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EDWARD ANCOURT ALCAZAR D'HIVER / ARMAND BEN. Circa 1873. 22 x 15 1/2 inches. A. Fouquet. Paris. Condition A. Armand Ben pioneered the stage character of the gommeux at his 1873 performance at L'Horloge "je cherche Lodoskaïa." The stereotype of "a young man who pushed the sake of elegance to the ridiculous," not only dressing in the most eccentric way but also singing the most kitschy and awful songs, was an inspiration for Libert who went on to great success within the genre. So much so that the gommeux became a craze. Another historical footnote about Armand is that he was the only black gommeux in the history of the French café-concerts. Edward Ancourt is perhaps best known for printing the major lithographic posters of Pierre Bonnard and Toulouse-Lautrec, but he was printing and designing posters from his lithography company from very early on. In an 1891 catalogue published by the dealer Ed. Sagot, several of Ancourt's early posters for Paris' show business venues are advertised. This poster is an exceptional association piece between two disparate but wonderful artistic entrepreneurs of their time. Le Café-Concert p. 345.