Niccolò Paganini, Broadside, For This Night Only! The Last Appearance of Signor Paganini! Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Signor Paganini Begs Respectfully to Inform the Nobility, Gentry, and the Public in General, that He Intends Giving One More Concert, Being Positively His Last Appearance in London, Which Will Take Place This Evening, Thursday, August 8th, in the Course of Which He will Perform Some of His Most Established and Popular Pieces.  Measurement: Poster: 32.5 cm height x 20 cm width; the mat/mount (hinged at the top): 51 cm x 35.5 cm. Green paper was used for the poster, on a green mat.
Niccolò Paganini (1782 – 1840) is today still considered the greatest of all violinists, and his name is synonymous with virtuosity, the highest degree of instrumental accomplishment, having inspired Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Sergei Rachmaninov to use the model of his technical accomplishment (evident from his music) as well as his own theme to expand the technique in their own instrumental writing. This broadside was printed on the day of the concert. Its extraordinary survival — even in its worn condition — is a testament to the enduring knowledge its owners have all had of Paganini, a legend like none other in the history of Western Music. After 1834, following a diagnosis of cancer of the larynx, Paganini gave very few concerts. As the prices on this broadside announcement indicate, Paganini was paid handsomely this late in his career for his appearances, and accordingly, he left a large fortune to his heirs. He was, at the time of this event, truly a living legend, and, given his Mephistophelean appearance, it was rumored his virtuosity stemmed from Diabolical powers. This ephemeral document is rare not only because it actually mentions the principal performer’s name, but because it prints his name in bold no fewer than seven times. Divided into three parts, Paganini played in each part, and in the second and third parts, he played his own pieces written for one string alone, concluding Part III, with “God Save the King,” on one string. A child prodigy, Elizabeth Jonas, aged eight, shared the billing with Paganini, playing selections from John Field and Donizetti. The surface has been cleaned and places where the original paper had come free of the mount have been set down.