(MUSIC.) Membership card for an American incarnation of the Anacreontic Society. Small card, 1 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches, printed with gilt pattern and inscribed in manuscript "Samuel Ashmead, Anacreontic Society," signed by W. Morris as president and additionally on verso by W.S. Smith; minimal wear and toning. [Philadelphia?], circa 1830s
The original Anacreontic Society was a London gentleman's musical club in the late 18th century, perhaps most famous for its trademark song, "The Anacreontic Song" or "To Anacreon in Heaven." It became a popular drinking song in both England and the United States, and its melody was recycled for "The Star-Spangled Banner." The club inspired the formation of several other clubs with the same name, including one in Philadelphia which was active by 1832 and changed its name to the Philharmonic Society in 1834. This card was issued to member Samuel Ashmead (1795-1864), a member of a wealthy Philadelphia family who published a hymn and a volume of popular music in 1847.
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