Tintype fob, 25 mm dia., featuring a portrait of Lavinia Warren on obverse and text reading, "Lavinia Warren, The Lilliputian Queen. / Col. Wood's / Grand / Travelling Museum / of / Living Wonders," on reverse.
Lavinia Warren (1841-1918) is most famous for her 1863 marriage to Tom Thumb, the famed Barnum performer, and countless photographs of their "Fairy Wedding" were produced to document the occasion. The pair achieved great fame and wealth through P.T. Barnum. In 1885, two years after Tom Thumb's death, Lavinia married Italian little person and actor Count Primo Magri, and the two performed together through the early 20th century. Lavinia appeared in one silent film, The Lilliputians' Courtship, in 1915.
Colonel John H. Wood founded Colonel Wood's Museum in Chicago in the 1860s, where it served as a kind of midwestern equivalent to P.T. Barnum's American Museum in New York. It was said to be filled with a wide assortment of artifacts and oddities including numerous animal specimens, mummies, and even Daniel Boone's rifle. A Kurz lithograph from the 1860s shows the museum, with a large sign outside advertising the "LARGEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD WEIGHING NEAR 900 [pounds]." The museum was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but Wood reopened at another location (which also succumbed to fire) in 1875.
Tintype with surface soil and general wear. Obverse with visible abrasion to image within Lavinia's hair and a smaller one within her dress. Reverse with light spotting. Wear including scratches and discoloration to outer brass ring.
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