1839 LITHO CHANG & ENG - BROADBILL CIRCUS POSTER - BARNUM - FAMOUS SIAMESE TWINS WITH ARCHIVAL MAT - You are considering one of the most rare early American circus sideshow performers, the famous Siamese twins, Chang & Eng Bunker. The lithograph dates from 1839 and produced by P. Mesier and Company located on Wall Street in New York City. The print was most likely used to announce their engagements as a form of broadside poster making them extremely hard to find today.
The artwork captures the two men connected at the abdomen by a strong fleshy band and finely dressed, holding a pitch booklet in one hand showing their likeness. In the background is a chessboard in which they often performed playing at during their performances. Beneath the artwork is their facsimile signature.
The main thing potential buyers must realize about this very early American circus broadside is the fact that in 1839, the invention of photography had not yet reached the United States. Chang & Eng would be photographed many times later in their lifetime, but this artwork preceded these later photographic images.
All you have to do is Google search Chang & Eng to obtain a deeper understanding of their importance in the history of the American Sideshow. Born in Siam in 1811, they would start performing in Boston by 1829 and begin working under the management of P. Barnum by 1839 or the same year this lithograph was created.There is a very good chance this item was created in part by Barnum's genius ability to promote his oddities to his audience. If you are an American circus or sideshow collector, you will have a tough time finding a more rare item to add to your collection. Here is your chance to own your own original lithograph of Chang & Eng who the term Siamese Twins was named after. CONDITION : Please view my detailed photos for the actual condition of the image and as part of my description. I have provided four images of this lithographic broadside; an overall shot with the archival mat and three other detail images showing the amazing quality of the workmanship and artistry involved to create this print. Someone had previously folded the top of the border just above where the lithograph begins, which has left a crease that can be seen under certain lighting conditions. The print does have some brownish foxing consistent with age. Overall, the print remains extremely bold with strong contrast. The paper is a heavier weight rag paper traditionally used during this period. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Photographic Images\Photographs". The seller is "nic-o-matic" and is located in this country: US. This item can be shipped to United States.