250. [Bearded woman]

NESTLER, Wilhelm

[The bearded woman Annie Jones-Elliot].

Brussels, W. Nestler, [1880s-1890s]

Annie Jones (1865-1902) was one of the most successful bearded ladies. She had only just been born when her parents presented her to P.T. Barnum. So before she could even walk, she became "The Infant Esau", a reference to the famously hairy brother of Jacob in the Old Testament. As time went on, the "Infant Esau" grew into the "Esau Lady" and, eventually, the "Bearded Lady" of Barnum's "Greatest Show on Earth". Aged 15, she married the sideshow "Barker" of the circus, divorced 15 years later and then married William Donovan with whom she toured Europe as a duo act. After her husband vanished in 1884 she returned home to Barnum. She then began to campaign against the use of the word "freak" to describe sideshow performers. She died at age 37 of tuberculosis. It was during her tour in Europe that Nestler (Prussia 1845-? Brussels) photographed her. He was active in Brussels from 1870 to 1899.
Ref. https://allthatsinteresting.com/annie-jones-bearded-lady

€ 300 / 400

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