Letier Brothers Advertising Card

03 Dec 2012

Here's a late-1800s chromolithographic advertising card (a popular marketing device of that time) from the publisher of Joplin's A Picture of Her Face, Leiter Brothers. While it's not our goal to collect memorabilia from all of Joplin's publishers, we thought this one was somewhat unusual and offers a nice glimpse at one of Joplin's very first publishers.  According to Rudi Blesh's and Harriet Janis' book, They All Played Ragtime (TAPR), Joplin's vocal group, the Texas Medley Quartette, traveled as far east as Syracuse, NY, where Joplin sold his first two songs (A Picture of Her Face and Please Say You Will ) in 1895. TAPR also notes the pre-ragtime  "typical sentimental Victorian" tone of Please Say You Will, the lyrics of which culminate in:

Although my love is dead, my only darling Grace,
My eyes are oftime looking on
A picture of -- her -- face.

With this sentiment in mind, you can perhaps understand why a company would offer as an advertising piece a beautifully colored lithograph of a boy burying a dead bird.

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