T. D. Clarke [ Tom Clarke ], Licensee and Manager, The Argyle Theatre, Birkenhead [ the Wirral; Merseyside; music hall; W. Macqueen-Pope [ Walter James Macqueen-Pope ] (1888-1960), theatre historian ]
On illustrated letterhead of the Argyle Theatre, Birkenhead. 28 July 1945.
The Clarke family ran the Argyle for fifty years from 1890 to 1940, during which period it was one of the best-known provincial theatres. It opened as the Argyle Music Hall in 1868, and between 1876 and 1890 was named the Prince Of Wales Theatre, being used mainly to stage plays. In 1890 the focus returned to music hall and variety and it was renamed the Argyle Theatre. Its archives are in the University of Sheffield. 2pp., 12mo. In fair condition, on lightly-aged paper, somehwhat grubby and creased at foot of leaf.
George Grossmith junior (1874-1935), actor-manager and comedian, his daughter Rosa Mary George (1907-1988) [ W. Macqueen-Pope [ Walter James Macqueen-Pope ] (1888-1960), theatre manager and historian]
The reminiscences without place or date. The letters from 26 Lawnbodle Road, Hampstead, NW3 [ London ]. 30 October and 4 December 1950.
ONE: Autograph family reminiscences by Rosa Mary George (née Grossmith). 19 pp., 12mo. Rough pencil notes, on ruled pages torn from a notebook. Seventeen pages on George Grossmith junior, with a page apiece on 'His Father' and 'His Uncle'. TWO: The two letters, totalling 9pp., 12mo. In fair condition, on lightly-aged paper.
'Len Webkin and Christine | The Gorgeous Clown and His Lovely Lady' [ Leonard F. Webkin ]
60 Killick Street, Caledonian Road, King's Cross, N1. 8 July 1946. On his letterhead, with photograph.
1p., 4to. On shiny art paper. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with one dogeared corner. On letterhead which covers half of the page, with photograph of the pair, and text in red and black ('Presenting Comdey Cartoons and "Fashions from Rags" Dress Designing Extraordinary! Two or Three Entirely Different Comdey Spots if required introducing Monologues, Conjuring Numbers, etc. Evening Dress when required. | Special Clowning and Conjuring Act for the Children. | Road Show, Production, Panto, Variety or C.P.' The letter offers for sale 'a lot of old John Dick's "Penny" Plays'.
[Mr. W. G. Sylvester, 271 Clapham Road, London, S.W., royal caterer; Sylvester's Royal Bioscope; Royal Crown Cricketers]
Quotations dated 23 and 26 May 1911; both on elaborate letterhead. Advertisement from around the same period.
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.
Charles Coborn [Charles Whitton McCallum] (1852-1945), Anglo-Scottish musical hall star
Dated by Coborn 28 May 1929. Photo by Laird of Aberdeen.
Black and white studio photograph, postcard format (13 x 8.5 cm). On leaf removed from autograph album. Good, on shiny photographic paper, with margin making dimensions of image 12 x 8 cm, captioned in bottom right-hand corner 'PHOTO | LAIRD | ABERDEEN'. Showing a kindly-looking Coborn seated in country tweeds, with spectacles in hand and paper on his knees. In addition to a facsimile in the bottom-left, the picture has Coborn's genuine dated signature across his chest: 'Charles Coborn | 28/5/29'.
D. C. Lowber [originally of New Orleans], Liverpool Merchant [American Blackberries, Kittatinny Variety; botanical ephemera]
[Circa 1875.] D. C. Lowber, 35, Chapel Walks, Liverpool.
12mo, 4 pp. Bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Attractive engraving of a blackberry cutting. The second page is headed 'THE AMERICAN BLACKBERRY', and begins 'There is scarcely a more wholesome fruit than this, and one that has been more improved by judicious cultivation on the American side of the water.' The text, which continues to the last page and is signed in type by Lowber, contains two quotations from 'Rev. E. P. Roe, one of the most celebrated small fruit culturists on the banks of the Hudson'. In manuscript at foot of third page: '15/- per doz.
'The Four Comets America's Whirlwind Skaters' [Troy Hoskins; Dolly Hoskins; Pauline Same; Bob Saras; Bonar Colleano; Willy Reichert; roller-skating; variety entertainment]
10 January 1938; Munchen, Austria.
4to, 4 pp. 43 typed lines, and two-line manuscript postscript. Signed in pencil 'Sincerely | Dollie & Troy.', with the name of the troupe typed over this. Text clear and complete on discoloured and creased paper. Chatty and humorous letter. 'By the time you read this letter we will have either left a terrible stench in the Theatre or else the Manager will be satisfied. [...] JANUARY 11, FLASH!!!!
Bebe Daniels [Phyllis Virginia Daniels] (1901-1971), Hollywood actress, and star of the British radio series 'Life With The Lyons' [Rubye Mae Colleano; Ben Lyon (1901-1979)]
Letter One: 24 October ; Queen's Hotel, Leeds. Letter Two: 2 April [no year]; 18 Southwick Street, London.
Both items on 'Bebe' letterheads, and both with signature 'Bebe' incorporating a drawing of a stick figure with hat. Letter One: 12mo, 1 p. Twelve lines. Good, on lightly-aged paper. With addressed envelope. She is sorry they missed one another 'at the station, especially after all the trouble you went through to get there'. Gives news of show: 'Boy, it will be good to get back to town again. | I have enjoyed the tour but as you know travelling nowadays isn't what it used to be, by a long shot.' Letter Two: 8vo, 1 p. 21 lines.
Rena Hall, British variety entertainer [Laddie Cliff and Rena Hall; music hall; Rubye Colleano]
Studio portrait photograph on postcard, captioned 'RENA HALL | MUSICAL SPECIALITIES'. Fair, on lightly-aged paper. Depicts Hall in highland costume with bagpipe under her arm and an accordion on a plinth. Inscribed 'To dear Rubye | In memory of Happy days | Love, Rena | 1937'. 'Laddie Cliff and Rena Hall' performed in front of George V and Queen Mary at the Royal Variety Performance, Coliseum Theatre, London, 1923. From the Colleano Family archives.
Greatrex Newman (1892-1984), English author and screenwriter [The Fol-de-Rols; theatrical; the London stage]
Two undated; the rest between 1951 and 1959. On various letterheads of 39 and 47 Whitehall Court, London.
Five of the items are 8vo, with the other on a 12mo slip. All texts clear and complete. Fair, on slightly-aged and worn paper. A total of five typed 8vo pages, and two autograph 8vo and two autograph 12mo pages. Four of the lettters have 'The Fol-de-Rols' printed on the letterhead. Dealing with practical everyday theatre matters, with Newman writing, for example, on 19 November 1955: 'I have bought a few costume from the Punch Revue which died an early death at the Duke of York's theatre last Saturday.
Max Wall [Maxwell George Lorimer] (1908-1990), English music-hall comedian and actor
Dimensions of paper 23 x 17 cm. White border of 0.25 cm. A little grubby and with slight silvering at base, but overall a very good impression. A striking head and shoulders shot, with a clean shaven young Wall, neatly dressed in evening wear with black bow tie, and wearing a white sailor's hat at an angle, staring straight at the camera, with glossy lips, eyebrows raised and deadpan expression. The words 'Max Wall' printed in bottom left-hand corner. The inscription reads 'To Peggy | Sincere good wishes | [signed] Max Wall | 1932'.