocking around for 60 years i think i have played every theatre of note and played with some of the best | but i am getting tired with this club stuff you play a diffrent club every night some time you double them in a night un [sic] packing and packing up. | so i am waiting for GALAS one show a day will do me'. The third letter is to 'Jimmy', i.e.

[Charles Blondin, French acrobat.] Printed illustration (proof or letterhead?) of a tightrope arrangement, with two flags carrying the word 'Blondon', with English text of 'Explanations'.

Author: 
Charles Blondin [born Jean François Gravelet] (1824-1897), French tightrope walker and acrobat.
Publication details: 
Without place or date.
£45.00

On leaf of 4to paper. In fair condition, aged and lightly-creased. The purpose of the illustration is unclear, although it may be a proof or letterhead. The attractive engraving is in black ink, and 7 x 20cm. It shows two flagpoles, with a tightrope between them and apparatus to the right and left. Beneath the illustration are fourteen lines of text in two columns, under the head, 'Explanations', the left-hand column reading: 'From A to B, 600 English feet. | From C to D, 420 English feet. | From Mast to Mast, 300 English feet. | From E to F, 100 English feet.

[Printed handbill.] Miss Alice Bounds, the Bear Lady. ['Life of Miss Alice Bounds'.] With portrait by Willsons of Leicester.]

Author: 
'W. Y.' [Miss Alice Bounds, the Bear Lady; human abnormalities; circus entertainers; fairgrounds]
Publication details: 
Willsons, Le'ster [Leicester]. No date. [1910s]
£150.00

[4]pp., 12mo. Stapled in original pink printed wraps. Cover has drawing of Bounds by Willsons of Leicester, whose slug is in the bottom left-hand corner of the cover. First page has drophead title 'Life of Miss Alice Bounds', and the piece is signed in type at the end by 'W. Y.' It begins: 'I was born in Calcutta, East India, in the year 1877.

[Printed handbill.] Life History of Harold Pyott (The English Midget). Tom Thumb the Second. The Smallest Adult Human Being in Existence.' Including a copy of his birth certificate.

Author: 
Harold Pyott ['Tiny Tim'] (1887-1937) of Stockport, 'The English Midget' and 'Britain's smallest man'
Publication details: 
Undated [Edwardian].
£120.00

4pp., 16mo (11 x 16.5 cm). Fair, on aged and lightly-creased paper. Appropriately brief and dimutive biography (35 lines), describing Piyott (erroneously) as 'undoubtedly the smallest adult human being ever known to live'. Followed by 'Copy of Birth Certificate of the Smallest Man on Earth' in type. The latest dated event in the biography is a tour by Pyott 'through the whole of South Africa during 1903-4'. Pyott stood 23ins and weighed 24lbs, and is said to have been carried around Edgeley Park during Stockport County home matches in the palm of a man's hand.

Autograph Letter Signed ('R. W. Elliston') from the actor Robert William Elliston to his uncle Rev. Dr William Elliston, Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, describing his plans to buy the Royal Circus, rebuilt by him as the Surrey Theatre.

Author: 
Robert William Elliston (1774-1831), actor and theatre manager [Rev. Dr William Elliston (1732-1807), Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge; William Henry West Betty (1791-1874), actor]
Publication details: 
[London]; 15 December 1804.
£280.00

3pp., 4to. Bifolium, addressed, with postmark, on reverse of second leaf, to 'Revd Dr Elliston | Sidney College | Cambridge'. Fair, on aged and worn paper. An interesting, informative letter, written to one of the two uncles who had acted as Elliston's childhood guardians. At the time of writing, Elliston, having thrived at the Theatre Royal, Bath, had moved to London, replacing Kemble on 20 September 1804 as leading actor at Drury Lane. The present letter shows Elliston's plans to branch out into management.

Advertisement for royal caterer '"The Original" Mr. W. G. Sylvester [...] (Established 1878) The acknowledged old-established leading London royal fête, gala, and entertainment caterer (up-to-date)'. With two quotations by Sylvester, one signed.

Author: 
[Mr. W. G. Sylvester, 271 Clapham Road, London, S.W., royal caterer; Sylvester's Royal Bioscope; Royal Crown Cricketers]
"The Original" Mr. W. G. Sylvester
Publication details: 
Quotations dated 23 and 26 May 1911; both on elaborate letterhead. Advertisement from around the same period.
£225.00
"The Original" Mr. W. G. Sylvester

ADVERTISEMENT: 4to, 4 pp. Bifolium. Printed in blue and red, in a variety of fonts and point sizes. Photograph of Sylvester on front page, which has a red border featuring illustrations of entertainments. Royal warrant at head: 'Under the distinguished patronage of his most gracious majesty the late King Edward the Seventh and Queen Alexandra, Sandringham, 1901 and 1902.' The centre pages begin 'W. G. S.

Contemporary and apparently unpublished typescript translation by L. A. Shiffner of 'The Battle of the Waves for Freedom' by Maxim Gorky [Gorki]. Headed 'Forbidden in Russia'. Made on behalf of Mrs Gill's Translating Office, Ludgate Hill, London.

Author: 
Maxim Gorky [L. A. Shiffner, translator, of Mrs R. V. Gill's Translating Office, Ludgate Circus, London]
 'The Battle of the Waves for Freedom' by Maxim Gorky
Publication details: 
[Circa 1910.] With stamp of 'Mrs. Gill, Translating Office, Ludgate Hill, London EC.'
£450.00
 'The Battle of the Waves for Freedom' by Maxim Gorky

The story on nine numbered 4to pages, with a covering page carrying the title: 'THE BATTLE OF THE WAVES FOR FREEDOM. | By Maxim Gorki.' On the rectos of ten 4to leaves, attached by a brass pin. Text clear and complete at 26 lines to the page. On worn, discoloured paper (watermarked 'CONQUEROR | LONDON'), with loss to extremities. Mrs Gill's purple oblong stamp in bottom left-hand corner of reverse of last leaf: 'Mrs.

Pencil note by one of the 'Siamese Twins', with attesting note by Smith.

Author: 
Chang Bunker and Eng Bunker [Chang and Eng], the 'Siamese Twins', Victorian circus freaks [William James Smith]
Publication details: 
Smith's note dated 'March 1830' [London].
£150.00

On a slip of laid paper (watermarked 'SMIT'), approximately 7 x 18 cm. Good, on lightly-aged and spotted paper. The writing by one of the twins, is in pencil, in a large, childish hand, and reads 'London England'. Beneath this, in a neat contemporary hand: 'The above two words, were written in my presence by one of the Siamese Twins. - | March 1830. | [signed] William James Smith'. The 'Siamese Twins' began their first appearance in London in 1829, at the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly.

Printed authority completed in manuscript, 'To the Aldermen, Deputy, and Common-Council of the Ward of Queenhithe', signed by the City of London Commission of Lieutenancy, authorising the collection of a tax to pay the expenses of the City militia.

Author: 
Stuart Knill, Lord Mayor of London [The Ward of Queenhithe in the City of London; livery companies; tax; economic history]
Publication details: 
25/05/91
£150.00

On the recto of the first leaf of a folio bifolium (leaf dimensions 42.5 x 27.5 cm). On grey watermarked laid paper. Good, with slight offsetting from the ten red wafers placed beside the signatures. Headed 'LONDON. To the ALDERMEN, DEPUTY, and COMMON-COUNCIL of the Ward of [Queenhithe]'. Fifty-two lines of text, with manuscript additions, including the name of the ward ('Queenhithe') and the sum assessed (£89 15s 6d). At the foot of the page are large, bold signatures of the ten members of the Commission of Lieutenancy, including that of the Lord Mayor, Stuart Knill.

Souvenir handbill, with photographs of the nine riders and facsimiles of their signatures.

Author: 
The Don Cossack Riders [Russia; the Soviet Union; 'A. Boulanoff'; 'N. Golouboff']
Publication details: 
Date and place of printing not stated [England?]. Docketed in pencil 'Don Cossack Riders - Sept. 1950'.
£23.00

Bifolium (dimensions of the two leaves 14.5 x 22.5 cm), 4 pp. Printed on light-green paper. Lightly worn and creased with one short closed tear. Contains 14 photographs of riders engaged in impressive stunts, including riding through flame, riding upside down and in a pyramid formation. No trace of existence of the troupe appears to have survived. Although in costume, to the ignorant eye they do not look particularly Cossack, and their signatures are not written in Cyrillic. The names, which do not yield any clues either, include 'A Boulanoff' and 'N. Golouboff'.

Autograph Letter Signed to I[saac]. Wilkinson[, Manager and Secretary of the Brighton Aquarium].

Author: 
Dudley Smith (born c.1852), English and Foreign Musical and Dramatic Agent [The Brighton Aquarium; Victorian Circus]
Publication details: 
22 March 1883; on ornate letterhead in blue and gold carrying address at 449 Strand, London (as well as addresses in Paris and New York).
£56.00

One page, quarto. Very good, though slightly aged and creased, and with minor damp staining at foot, affecting bottom three lines including signature. Wilkinson has written to say that he 'has not the space' Smith has 'named'. '[Y]ou express an opinion that Circus business would pay, & I, from my personal knowledge of Brighton & experience therein, feel sure a really good Circus would prove an immense attraction & a paying one, & would stand some time by introducing fresh novelties'.

Autograph Letter Signed to [Edward] T[racy]. Turnerelli.

Author: 
Daniel Gilbert, President of the Providence-Row Night Refuge in Finsbury, London
Publication details: 
22 Finsbury Circus | Feb 4/64.'
£50.00

The recipient, E. T. Turnerelli (1813-96), was an artist and leading member of the Conservative party. One page, 12mo. Grubby and creased. Mounted on a piece of grey paper, at the foot of which a newspaper cutting expaining the circumstances of the letter. Reads 'Dear Mr Turnerelli | I am most grateful for the cheque of £10. - from a "Traveller", - & forwarded by the Editor of the "Telegraph" for the Providence Row Night Refuge. Your efforts on behalf of the "Homeless" deserve every praise. - Hoping you are better. I am Yours Most Truly | Daniel Gilbert'.

Typed Letter Signed to 'Mr Davis'.

Author: 
Leslie George Cole, 'The Great Levante | FAMOUS AUSTRALIAN ILLUSIONIST'
Publication details: 
1 October 1954; on letterhead.
£33.00

Australian magician and escapologist (1892-1978). One page, 8vo. Very good, but with some loss to edge by removal from mount. Letterhead reads 'THIRD WORLD TOUR | The Great Levante | FAMOUS AUSTRALIAN ILLUSIONIST | WITH HIS MAGICAL EXTRAVAGANZA "HOW'S TRICKS" | This Week: [Chelsea Palace, | London.] | Next Week: [Town Hall, | Pontypridd.]' He thanks him for his letter, returns his card, and encloses a photograph as requested.

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