Feb 26, 2009 - Sale 2171

Sale 2171 - Lot 342

Price Realized: $ 6,240
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(MUSIC.) LUCAS, SAM. Sam Lucas, the King of Colored Comedians. Large lithograph poster, 21- 1/2x16 inches, affixed to a slightly larger paper stock with another lithographic portrait affixed to the reverse. Np, circa 1880's

Additional Details

Sam Lucas (1850-1916), actor, comedian and singer, was born to free parents in Washington, Ohio. In 1878, Lucas was approached by entrepreneurs Charles and Gustav Frohman to star in a version of Uncle Tom''s Cabin with a black man in the title role. Gustav is said to have wired his brother Charles "Get me an Eva and send her down with Sam Lucas. Be sure to tell Sam to bring his diamonds." Lucas was apparently expected to help back the production. Sam Lucas became the first African American to play Uncle Tom, but the production, which opened in Richmond,Virginia did very poorly and Lucas had to sell some of his diamonds to get the troupe home to Cincinnati. Robert C.Toll, Blacking Up: The Minstrel Show in Nineteenth Century America (Oxford, 1994).