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Price Realized: $650 With Buyer's Premium Show Hammer Price
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Sale 2496 Lot 383
(POSTCARDS.) Enormous album of wide-ranging postcards. Approximately 2500 postcards mounted to leaves of a large worn folio ledger; most cards captioned in the mounts below, some with captions in ink on the card face. should be seen. Vp., compiled the first years of the 20th century
Estimate $700 - 1,000
This monumental tome is a veritable pictorial travelogue of a man named Frank Crowe, a musician who in his youth stole away to join the circus. Crowe spent several years of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries touring Europe and America with Barnum and Bailey, King and Franklin, and other circuses as a member of the band. Whether a sentimentalist or a compulsive collector, it appears that Crowe never failed to acquire a memento from the various countries and cities he visited. The massive scrapbook contains literally thousands of postcards of France, Germany, Austria/Hungary, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and a wide range of the United states. Most of the cards have captions or explanations written by Crowe. A note by him on a map card of Lake Geneva reads "I made the trip shown by the dotted line [Geneva to Lausanne] morning of March 19, 1902". A small patch of cards in the German section are removed, with Crowe offering a cryptic explanation that these cards "were sent to the War Dept for information". Approximately 25 large photos of Cairo, Egypt, Turkey, and Italy appear at the end of the book. Another small part of this fascinating story is a two-page spread of mounted transportation tickets. One such ticket of the Atlantic Transport Company typeset "Mr. Frank Crowe, Room 40" grants him passage from Dunkerque to New York on the S.S. Minneapolis care of Barnum and Bailey.
At first glance it appears a bit of a freakshow, but there is something of a spectacle within this giant anthology amassed by a youthful American roaming Europe with the circus at the turn of the 20th century. No clowning around, if he kept this act on the road, Frank Crowe could have retired as the strong-man.Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $650