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"Holmen Brothers" Early-1900s Signed and Framed Vaudeville Display

Lot Number 1747

Quantity: Bid Starts: 04/27/2018 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 100.00  Bid Ends: 05/10/2018 22:00:00 
Bid Count: Overtime: 30 Minutes
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Usually the final act on the program during their early-1900s days on the Vaudeville circuit, the brothers Holmen mixed visual slapstick comedy into their gymnastics routine. Among the rarest of artifacts from that era, this display features a broadside advertising the Swedish siblings’ as “Comedy Bar Artists,” as well as individual studio photographs autographed by each. Framed to dimensions of 45x19”, the symmetrically arranged display features a colorful broadside with cameo portraits of the brothers. Flanking that detail are original black-and-white photos of: (at left) Oscar Holmen and (at right) Richard Holmen. Taken by Boston’s Marceau studios, each photo is signed by its subject in black-ink steel tip fountain pen on the lower white border. Oscar Holmen’s penning maintains (“8-9”) strength and clarity, while Richard’s signature resonates (“9-10”) quality and is accented by a lengthy paraph. As for the Holmens’ act being saved as the finale, it was common Vaudeville theatre practice to show a “Dumb” (meaning “silent”) act for last, as the audience usually began to file out during the finale, thereby making lyrics or dialogue unintelligible.


While we deem these signatures to be authentic, we are unable to acquire documentation from a third-party authentication service, as there are no known exemplars of Holmen brothers autographs.


Frames included with lots: while we make every effort to protect the frames included in these lots during pre-auction storage and post-auction shipping, we are not responsible for any damage to the frames themselves, and no refunds will be given due to frame damage.


Pictures  (Click on Photo to Enlarge)