Bishop, Washington Irving. Portrait of Washington Irving Bishop. Dublin: Werner & Son, ca. 1880. Early portrait of Bishop, sans beard, in carte de visite format. Photographer’s gilt stamping on mount and verso. One corner chipped, minor tear in right margin. Rare. Bishop, an American stage mentalist, was perhaps more famous for his death than his life – though his career as a mindreader was a successful one that brought him both fame and fortune. Suffering from regular cataleptic fits which could reportedly last for two days or more, he became unconscious during a performance at the Lambs’ Club of New York on May 12, 1889. Bishop lapsed into a coma, apparently dying the next day. The next evening, at a funeral home, an unauthorized autopsy was performed on Bishop by two doctors. According to Bishop’s wife and mother, it was this act that killed him - he had merely been in a trance, and was not dead at the time the autopsy was performed. Charges were brought against the doctors, but no one was convicted for Bishop’s murder. Even so, his family maintained he was killed by the surgical instruments used in the autopsy.