Mounted Lady Trumpeteer (neé Darlene D’amour, 1918, Nice- 1938.)
The taxidermy of Darlene D’amour was found in a tiny museum, or cabinet of wonders if you will. She was placed in a vitrine including, amongst other oddities, a model steam boat in Amsterdam. (1) After years of researching her story came to life.
Darlene D’amour was a member of the European musical act Bubblé Jeunesse D’oree (bubbles golden youth), managed by O.Bartik (2) This was really an astonishing act: Three women playing the trumpet under water wearing mini dresses. They were set in a huge aquarium filled with brass flowers and golden glitter. This act was an expensive one, and thus didn’t become as populair as it should have been.
At some point Darlene, allegedly, unfortunately cut her ankle at one of the brass leaves and lost her foot(3) and she bled to death in the water tank.
The underwater act was obviously cursed and the aquarium was too large for 2 people; the act vanished. (yes, it literally bled to death, duh.)
Mister Bartik did continue showing the taxidermy of Darlene D’amour’s body and named her the
‘Mounted Lady Trumpeteer’. Believe it or not but he sold her foot, including golden shoe to a “harem keeper”. The foot of Darlene Love ended up in a whorehouse named ‘The Harem’, where it was placed in the middle of the main room to set an example for women who were thinking of escaping. The horror of it all!
The Mounted Lady Trumpeteer is part of the History of Circus Legends a series of unique figurines handmade by Mimi Berlin.
Mimi Berlin, 2013. Mounted Lady Trumpeteer, Mixed Media ( 1920s ceramic, plastic, copper, glass, cello-tape, rubber, water) ø7.5/4.5 x 27 cm,
Mounted Lady Trumpeteer: The Story is written by Mimi Berlin. Very loosely based on an advertisement in Billboard magazine 1906, on musician Darlene Wright, and on the private collection of Freundin T.
(1) This statuette is part of the private collection of Freundin T. since 2013.
(2) The Billboard, 22 September,1906. http://www.circushistory.org/Pdf/Billboard22Sep1906.pdf
(3) The Foor of Darlene Love, History of circus Legends by Mimi Berlin, 2013.