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Auction History Result

4z0137 AL. G. FIELD MINSTRELS linen 20x26 stage poster 1920s art of Billy Church, Silver Voiced Tenor!

Date Sold 7/9/2020
Sold For: Login or Register to see sold price.


An Original Vintage Linenbacked Stage Play Poster (measures 19 1/2" x 26" [50 x 66 cm]) (Learn More)

Al. G. Field Minstrels was a traveling minstrel show from the 1900s to the the mid-1920s. The minstrel show (or minstrelsy) was an American form of entertainment developed in the early 19th century. Each show consisted of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and musical performances, and the shows were usually performed by white people in make-up or blackface. Al. G. Field was born Alfred Griffin Hatfield around the middle of the 19th century. Starting in 1875, he performed in the Sells Brothers Circus and began managing the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus in 1884. In 1886, he opened his first traveling minstrel show with 27 performers. He passed away in 1921 at the age of 72. His last will and testament arranged for his minstrel show to be bequeathed to his brother Joseph E. Hatfield and to Edward Conard.
If you know who did the art (if any), please let us know.
Important Added Info: Note that this is one of eight different posters for Al. G. Field Minstrels we are currently auctioning, and all but one show either a performer solely in blackface or in blackface and without makeup (with the exception of this poster, where the performer, Billy Church, "Silver Voiced Tenor" does not appear in blackface at all). We believe that this poster and the other seven Al. G. Field posters all date from the mid 1920s, perhaps from exactly 1924 or 1925, because one of the posters advertises Rody Jordan, who apparently only performed in blackface in the 1924-25 season. In the past, we have only previously auctioned two Al. G. Field posters, and both of those did not show the performer in blackface. These posters are incredibly rare! Note that this poster has been trimmed and it now measures 19 1/2" x 26" [50 x 66 cm].

What IS linenbacking? Learn More

Overall Condition and Pre-Restoration Defects with Quality of Restoration: very good. The poster had a horizontal fold running slightly below center and very slight border wear. Overall, the poster was in very good condition prior to linenbacking. The restorer backed the poster "in the European style", meaning that they did not do restoration to the defects described above. Note that either the restorer who mounted the poster did not leave any excess linen around the edges of the poster, or possibly the owner of the poster chose to carefully trim off the excess, so that the poster would fit in a frame.
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