Ok, I’ve been waiting for a while to get this one. I originally saw a listing with a copy of this image on Ebay for somewhat north of $300. I debated and debated whether to get it or not. After much consideration, I passed on it, thinking that the signatures on the back were most likely facsimiles, and not original signatures. Patience paid off – another copy (the one I bought) showed up. While not quite as nice a condition, it actually looks much better in person than it does in the scans. My copy had the added benefit of being less than a quarter of the current asking price of the other copy I passed on.
For those not familiar with the subject matter, Charles Stratton, AKA General Tom Thumb, was a star of the P.T. Barnum sideshow and performer from the 1840s to the late 1870s. He was born a relatively large, healthy baby but stopped growing significantly before his second birthday. At his tallest he was 3 feet 4 inches. In 1863, he married another dwarf, Lavinia Warren. His best man was George W.M. Nutt, a fellow dwarf and performer in Barnum’s circus, and Lavinia’s bridesmaid was her younger sister, Minnie, also a dwarf. The event was dubbed “The Fairy Wedding” and was the social event of the year. Two thousand guests packed Grace Episcopal Church in Manhattan. After the wedding, Charles and Lavinia went to Washington where they were received by President Lincoln. Charles, Lavinia, George and Minnie posed for Matthew Brady who went on to sell CDVs of the photo as souvenirs of the wedding through his publisher, E. & H.T. Anthony. This is one of the E. & H.T. Anthony productions.