cvt primart header
Shopping Cart (empty)
Your cart is empty.
Product 91/684



Original Vintage Antique Circus Memorabilia Collectibles For Sale

Chinese Dwarf Che Mah and his “wife” Pearley

Frank Wendt of New York City


Very rare and original, ca1905 Cabinet Card Photograph of Barnum & Bailey Circus and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Sideshow Midget / Chinese Dwarf Che Mah and his “wife” Pearley (another Little Person that Che-Mah appeared with).

    This fascinating, Card Mount Photo measures 3 5/8" by 5 1/2" and is mounted on its original, photographer’s Card Mount (overall size 3 3/4" by 5 3/4"). The Image pictures Che Mah in full figure standing arm in arm with a slightly taller female Dwarf / Midget who is also dressed in a traditional Asian silk robe. The mount carries the mark of famous photographer - Wendt, of Boonton, New Jersey. 
 * See enlargeable images above and below 

    The Cabinet Card Photo has extensive, printed text on the reverse that reads:  “The Smallest Couple in the World / Pearley was born in St. Louis, Missouri, January 22nd, 1874. Age ___ years. Height 34 in. Weight 45 pounds / Che-Mah was born on the Island of Choo-Sang, China April 15th, 1838. Age ___ years; Height 28 in., Weight 40 pounds. / The Most Polite and Intelligent Magnets on Exhibition.".

    The following is from the Starke County (Indiana) Historical Society website: “Starke County was the home of Che Mah, the smallest man in the world prior to his death in 1926. Che Mah's home was in Knox (Indiana). He was interviewed by a writer and asked, "are you the smallest man in the world." "I am," he replied, " and with no exception." "Of course," he continued, "there are children smaller than I, but I am the smallest man in the world." Che Mah was only 28 inches tall and weighed only 40 pounds. He was brought to the United States in 1881 by Barnum and Bailey Circus. He traveled with shows the greater part of his life. He was considered the most polite and intelligent manikin ever on exhibition, being with the largest shows in the country and having appeared before all the crowned heads of Europe. He has appeared and performed in all the big museums and circuses in Europe. Che Mah was one of the most highly respected citizens of Knox, and owned considerable property in Starke County. "How does it feel to be the smallest man in the world?" was asked of him. "Well," he replied, "I don't know as it feels any different from being any other kind of man." "It's not the size of the man that counts, but it is his brains or what he knows," he said, pointing to his forehead. Che Mah was buried at the highest point in Crown Hill Cemetery, in Knox.”

    Che Mah originally appeared with the Barnum & Bailey Circus and later toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. He ended his career with the Ringling Brothers Circus and retired to Knox, Indiana not long after this Portrait was taken.

    This wonderful and quite rare, Cabinet Card Photograph is in good to very good condition. The Photograph itself exhibits sharp focus but is light overall. There are some tiny spots of staining and there is a strong crease at the lower left hand corner of the mount (not affecting the Image itself). There is also a light crease at the upper left hand corner.

    A very rare and original, 1905 Cabinet Card Photograph of Barnum & Bailey Circus and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Sideshow Midget / Chinese Dwarf Performer Che Mah and his “wife” Pearley and a fantastic addition to any collection!!!

NOTE:  We recently acquire SIX other antique SIDESHOW photos.  See the others below under , "Other Treasures You May Like". 

Note: Cvtreasures stamp Not on original

Similar Treasures You May Like