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    Charlie Chaplin in "Burlesque on Carmen" (Essanay, ca. 1916). One Sheet (27" X 41").
    After leaving the Mack Sennett Studios in order to assume more creative control over his work, Charlie Chaplin signed a contract with Essanay Studios, which offered him an opportunity not only to star, but to direct. Under this new contract, Chaplin was able to extend the length of his films from one reel to two, and to start building his own stock company, which included Edna Purviance, Leo White, John Rand, and Bud Jamison. Cross-eyed comedian Ben Turpin was also part of Chaplin's troupe for a short time, but disliked working with the meticulous star, and soon departed for greener pastures. Chaplin eventually made 14 films for Essanay, but left the studio after only one year to accept a deal from Mutual, which offered more money and even more creative control. Nevertheless, the real roots of Chaplin's comedy can be seen in these early pictures. The beautiful stone litho stock poster offered here has been stenciled to promote A Burlesque on Carmen (1916), which has a fascinating history. Chaplin released one of his last films for Essanay, the two-reel Burlesque on Carmen, in late 1915. After Chaplin left Essanay to go to Mutual, studio bosses reworked the film, adding in new scenes with Ben Turpin and Wesley Ruggles (neither of whom had been in the original picture), editing in footage that Chaplin had discarded, and even inserting multiple instances of scenes already in the film. When Chaplin found out, he was furious, and sued the studio, but Essanay prevailed, and it was the studio version that was seen for decades following. This poster, as it advertises a four-reel film, is from that early reworking of the film by Essaney. The poster here offered had crossfold separation, a tear in the bottom border that extended into the image area, and foldwear, but expert professional restoration has addressed all these slight issues, returning this highly desirable piece to a like-new condition. Fine/Very Fine on Linen.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2010
    19th-20th Friday-Saturday
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