A Summer Miscellany from James Cummins Bookseller
Item 14 is a signed photographic portrait of Enrico Caruso, the famed operatic tenor and the first really huge recoding star. The 1913 photograph is inscribed to music educator and vocalist Leda Crawford Steele. This picture is known as the "Al Capone" portrait as the dapperly dressed Caruso looks much like the notorious gangster. That is, of course, unfair to Caruso, as Caruso looked this way long before Capone. He also was a nicer human being. $1,250.
Item 26 is an 1884 cabinet card photograph of Miss Annie Jones, a 19-year-old young lady who worked in Manhattan's Bowery section. The photographer was Charles Eisenmann, who was noted for photographing circus and freak-show performers. Miss Jones, who toured for years with P.T. Barnum, did have an unusual feature, her long black, thick beard. She was the perfect bearded lady. $1,250.
Item 25 includes many pictures by Eisenmann and others. They include the albino Emma Morris, conjoined twins Millie and Christine, the 7' 11" Robinson Brothers, tattooed man "Cowboy" Seth Hathaway (he would no longer look unusual today), midget violinist Rosie Wolff, and a Fijian headhunter, along with others of various oddities and deformities. $4,500.
Here is an unusual item for collectors of presidential stamps. It is a block of 100 21-cent stamps featuring the image of President Chester Arthur. A sheet of Chester Arthur stamps is unusual enough in itself, but this one is extraordinary in that along the edge it is signed by another president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, along with his treasury secretary, Henry Morganthau. Item 77. $1,350.
James Cummins Bookseller may be reached at 212-688-6441 or Cummins@panix.com. The website is www.jamescumminsbookseller.com.