Poster advertising Evanion's New Entertainment


Evanion was the French-accented stage persona of London-born illusionist and ventriloquist Henry Evans (1832?-1905). This poster is characteristic not only of his oeuvre but that of most other Victorian stage illusionists, promising ‘new and astounding feats… based on principles not within the power of any other Artist in the World.’

A gregarious and curious man, Evanion was remembered by the American escapologist Harry Houdini as ‘a dear old friend who introduced me to a throng of fascinating characters’. Among his many extracurricular habits, Evanion liked to collect posters, fliers and ephemera relating to popular entertainment and fashion. Of the many thousands he collected, the majority were, like this one, bold examples of chromolithography – a newly developed printing technique used in the mass production of colourful, eye-catching advertising material.

Full title:
M. Evanion, the royal conjuror, will give his new and original entertainment [etc.]
estimated 1870, London
Playbill / Ephemera / Advertisement / Illustration / Image
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

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Liza Picard

From music halls and waxworks to freak shows and pleasure gardens, Liza Picard looks at the variety of popular entertainment available in the 19th century.

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