Cabinet Card of a Blackface Performer, Marysville, California, circa 1885

Cabinet card full-length studio portrait of a white adult male wearing blackface and dressed as a racist caricature of a Black child, holding a doll. Philip William Griffiths: Marysville, California, n.d., circa 1888. 

Born in California in 1857 to Welsh parents, Griffiths had a gallery in Oroville by 1878, later active in Chico. He opened the Elite Gallery in Marysville on the southwest corner of D and Third Street in 1880 which operated until at least 1888. 

The Marysville Evening Democrat reported on March 19 and March 23, 1888, that Haverly's Original Mastodon Minstrels would be performing the same week, touting that they "will eclipse any other minstrel performance we have had in this city. Founded by J.H. Haverly in 1877, the large show claimed to have 40 performers, most in blackface. It is possible that the subject here is one of those participants. 


Card toned, small scuff to image's left edge. 

Estimate: $200 - $300
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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