The circus is coming to auction. Or, at the very least circus collectibles.
Posters, programs, and photos from a bevy of circus companies comprise the more than 375 lots featured in Appraisal & Estate Sale Specialists’ Jan. 28 auction.
To help you get into the spirit of circus collectibles, we invite you to enjoy this clip of scenes from a circus of the past…
Below are six lots of circus collectibles featured in this sale that in my humble opinion with the potential to make a splash during the sale.
Setting Sights on Circus Collectibles
This vintage circus poster, printed by the Strobridge Litho Co. Cincinnati and New York, promoting the Sells Floto Circus features elephants and acrobats. The poster, measuring 21 x 28 inches, carries an estimate of $100 to $400 into the auction. As of this writing, the current bid with 10 bids registered is $750.
This lot features three antique programs for the Downie Brothers Wild Animal Circus. According to historical accounts, the Downie Bros. three-ring circus was most active during the first quarter of the 20th century. The most massive program in this lot measures 8 ½ x 11 inches. The lot bears an estimate of $100 to $400.
Can you imagine being the child who comes upon one of these broadsides, complete with actual photos of circus happenings and performers? What an enticing treat. This lot features three broadsides for the Sparks Circus. Dates appearing in pencil on the broadsides read 1922, 1923, and 1928, respectively. Each measure 28 x 10 ½ inches. The estimate for this single lot is $200 to $400.
This book “Clown” provides a unique peek behind the painted face and performance of one of the most notable clowns in 20th century America, Emmet Kelly. The pages of this autobiography contain details of Mr. Kelly’s upbringing, and the path he took to become the famous tramp clown character “Weary Willie.” The book has an estimate of $50 to $200.
Performers of the Past
‘How do ya do?’ That’s what comes to mind upon viewing this laminated page from a vintage circus program featuring the photo of legendary Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus clown Lou Jacobs. The circus collectible photo is signed: “To Henry, Best Wishes, Lou Jacobs.” It measures 14 x 10 ½ inches. It also carries an estimate of $100 to $200 into the auction.
It may not be feasible or practical to attend the circus every day unless you are a performer, but back in the day, calendars like these three provided the opportunity to enjoy a view of the show. This lot contains three vintage circus calendars that date to 1950. According to the auction description, each of the 12 memorable scenes representing months in these calendars, was painted by revered artist Feodor Rojankovsky. It will come to auction with an estimate of $100 to $300.
Check out LiveAuctioneers to see more of the lots in this upcoming Appraisal & Estate Sale Specialists Auction>>>