The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of April 22, 2018

Somebody's Luggage (Miniature Wedding Album of Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren), c. 1863

brass photographic locket with 12 miniature albumen prints, Overall: 2.7 x 2 x 1 cm (1 1/16 x 3/4 x 3/8 in.); Each: 2.3 x 2 cm (7/8 x 3/4 in.). Gift of Herbert Ascherman, Jr. 2015.51

This deluxe commercial souvenir commemorates the marriage of “General” Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton) and Lavinia Warren, performers at P. T. Barnum’s American Museum. Thumb was such a celebrity that the wedding pushed the Civil War off newspapers’ front pages for days. Cartes-de-visite of the wedding sold in the thousands; Brady even licensed the image to lithographers and other photographers. In one image, Lavinia holds a baby who was borrowed for the photo shoot to suggest her domestic skills. The locket is shaped like a miniature suitcase bearing the words “Somebody’s Luggage,” the title of an 1862 story by Charles Dickens.

The Cleveland Museum of Art, “Cheating Death: Portrait Photography’s First Half Century” (10/22/2016-2/5/2017)

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