"Fireproof Woman" Woodblock Plate
It was confusing as to where to place this extraordinary item, which most likely furnished the central cut for a poster. As "Fine Art," since it is an excellent piece of sculpture? As Italian, since that is the supposed origin of its subject? The woodblock probably portrays the redoubtable Signora Girardelli, who packed the music-hall theaters of the British Isles in the earlier days of the Nineteenth Century and displayed before the crowned heads of the land her ability to walk through fire, take molten lead into her mouth, hold her hand in a candle flame, etc., etc. The subject here is most likely her concluding act, "Furia Infernale." in which she appeared as Britannia not ruling the waves, but braving deadly spews from hundreds of fireworks. Deadly, but not to the Incombustible Lady! As is often the case, a raft of killjoys exposed her tricks and the new Eighth Wonder of the World fizzled out and went home to Italy to be burned no more.
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