Mar 31, 2016 - Sale 2408

Sale 2408 - Lot 465

Price Realized: $ 6,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
THE FAMED SHAKESPEAREAN ACTOR (THEATER.) Ira Aldridge! . . . "Der Kaufmann von Venedig" ("The Merchant of Venice.") Letterpress playbill, 10x15 1/4 inches, faint creases where folded; scattered foxing, marginal nicks. [Zagreb], 10 November 1853

Additional Details

Born in New York City in 1807, Aldridge began his illustrious acting career as a teenager as Rolla in Sheridan's Pizarro with an all-black cast. Aware of the limited opportunities for African-American actors, he chose to further his studies in Scotland. At age 19 he made his London debut at the Royalty Theater playing Othello. Aldridge maintained a steady and widely celebrated career throughout Europe. After his post-show complimentary performances of Negro folk songs, Aldridge addressed his captive audience on subjects of emancipation and the abolition of slavery both in the British colonies and the United States. The text of this broadside indicates that Aldridge planned to treat his audience to a number of Negro folk songs including, "Dear Heart, What a Terrible Life I'm Led," "Oppossum up in a Gum Tree," and "Negro Boy." Despite his intention to return home at the conclusion of the Civil War, Aldridge died in Poland in 1867 and was thus, unable to achieve paralleled recognition and success in America.