Poster for the Klondyke Nugget

Moody Bros.

Chromolithographic poster advertising S.F. Cody's 'Klondyke Nugget' Wild West Show, produced by Moody Bros. Birmingham and used in 1902. Title reads ‘John Bull's Advice. See the Klondyke Nugget!’ in scroll above a group of actors in costume with John Bull in Union Jack waistcoat at centre. The surrounding figures ape a number of national and racial stereotypes include Samuel Cody with a kangaroo at far left, a Scotsman in blue tartan with his hand on Bull’s shoulder and a Native American warrior to far right. ‘Moody Bros. Birmingham’ bottom right. A sticker placed in the top left corner reads ‘Clarence Theatre / Pontypridd / Monday Dec. 19 / And during the Week / The Klondyke Nugget’.

The Klondyke Nugget was a popular nineteenth-century stage play written and performed by Samuel Franklin Cody (1867-1913). He was born in Texas as Samuel Franklin Cowdery, but later changed his last name to profit on the fame of Buffalo Bill Cody. He began his career in the Forepaugh Wild West Show. He travelled throughout the United States with his own Wild West troupe and then to England with his autobiographical play, The Klondyke Nugget which was based on his claim of having prospected for gold near Dawson City during the Klondike Gold Rush. The play apparently toured in the British Isles between around 1898 and 1904. Cody starred in the play along with his second wife and her son. Cody later achieved fame as an aviator when he was the first man to conduct a powered flight in England. He also created kites that were used for artillery spotting in World War I.

The Science Museum Group collections include three copies of this poster, one unmarked and two with stickers for specific British performances. This poster commemorates a performance at the Clarence Theatre in Pontypridd on 19 December [the year is not given but research suggests 1898]. The others are 1996-289 and 2019-137.


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