The Ricky Jay Collection
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/25/2023
[ANDERSON, John Henry] BEWARE OF YOUR CHILDREN! THE SUPERHUMAN BOY. Whitechapel: Henry Bownceby [?], [1857]. Large letterpress broadside reproducing a letter apparently written and signed by one Peter S. Simpson of Bethnal Green, addressed to “parents and guardians” warning them against the heretofore unknown power of a little child – the son of John Henry Anderson, the Wizard of the North – who can make strong men powerless at the touch of a fingernail. Framed to 31 x 21”; not examined out of frame, but scuffs and marginal losses visible. This broadside, the first of its type we have encountered advertising Anderson’s show, uses third-person perspective to describe a magical feat of super-strength demonstrated on stage. The letter supposes that the “advent of the COMET is affecting the destinies of our race” and goes on to describe the effects as follows: “I was told that the child invited the strongest men living to test their strength with him. I went upon the stage as you may do. One end of a long string was given to me; the other end was hooked on the little finger of the child. I was told to pull with main force…I did so, the child merely moved his finger and I was drawn to the ground immediately. I fell flat on my face amidst the ridicule of a crowded theatre.” A masterful example of the publicity Anderson used to advertise his shows in non-traditional manners, this bill was written as a warning, and is not only signed by the supposed do-gooder, but a post-script below the main block of text reads, “For public benefit I have paid for the printing of these bills out of my own pocket.”
 [ANDERSON, John Henry] Beware of your Children! The Superhu...
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $750.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $8,750.00
Estimate: $1,500.00 - $2,500.00
Number Bids:37
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