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Somebody's Luggage (Miniature Wedding Album of Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren)

Somebody's Luggage (Miniature Wedding Album of Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren)

c. 1863

Mathew Brady

(American, 1823-1896)

Brass photographic locket with 12 miniature albumen prints

Overall: 2.7 x 2 x 1 cm (1 1/16 x 13/16 x 3/8 in.); Each: 2.3 x 2 cm (7/8 x 13/16 in.)

Gift of Herbert Ascherman, Jr. 2015.51

Description

This deluxe commercial souvenir commemorates the marriage of “General” Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton) and Lavinia Warren, performers at P. T. Barnum’s American Museum. Thumb was such a celebrity that the wedding pushed the Civil War off newspapers’ front pages for days. Cartes-de-visite of the wedding sold in the thousands; Brady even licensed the image to lithographers and other photographers. In one image, Lavinia holds a baby who was borrowed for the photo shoot to suggest her domestic skills. The locket is shaped like a miniature suitcase bearing the words “Somebody’s Luggage,” the title of an 1862 story by Charles Dickens.

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