Woodin (1825-1888) was particularly well known for his two entertainments the ‘Carpet Bag’ and the ‘Olio of Oddities’. He was a protean artiste and ventriloquist skilled in creating entertainments with many voices, mannerisms and costumes. His successes in London include performances at the Polygraphic Hall and the Egyptian Hall. This engraving is by D.J. Pound based on a photograph by Gill of London.

The print, probably from 1830, shows Michel Boai with his wife, and M. Engels the violin accompanist. They are shown ‘in the Costume in which they appear in their popular Performance at THE EGYPTIAN HALL Piccadilly’. Boai made his music with his mouth, chin and cheeks. Apparently he had perfect pitch over two and a half octaves and was said to be able to play extremely rapid passages of music with complete accuracy. See Ref. No. N1936 in this EPHEMERA section for details of Boai appearing at the Egyptian Hall.

The bookplate was designed by Larry Barnes the magician, versatile entertainer and Pearly King. At one time he worked at Davenports.

The leather frame has a padded leather cover which is hinged at the top. This protects the photograph during travel and, when bent back, acts as a support so that the photograph can be displayed. The photograph was taken in Berlin.