Clive Farahar Antiquarian Books - Rare and Antiquarian Books and Manuscripts

CHRISTY MINSTRELS. Ten Little Niggers.  The Celebrated Serio-Comic Song Sung by G.W. Moore, of the Original Christy Minstrels, at St. James's Hall, Piccadilly, Words by Frank Green, Music by Mark Mason, Hopwood and Crew, c.1870
pictorial lithographed title by Alfred Concannen a little foxed, + 5 pp of music + 1 pp advert. 13½ x 9½ ins 34.5 x 24 cm, folio, disbound,
Christy's Minstrels, sometimes referred to as the Christy Minstrels, were a blackface group formed by Edwin Pearce Christy, a well-known ballad singer, in 1843, in Buffalo, New York. After their disbandment after the death of Edwin Christy, J. W. Raynor and Earl Pierce formed a new troupe, using many of the former Christy Minstrel members. It opened in London, England as "Raynor & Pierce's Christy Minstrels" at the St. James's Theatre on 3 August 1857. They then performed at the Surrey Theatre and later the "Polygraphic Hall" on King William Street, where they appeared for ten months. "Nellie Grey" by Michael Balfe, as sung by Raynor, became popular. In 1859, the troupe moved to the St. James's Hall (Liverpool), performing for another four months and then touring the British provinces. It then returned to Polygraphic Hall, disbanding in August 1860. The success of this troupe led to the phrase "Christy Minstrels" coming to mean any blackface minstrel show. Soon, four new companies were formed, each claiming to be the "original" Christy Minstrels, because they each boasted one or two former members of the old troupe. One group played in Dublin at the Chester Theatre in 1864, moving to London at the Standard Theatre in Shoreditch in 1865. Three months later, it moved to St. James's Hall, where it began a run of 35 years until 1904. A printed comment on the cover under the portrait of Moore, reads "Sung by the Great Comedian 300 times consecutively at St. James's Hall".

Stock ref: 13618