Sep 28, 2023 - Sale 2646

Sale 2646 - Lot 217

Price Realized: $ 4,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(MUSIC.) Amalgamation Waltz / African's March in Turkey. Illustrated broadside, 11 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches; light toning, faint dampstaining along bottom edge, mounting strip along right margin. [Philadelphia]: J.G. Osbourn, circa 1844

Additional Details

A pair of melodies written in novelty notation, with white and black stick figures on a musical staff telling a story, while simultaneously denoting half and quarter notes with their heads. The first piece, "Amalgamation Waltz," depicts an integrated group of male and female dancers. It was probably inspired by an 1839 Edward Clay lithograph of the same name, and more broadly as an anxious reaction to the growing free Black communities in northern cities. The piece is discussed at length in Brigitte Fielder, "Music and Military Movement: Racial Representation," in the 2019 book "Race and Vision in the Nineteenth-Century United States," pages 55-70.

The "Amalgamation Waltz" was offered for sale in a music shop in the Buffalo Courier, 16 November 1844. Music dealer James G. Osbourn and his Music Saloon were active from this 112 South Third Street address from 1844 to 1847, per contemporary sources and Dichter & Shapiro. 2 examples of this Osbourn printing in OCLC--one at Indiana University and another at Johns Hopkins (that one a stated second edition). Another issue crediting George Reed of Boston as publisher (also a stated second edition) is held by the American Antiquarian Society, per the Fielder article. The present copy, with no edition stated, is presumed to be the first. None traced at auction.