Tom Thumb, His Wife, and Her Sister

Tom Thumb, His Wife, and her Sister

No, not a prequel to The Thief, the Cook, His Wife and Her Lover, it’s a CDV by an unidentified photographer of Tom Thumb, his wife, and her sister Minnie Warren.

Tom Thumb, His Wife, and Her Sister
Tom Thumb, His Wife, and Her Sister

The latest addition to the collection of Tom Thumb images, this was one I hadn’t seen before. Clipped corners aside, it’s in quite good condition overall. Certainly the image is very clear and sharp, and the print has minimal wear. In the conversation I had with Zoe Trodd, the co-author of Picturing Frederick Douglass, she triggered an interesting thought. The main thesis of Picturing Frederick Douglass is that he is the most-photographed American of the 19th century. I was skeptical of this as his images on the secondary collector market are not common, however the book does document her case rather thoroughly, with 150-some distinct images of him known. This got me to wondering how many different images of my favorite subject to collect are there. I’ll enumerate the Tom Thumb images I have below:

Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren, in middle age
Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren, in middle age
Tom Thumb by C.D. Fredricks
Tom Thumb by C.D. Fredricks
Tom Thumb & Lavinia Warren - Walzl, Photographer, Baltimore
Tom Thumb & Lavinia Warren – Walzl, Photographer, Baltimore
Tom Thumb and Minnie Warren, in their advancing years
Tom Thumb and Minnie Warren, in their advancing years
Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren, by Masury of Boston
Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren, by Masury of Boston
Tom Thumb, Wife and "child"
Tom Thumb, Wife and “child”
Lavinia Warren Stratton, Mrs. Tom Thumb
Lavinia Warren Stratton, Mrs. Tom Thumb
Commodore Nutt, Mrs. and Mr. Tom Thumb
Commodore Nutt, Mrs. and Mr. Tom Thumb
The Reception Dress, The Fairy Wedding
The Reception Dress, The Fairy Wedding
Bride & Groom, The Fairy Wedding
Bride & Groom, The Fairy Wedding
Fairy Wedding Group #3
Fairy Wedding Group #3
Brady's Fairy Wedding
The Fairy Wedding, 1863 E&HT Anthony print, Obverse
The Thumbs, by the Stereoscopic Co of London
The Thumbs, by the Stereoscopic Co of London
The Thumbs, Commodore Nutt and Minnie Warren, as presented to the Queen
The Thumbs, Commodore Nutt and Minnie Warren, as presented to the Queen

These are the ones I have in my collection. I know there are more out there that I don’t have (one particular one from the wedding, and at least two from the London Stereoscopic Company). This puts me at 15, eighteen if you count the ones I know but don’t have. It’s a far cry from the 150 of Frederick Douglass, but I’m going to keep hunting and collecting and tallying up. Having been a star of stage and circus for most of his life, he was dependent on publicity for his career and would have worked hard to keep his image in the public eye.

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