(New York: Ollivier, Photographer), nd [ca. 1875]. First edition. Small 4to. 13 photographs, eleven 7 1/4 x 4 3/8 inches, the other two 5 1/8 x 3 7/8 inches, mounted on seven leaves of cad stock, the first a portrait of Flockton, the other 12 presenting him dressed for some of his famous theater roles, each with a printed caption. The characters include Barrato, in "Forget-Me Not"; Tom Coke, in "Old Hearts and Young Heartts"; Abbe, in "New Trial"; Colonel Daunt, in "Queen's Shilling"; Fagin, in "Oliver Twist"; DuBosc and Lesurques, in "Courier of Lyons"; Sam Baxter, in "Silver King"; Count Lestrange, in "Cynic"; Streyke, in "The Colonel"; Prince Petrovsky, in "Ours"; and Vanderdecken, in "Flying Dutchman." Inscribed at the head of the printed cover to "J. Alex. Brown Esqr." OCLC locates one copy (Huntington, ascribing the date 1875). Very good, the images bright and sharp. Original printed stiff boards (partly sunned), tied. (#5936). Item #58836
Charles P. Flockton (1828-1904) was an American actor, "ranked among the best stock actors in America." Oscar Wilde, it is said, wanted Flockton to be in his first play. Wallack's theatre was considered one of the "three leading New York theatre companies of the time" and through the 1870s and 1880s Flockton was an unqualified success, appearing in important runs of the plays in which the characters pictured in this work were featured. In the 1890s Flockton took his "Comedy Company" to Prince Edward Island. The skits were not nearly as amusing as the story of the decline and fall of the company. At one point, their funds exhausted, the company "fed on what fish the actors themselves could catch, flounder speared at low tide and sea gull eggs." The coup-de-gras came during a performance featuring the cinematograph, one of the company's innovations. "[In Flockton's own words:] A train projected on the screen dashed on in great style, indeed it would have been perfect had the picture not been upside down ... in spite of this fiasco, nine optimists or philanthropists paid admission the following evening. Then we touched bottom, not even a stray dog in front of the house. It was curtains for the Flockton Comedy Company." The quotes offered here come from "Life and times of Actress E.J. Phillips," online. A rare photographic record of the American Victorian stage.