LOT 3150
SOLD €480,00

[Elephants] Mr. E. Thompson avec ses 3 elephants

Friedländer, Hamburg, 1898. 96 x 71 cm. Lith. no. 1363.

Mild wear along folds. *Racial inequality was a fact during the 19th- and early 20th century American circus; Barnum and Bailey did not hire African Americans, other circuses used them behind the scenes as servants and builders, and sometimes in sideshows in which their colour was used to heighten the entertainment. The American Eph Thompson was one of the first black animal trainers to change this all-white perspective; at 14 he started working for the Forepaugh circus, caring for the elephants backstage. In 1885 he travelled to Europe, working for Carl Hagenbeck as an elephant trainer and from then on he – and his elephants - travelled the European circuses such as Carré and Schumann and theatres in Paris and London. He was particulary famous for the tricks of his elephant Mary, who could do somersaults.

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