Lot of 2 playing cards. One inscribed in ink "Thrown by Herman from the stage of the Tabor Grand Opera House Denver, Colo. Aug/14/88." The card features the image of a seated African American man, playing cards, and the numbers 4 11 44, a reference to numbers which were supposedly preferred by poor African American men when gambling or playing lotteries. The other card is inscribed "Thrown by Herman from Opera House stage at Lawrence Oct 16, '90" and has a patterned verso.
The "Herman" mentioned on the cards is most likely a reference to the lead character in "The Queen of Spades," a short story which was the basis for multiple operatic adaptations in the mid and late nineteenth century.
Built between 1880-1881, the Tabor Grand Opera House in Denver, Colorado, was upon completion one of the most magnificent opera houses in North America. Silver magnate Horace A. W. Taylor financed the project and spared no expense. The opera house opened with a grand celebration in September 1881 during which Tabor brought in America's most celebrated singer, Emma Abbott, to perform with her troupe. By 1890, however, the opera house was already experiencing a decline, due in part to competition from other theater venues. The opera house was torn down in 1964.
Some toning and soil on both cards but overall good condition.
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