Friday, November 24, 2006

man with a pagoda on his head...

a pretty darn stunning photo of a one man band with a pagoda shaped hat that seems to have bells on it. this guy certainly falls into the musical wonder category. i really like the pre-bob dylan harmonica style panpipes at his chin and the rods coming off his heels that trigger something mysterious behind his back; as well as the drum mallet extending from his elbow. unfortunately there's no artist name on this, but fortunately the photographer was charles eisenmann, who was based in the bowery in new york between 1870 and 1899.

eisenmann's studio focused on the sideshow side of life with clients/subjects such as p.t. barnum, jo jo the dog faced boy, the skeleton man, etc. judging from the bulk of eisenmann's subjects (and his favorite tag line: extra inducements to the theatrical profession), i'd wager a guess that the music man here was part of barnum's troop or one of the other "dime museums" in the area.

this type of small cdv photograph (4.25 x 2.5 inches) was made to sell as a souvenir or given away to generate publicity. the photo is a sepia toned albumen print, which dates it somewhere between the 1870's and 1880's, when the medium was at the height of its popularity (which coincides with the popularity of the cdv - before being replaced in the mid 1880's by the larger style cabinet photo). perhaps with the significance of the photographer known, at some point i might actually be able to figure out who this music maestro actually was...

3 Comments:

Blogger zhao said...

sound making (not to mention decorative) hats is where "it" is unmistakably at. you must feel at least a little bit of affinity with this fellow off-the-beaten-path maker of curious audio objects... the lineage is alive and well :)

thanks for stopping by my likle bwoggy. my intention with it is to disseminate underexposed wonders such as this "man with a pagoda on his head" and yourself; and the last thing I want to do is take revenue away from your enterprise so, I will take down the "tea-cups" link if it is still in print? if I had known where to find you in cyberspace I would have surely asked your permission...

i do hope our paths cross again in the real world sometime soon... but until then I'm sure it will often here in the Bwogo's Fear.

cheers

1:21 PM  
Blogger sroden said...

hey mr. zhao,
absolutely no worries at all, it's totally cool having the work up for free, at one point i contemplated putting everything i've released myself up for free, but i'd really need a studio assistant and another life to do it!... if i was trying to make a living off cd sales i'd be an incredibly miserable human... i really appreciate your support of the work, and i hope that having the work listenable to by others will only generate more INTEREST in the work, which is certainly more important to me than sales. i generally give cds away more than i sell them anyways, and in case you haven't noticed i'm too much of a retard to have any sound on my own website!!!!!!!!! i've been checking out your blog for the last month or so, and appreciating the downloads of the rare stuff myself a lot and so of course, it would be incredibly hypocritical to then be p.o.'d to see my own... in all honesty, i find it to be quite a compliment that you'd go to the trouble to rip the stuff and to place in the context of all the goodness you've been posting. i'm glad to hook up again, even if it's only in numerical form, but indeed it would be good to do so in human form at some point.
keep up the audio goodness.
steve
p.s. yes, i'm working on making my own bell hat :-)

4:22 PM  
Anonymous eurotrash said...

Ahhh sweet sweet Bowery!

9:54 AM  

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