July 30, 2020 12:00 PM EDT Cincinnati
Ends August 10, 2020


Circus and Sideshow Performers, CDVs of "The Albino," Helen Ann Windman Walker, and "Illavaro the Egyptian"

Lot of 3. Includes one unmarked ca 1870s CDV portrait of Helen Ann Windman Walker and two ca 1882 CDV portraits of "Illavaro the Egyptian" (one full standing, one bust-length) credited on verso to Charles Eisenmann, New York.  

"Illavaro the Egyptian" was one of P.T. Barnum's exhibited Circassian beauties. He billed these young women as purist examples of the Caucasian race, brought to American from Circassia, though in reality, some, like "Illavaro," were African American women made up to look exotic by teasing their hair and taking other measures.

Helen Ann Windman Walker was an albino, born to African American parents, and with an African American twin brother, Henry Sedam Walker (with whom she is commonly pictured). She was exhibited as "The Albino" or "White Negro Girl."


Bust portrait of Illavaro with photo loss to upper right corner, wear to edges and corners, surface soil throughout, and discoloration to verso. Standing portrait of Illavaro with wear to edges and corners including loss to gilt border, surface soil throughout, and some spots of discoloration. Walker CDV with surface soil throughout, some spots of discoloration, and wear to edges and corners. 

Estimate: $100 - $150
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us

PLEASE NOTE: Previews and Pickups will be by appointment only.

Let Cowan's Handle Your Shipping!

Cowan's Auctions is one of the only houses to offer full service, in-house shipping.  

Our experts pack and ship over 5,000 purchases each year.  
Shipping costs are included on every invoice to make getting your items as fast and easy as possible. 

For more information, click HERE or contact cowansshipping@hindmanauctions.com.