Lot 260 of 455:
Samuel Morse's young niece describes Signor Blitz's 1855 magic act  

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Samuel F.B.Morse’s 11 year-old niece sees “Signor Blitz” - Letter

Rebecca Morse

[Miss Apthorp’s School for Girls]

New Haven, Conn.

Nov. 9, 1855


Autograph Letter Signed (“Beckie”)  4pp.+stampless envelope. To her 14 year-old brother, Richard Morse, Andover, Mass.

Letter from the young grand-daughter of geographer Jedidiah Morse and niece of telegraph inventor Samuel F.B.Morse to her teenaged brother, describing the act of  British born Antonio ‘Signor’ Blitz, perhaps the best known magician in the US before the Civil War.

“…Miss Apthorp told us that she was going to take us to see Signor Blitz, a juggler and ventriloquist....First he brought out a little wooden doll, and a cloak on him, and made him disappear and then made him come back again. He put an ivory ball in his mouth and pretended to swallow it; then he pulled from his mouth… a long piece of red ribbon; then yellow, blue, green, and white. He brought out his canary birds, and two or three ring doves; he made one of the canaries draw a little waggon, and two of them swung in a seat while two others swung above them, one pretended to sleep with little torches all around it, and the funniest of all was, one who came out all dressed in a cloak and hat, just like a little soldier on a wooden horse, and another fired off a little cannon; the wooden horse fell, and the Colonel pretended to be dead. Signor Blitz showed a wooden man whom he called Bobby and pretended he spoke; of course, Signor Blitz spoke for him..."


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