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Americana

Americana

  • The Amazing American Circus Poster : the Strobridge Lithographing Company
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    Kristin L. Spangenberg & Deborah W. Walk

    The Amazing American Circus Poster : the Strobridge Lithographing Company

    $30.00

    Kristin L. Spangenberg & Deborah W. Walk

    The amazing American circus poster : the Strobridge Lithographing Company, ed. by Kristin L. Spangenberg & Deborah W Walk. Cincinnati : Cincinnati Art Museum, 2011.

     

    Published to accompany an exhibition held at the Cincinnati Art Museum from February 26 to July 10, 2011, and The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art from September 17, 2011, to January 29, 2012.

    Softcover. 246 pages.

     

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  • Adam Forepaugh & Sells Brothers
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    ANONYMOUS

    Adam Forepaugh & Sells Brothers

    $1,700.00

    Year: 1900

    Size: 39 x 29 1/2 in

    Condition: B+/ Slight tears at folds.

    With magnificent border-work exemplifying the epitome of 1900 style, this poster is headlined by a trio of photorealistic cameos of the circus-master Sells Brothers and Forepaugh. Only Lewis Sells was still alive and actively managing the circus at the time of printing. 

     

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  • Forepaugh & Sells
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    ANONYMOUS

    Forepaugh & Sells

    $1,700.00

    Year: 1896

    Size: 39 1/4 x 29 3/4 in

    Condition: A. 

    Circuses were always chancy operations; mountebanks and scammers abounded. In many posters of the this period, regal portraits of the proprietors lent a bit of credibility toward the purchase of one's circus tickets. Here, however, the irony is overwhelming: Adam Forepaugh died in 1890; his name was sold to James Bailey, who partnered with the Sells Brothers to create these "Enormous Shows Combined," as a forerunner of Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey. In this earlier image of the founders / partners, the third Sells brother, Ephraim, makes an appearance.

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  • Forepaugh & Sells / United Shows
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    ANONYMOUS

    Forepaugh & Sells / United Shows

    $1,500.00

    Year: ca. 1905

    Size: 38 5/8 x 29 3/8 in

    Condition: B/ Slight tears at folds.

    The Sells Brothers (L & R) merged with Adam Forepaugh in 1900 to create the Forepaugh & Sells Bros. "Big United Shows." Adam Forepaugh created many notable innovations in circus history, including a "wild west show," the first beauty pageant in America, and hired one of the first African-Americans in the circus industry as an elephant trainer. As we've said elsewhere, owners' portraits were meant to establish integrity and legitimacy; in reality, Forepaugh was rather unscrupulous: whitewashing a grey elephant to one-up P.T. Barnum's own "white elephant," for example.

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  • Barnum & Bailey / Greatest Show on Earth
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    Year: 1897

    Size: 29 5/8 x 39 1/8 in

    Condition: A-/ Unobtrusive folds.

    It's apocryphal: we're not entirely sure P.T. Barnum actually said "There's a sucker born every minute, and two to take 'em," but that doesn't mean derivative con-artists didn't take his lead. Circuses were such a large money maker around the turn of the century, many fake and fly-by-night operations emerged, either taking the ticket sale money and running out of town or performing with far fewer acts and animals than originally advertised. Having the owners' sober faces on a poster instilled confidence in potential customers. "As a general thing," P.T. Barnum actually said, "I have not 'duped the world' nor attempted to do so... I have generally given people the worth of their money twice told."  

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  • Barnum & Bailey / Paradise Alley
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    ANONYMOUS

    Barnum & Bailey / Paradise Alley

    $7,000.00

    Year: 1897

    Size: 37 x 29 1/8 in.

    Condition:  B+/ Slight tears at vertical fold. Framed.

    One of the most interesting and unique of all circus poster images ever created. Here, for your amazéd eyes, are "The two greatest riders in horse sketches true / Of Paradise Alley and Fifth Avenoo." Paradise Alley, the deepest darkest den of Five Points (where the Bowery Boys and the Dead Rabbits battled in "Gangs of New York"), delivers a hardscrabble working-class gal, atop a rough nag (a sign around the horse's neck reads, "My chest is week" [sic]). Opposing her is the belle of Manhattan gentry, all silk and lace, standing upon a charging white Arabian stallion. In reality, they're Josie Ashton and Rose Wentworth, two of the greatest equestriennes in show business. They perform among a cavalcade of cheering clowns and little people, in a spectacle of the ages.

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    Milton Glaser

    Law/American Bar Association.

    $200.00

    Year: 1981.

    Size: 30 x 45 inches

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  • Lexington Bicentennial, The
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    Ruth Evans

    Lexington Bicentennial, The

    $50.00

    Year: 1975

    Size: 30 x 45 inches

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  • Star Spangled Kitsch (Book) (200 years of freedom)
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    Year: 1979

    Size: 30 x 45 inches

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  • Buffalo Bill’s Wild West (just face)
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    Year: 1969

    Size: 30 x 45 inches

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