Exceedingly Rare original flyer for Signor Bertolotto’s original exhibition of the educated fleas. One of the most famous flea circus performances was L. Bertolotto, who's Extraordinary Exhibition of the Industrious Fleas performed in London, New York and Canada in Victorian times. It is suggested that he was instrumental in shifting the focus of attention from the builder of the tiny chariots and props to the performer. His performances are documented in the form of flyers which few exist, and also referenced by many sources. The acts are themed to reflect the political events of the time and reference Napoleon and the Marquis of W. and MPs. Bertolotto performed in the early 1800s. This ultra rare flyer measures 5 x 8 inches. It reads as follows:
ORIGINAL EXHIBITION OF THE EDUCATED
Whose extraordinary performance has received the distinguished patronage of the EUROPEAN SOVEREIGNS. Now open at
No. 39 UNION SQUARE.
Exhibited by SIGNOR BERTOLOTTO, the Inventor. These surprising little creatures consist of a Troupe of 100, who, after the most unwearied perseverance, have been taught to go through a variety of feats truly wonderful, of which the following is the
THE BALL ROOM, in which two ladies and gentleman dance the polka. The orchestra is composed of 15 musicians, playing on different instruments of proportionate size. Four having a game of whist. A little brunette on a sofa is flirting with a fashionable beau, while her mama's mind is engaged in the politics of a newspaper. The saloon is lighted by three fleas, dressed, harnessed and instructed according to their respective tasks.
AN ELEGANT CARRIAGE, drawn by two Fleas; the occupants and coachman are also Fleas, well dressed, with parasol &c. TWO MERRY-GO-ROUNDS, A Dutch windmill, are each set in motion by a Flea. ANOTHER AS GARDENER, pushes a wheelbarrow full of flowers. Another dressed in frock, shawl and collar, drawn a bucket of water from a well. Two Fleas decide an Affair of Honor, sward in hand, the arms are of steel, with golden guards. DON QUIXOTE AND SANCHO PANZA, riding on well-caparisoned Fleas. THE AMERICAN STEAMER, carried by a Flea. THE WILD FLEA, chained by a 400-link chain, but the ankle, showing the difference between wild and civilized A STREET CAR, drawn by a single Flea, and twelve hundred times the weight of the Flea. MADEMOISELLE LE NORMAND, or the Sybil will tell the visitor's fortune, a most weird-looking old Flea. And a variety of other activities too long to state here. The beauty of the workmanship of the objects accessory to the Exhibition have excited the admiration of every beholder.
Open from 10 A.M. to 9 P.M. Admission 25 Cents
________________________________________ New York Printerium, 29 Ann Street, N. Y