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Is That Old Circus Poster You Found Authentic or a Reproduction?

by Larry Kellogg (11/03/08).

1922 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – White Face Clown on left

So you’ve just found the most amazing circus poster online and want to bid on it. Or maybe you are thinking about buying one at an antique mall. How do you know it is real? Could it be a reproduction? You aren’t sure. What can you do?

Size is the first clue about whether or not a poster is original. The majority of collectible posters are one-sheet (28 inches by 42 inches) or half-sheet. But posters also came in larger sizes — three-sheet, six-sheet, nine-sheet, 16-sheet, 20-sheet, 28-sheet and many other sizes. One of the largest ever produced was for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, a gigantic 108-sheet billboard.

For more information about reproduciton circus posters, read “Is That Old Circus Poster You Found Authentic or a Reproduction? More Answers.”

The circus poster reproductions seen most often are the six printed in 1960 by Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin and the vast assortment printed by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey beginning in the early 1970s and continuing through the early 1980s. Those are the ones we will concentrate on in this article. Some of those posters are shown above.

Al G. Barnes Circus Tiger Riding Elephant

Circus World Museum posters

The posters printed by Circus World Museum measure 13 ¼ inches by 19 inches each. If they haven’t been altered it’s easy to identify them because in the lower left border it says “Copyright 1960 Circus World Museum.” But I have seen these in antique shows with that line trimmed off and being passed off as original. Sometimes they are neatly framed and matted. The posters were originally sold as a set in a folder that said “Old Time Circus Posters – Six Colorful, Authentic Reproductions – Each Resplendent and Spectacular Reproduction is an Eye Feast of Beauty That Captures All the Unparalleled Magnificence of the Original Poster.”

The titles and images of the six posters are:

Ringling Bros. – Army of 50 Clowns
Barnum & Bailey – Peerless Prodigies of Physical Phenomena . . .
Barnum & Bailey – The Meers Sisters
Al G. Barnes Circus – Tiger riding on an elephant
Adam Forepaugh & Sells Bros. – Automobile Double Forward Somersault
Forepaugh & Sells Brothers – Hippopotamus & Rhinoceros

Ringling Bros. – Army of 50 Clowns

Barnum & Bailey – Peerless Prodigies …

Barnum & Bailey – The Meers Sisters

Adam Forepaugh & Sells Bros. – Automobile

Forepaugh & Sells Brothers – Hippo & Rhino

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey posters

In the early 1970s Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey began reproducing many of their historic posters. They were advertised as “The Only Antique Posters Authorized by The Greatest Show On Earth.” These reproductions were sold at the concessions stands on the traveling shows and by mail as advertised in the souvenir program book. They were also sold in the gift shops at their theme park, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus World, which opened in 1974 in central Florida near Disney World.

Beginning with the 100th Anniversary Program in 1970, some of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey programs had poster reproductions inserted in the program book. These varied in size, but were about 16 inches by 20 inches. It’s easy to identify them because they were folded in quarters and have staple holes where they were inserted into the program. They continued this for several years.

In 1970 the 100th Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey souvenir program advertised a set of four posters measuring 26 inches x 17 inches for $3.98 per set.

Those posters were:

Barnum & Bailey – Tiger Head – Blue Background
Barnum & Bailey – 1000 Skits by 50 Original Clowns
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Giraffe Neck Women from Burma
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Dainty Miss Leitzel

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Giraffe Neck Women

Barnum & Bailey – 1000 Skits by 50 Original Clowns

Barnum & Bailey – Tiger Head, Blue

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Dainty Miss Leitzel

Individual Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey posters

Starting in 1971 individual posters could be ordered from the souvenir program book. They were advertised as approximately 24 inches by 17 inches. All of these posters had an order number printed in the lower corner which begins with the letter “P.”

Here’s a list of these posters:

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Chariot Races, Blue Background

1897 – Ringling Bros., Three Famous Aerial Artists

P-103 – 1935 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Chariot Races – Blue Background
P-104 – 1897 – Ringling Bros. – Three Famous Aerial Artists
P-105 – 1904 – Barnum & Bailey – The Great Florenz Troupe
P-109 – 1921 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Polar Bear – Red Background
P-113 – 1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Gargantua the Great
P-114 – 1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Terrell Jacobs & Lions
P-116 – 1888 – Ringling Bros. – Portraits of the five brothers
P-117 – 1927 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – May Wirth
P-118 – 1933 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Felix and 99 other Famous Clowns
P-123 – 1904 – Barnum & Bailey – Blue Ribbon Winners – High Jumpers
P-125 – 1917 – Barnum & Bailey – Clown Standing over Tents – Blue Background
P-127 – 1920 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Worlds Biggest Menagerie – Elephant Head & other Animals
P-128 – 1916 – Barnum & Bailey – By the Hair of their Heads
P-131 – 1900 – Barnum & Bailey – Clown Band – German Text
P-132 – 1915 – Barnum & Bailey – Great Groups of Trained Wild Beasts including Mlle. Adgie
P-136 – 1928 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Crouching Lion
P-137 – 1895 – Ringling Bros. Mlle Elena
P-141 – 1922 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – White Face Clown on left
P-143 – 1916 – Barnum & Bailey – Pallenberg – Bears That Dance
P-144 – 1913 – Barnum & Bailey – Great Free Street Parade
P-146 – 1916 – Barnum & Bailey – Roaring Tiger Head
P-149 – 1936 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Seated Clowns with Circus on their backs
P-152 – 1900 – Ringling Bros. – Portraits of the five brothers
P-153 – 1897 – Barnum & Bailey – Portraits of Barnum & Bailey
P-155 – 1932 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – 5 Big Herds of Performing Elephants
P-157 – 1903 – Barnum & Bailey – Miss Helen Girard
P-158 – 1906 – Barnum & Bailey – A Whole Horse Show
P-159 – 1925 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Chariot Races- Red Background
P-162 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Giraffe Neck Women
P-202 – 1883 – Buffalo Bill’s Wild West – Featuring Indians

1904 – Barnum & Bailey, The Great Florenz Troupe

1904 – Barnum & Bailey; The Great Florenz Troupe

 

1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Gargantua the Great

1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Gargantua the Great

 

1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Terrell Jacobs & Lions

1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Terrell Jacobs & Lions

 

1888 – Ringling Bros. – Portraits of the five brothers

1888 – Ringling Bros. – Portraits of the five brothers

 

1927 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; May Wirth

1933 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Felix and 99 other Famous Clowns

1920 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Worlds Biggest Menagerie – Elephant Head

1916 – Barnum & Bailey; By the Hair of their Heads

1904 – Barnum & Bailey; Blue Ribbon Winners – High Jumpers

1904 – Barnum & Bailey; Blue Ribbon Winners – High Jumpers

1917 – Barnum & Bailey; Clown Standing over Tents – Blue Background

1917 – Barnum & Bailey; Clown Standing over Tents – Blue Background

1900 – Barnum & Bailey; Clown Band – German Text

1900 – Barnum & Bailey; Clown Band – German Text

1915 – Barnum & Bailey; Great Groups of Trained Wild Beasts

1915 – Barnum & Bailey; Great Groups of Trained Wild Beasts

1900 – Ringling Bros.; Portraits of the five brothers

1900 – Ringling Bros.; Portraits of the five brothers

1897 – Barnum & Bailey – Portraits of Barnum & Bailey

1897 – Barnum & Bailey – Portraits of Barnum & Bailey

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey posters – Larger size

1936 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Seated Clowns

1932 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – 5 Big Herds of Performing Elephants

1906 – Barnum & Bailey; A Whole Horse Show

1903 – Barnum & Bailey; Miss Helen Girard

In 1976, the 105th Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Program began to advertise the posters as 23 ½ inches by 36 ¼ inches. Sometimes they were advertised as 2 feet by 3 feet. Many were the same images as sold before, only the size was larger.

Here’s a list of those posters:

P-1 – 1883 – Buffalo Bill’s Wild West – Featuring Indians
P-2 – 1895 – Ringling Bros. Mlle Elena
P-3 – 1916 – Barnum & Bailey – Pallenberg – Bears That Dance
P-4 – 1916 – Barnum & Bailey – Roaring Tiger Head
P-5 – 1917 – Barnum & Bailey – Clown Standing over Tents – Blue Background
P-6 – 1920 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Worlds Biggest Menagerie – Elephant Head & other Animals
P-7 – 1921 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Polar Bear – Red Background
P-8 – 1925 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Chariot Races- Red Background
P-9 – 1928 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Crouching Lion
P-10 – 1933 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Felix and 99 other Famous Clowns
P-11 – 1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Terrell Jacobs & Lions
P-12 – 1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Gargantua the Great
P-20 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Seal Act
P-24 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Seven Clown Heads
P-25 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Trains more than one a third mile long
P-26 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Congress of World Famous Horse Acts
P-27 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Leaping Tiger
P-28 – P.T. Barnum & Great London Circus – Jumbo the Elephant
P-29 – Barnum & Bailey – Four Giraffes

In the 1978 souvenir program the numbers following the letter “P” were incorrect and did not match the numbers on the posters, but that was corrected the following year.

1921 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Polar Bear, Red Background

 

1925 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Chariot Races, Red Background

1928 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Crouching Lion

 

1883 – Buffalo Bill’s Wild West; Featuring Indians

1895 – Ringling Bros.; Mlle Elena

1916 – Barnum & Bailey; Pallenberg – Bears That Dance

Barnum & Bailey; Four Giraffes

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Seven Clown Heads

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Seven Clown Heads

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Trains more than one a third mile long

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Trains more than one a third mile long

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Congress of World Famous Horse Acts

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Congress of World Famous Horse Acts

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Leaping Tiger

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Leaping Tiger

Beware of cheap circus poster reproductions

There are many circus poster reproductions, but the ones listed above seem to be the most common. They are frequently up for auction on eBay and are regularly seen in antique shows and malls. None of these posters have much value—less than $5 each—but they are sometimes advertised as “guaranteed original,” with prices in the hundreds of dollars. Usually, the seller really believes they are authentic and isn’t trying to rip you off.

If you just want to decorate your walls and don’t care about value, there are some nice reproductions and they are not hard to find. Just be very careful when you want to buy an original.

Larry Kellogg is a WorthPoint Worthologist specializing in circus memorabilia.

WorthPoint—Discover Your Hidden Wealth

 

 

273 Responses to “Is That Old Circus Poster You Found Authentic or a Reproduction?”

  1. buffingman says:

    Hello,

    I have a framed 23 1/2″ x 36 1/4″ P-24 poster. The P-24, in the bottom left hand corner is followed by – 124, so it reads, P-24-124.
    I am not quite sure what this means, but I think it might mean 124th of a certain quantity.
    If you have some info regarding this and anything more about the poster, I would greatly appreciate it.

    thank you,

    ken

  2. Larry Kellogg says:

    Ken,

    Without seeing the poster my guess is that it’s the P-24 poster which features 7 clown heads and an orange background.

    • pat sexton says:

      My father died in 1979 and among his things, I found a poster size advertisement for the Worlds Largest Circus, Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros for Brunswick (GA) for Apr 5 (year not mention) sponsored by the Jaycees. The post is made of a material like plastic to be a sign that was weather proof. The picture is of a young blond lady standing on a white horse.The date of the event could be 1940 and I was able to find on the internet that the circus was coming. Is this of any value?
      Pat

  3. David Bruck says:

    Hi-

    Thanks for the info. I have a 14 X 18 inch Barnum & Bailey poster title at the bottom “A Congress of 50 of Japan’s Famous Strong Men and Women”. In the bottom right corner it says Strobrige Litho Co. I am assuming it is a reproduction. What do you think?

  4. Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

    Yes, based on the size I would say it is a reproduction.

  5. David Bruck says:

    Could a 14″ X 18″ circus poster possibly be a window card? Did Ringling Bros issue many window cards?

  6. I hope you will be able to give me some info regarding my posters.They are approx 9and3/4 by 14and 1/4. This one is mounted on “Crescent Quality Boards” and stapled on each corner. The Top says Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on earth. It shows the childrens circus with boxing cats and pigs with two trainers in tuxes. In right lower corner is The Strobridge Lith Co and under that Cin’ti,NY.London It is either faded or only in blue and white. I waqnted to see if there was writing on the back side and turned it over and It was in full color…the ssame strobridge writing as other side and the picture is 13 acrobats titled “The Famous Herbert Brothers with the discription of their feats. I also have same size poster and another pic on the back as I described but no Strobridge…Just Litho in USA.
    One side is in color…Gargantua, and the other side is Persia…A Thousand and one nights. These have been on the Poster boards so long you can actually see the darker place where they were and a “frame” of lighter color. Also have large untitled boarded posters Litho by globe on some of them. The boards are still strong but appear to be old and were repeatedly stapled. They are all in color. They have stains although most are good. What a history of acts in pictures (I have! I want to sell them and you are the first folks I’ve contacted. I certainly would appreciate your input. What a great website! Most sincerely Dixie Stevens

  7. Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

    David,
    Window cards are usually about 14 x 22 inches and are printed on card stock. Without seeing your 14 x 18 posters it is difficult to tell what they are but I’m sure they are reproductions. Read the section in my story about Circus World Museum posters. Those posters are about 14 x 18.

  8. Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

    Dixie,

    The posters you describe come from a book titled “American Circus Posters In Full Color” which was edited by Charles Philip Fox. The book was printed by Dover Publications in 1978. You have just two pages out of this book. The complete book is valued at $5 to $10. Individual pages from the book have not value.

  9. richard petrisko says:

    Hi I have a Barnum and Bailey Poster the has a blue background and the head of a roaring Tiger. On the bottom is the following L____784 on the left side and The Syonebridge Litho Co Cincinnati & New York. Is this a repro or A collectible.

  10. richard petrisko says:

    Hi I just sent in a question about a barnum and Bailey Tiger poster. The size is 23 1/2 inches wide and 36 inches long it could be 36 1/2 but I would have to neasure it again.

  11. Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

    This is a reproduction. Read the section in the article above with the subtitle: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey posters – Larger size

  12. Ann Carr says:

    We have received as an auction item what appears to be a wooden-framed chrome or mirrored item with a lithograph. The copyright is 1910 by The Strobridge Litho, Co., Cin’ti, & New York. It is titled Ringling Bros Elephants at the Fair. The backing of the piece has stamped on it: Stamford Art Mfg., Toronto, Ont. and Made in Canada.
    Can you tell me anything about this piece?
    Thanks.

    • Mary Brenneman says:

      With WorthPoint’s new 14-day free trial, you can look this up on the Worthopedia, the world’s largest data base of art, antiques and collectibles historical (realized) prices. There are millions of items in the database and chances are good you can find what you need. Click here for more information 14 Day Free Trial
      You can also Ask a Worthologist, for a small fee.
      You can find the Worthopedia and Ask a Worthologist in the drop down menu on the brown menu bar at the top of the page.
      I hope that is helpful.
      Mary

  13. Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

    The item stamped Stamford Art Mfg.is not an original poster.

  14. Kate Sebastian says:

    I have a Ringling Bros poster of ‘Army of 50 Clowns’. It measures about 17 x 12 1/2, has the ‘copyright 1960 Circus World Museum’ in the lower left hand corner and a stamp of ‘miniposter’ in the lower right hand corner…what are your insights?
    Thanks
    Kate

  15. Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

    Kate,

    This is one of a set of six posters. You can read about them in the article above under the sub-heading: Circus World Museum posters. These posters have little value – less than $5 each.

  16. crystal says:

    i have a ringling bros poster, it doesnt have any numbers stamped on it, but it goes have 1915 stonebridge litho com. on it. it is of the roaring tiger head, however when i purchased it it was in a paper masque frame. i was told that was how they hung them, way back when. i didnt pay much for it, but what is your take on its value and if its a reprint or not?

  17. crystal says:

    im sorry it is of the leaping tiger.

  18. Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

    Crystal,

    What is the size of the Leaping Tiger poster.

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Stephen,

      From your description these are probably posters that came folded in the souvenir program books of the early 1970s. If you check you will see that they were folded in quarters and if you look carefully you will find staple holes along the folds. They are difficult to find but they are there.

  19. Stephen says:

    Larry,

    Wonderful article, but I could not find any information for the two (2) Ringling Brothers posters I have.

    The first poster (overall size is approximately 16 3/4″ x 24 3/4″) is a leaping Lion and reads Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows. The wording “Greatest Show on Earth” is in a circle, to the right side of the Lion’s head. I will do my best to decipher the markings: Top right (R – ?? 2315); above lion’s left paw (1915 The Strobridge Liymd, Co., Cinncinnati & New York); Bottom right corner (1923).

    The second poster (overall size is approximately 16 3/4″ x 24 3/4″) is a large clown standing over circus tents. The clown is bowing with a red hat in his right hand. The poster reads Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows. The wording “Greatest Show on Earth” is in a circle, on the bottom left corner. I will do my best to decipher the markings: Top right (R – ? 1317); below the clown’s left foot (bottom right corner) is some writing, but I can’t decipher what’s written. I believe it may be the same writing (Strobridge) as the lion writing; Bottom right corner (1923).

    I have pictures of both posters, but I don’t know how to post them here or where to send them to you?

    • Minnie says:

      I have the exact same two posters and am trying to figure out if they are reproductions. If you find anything, let us know!

  20. Stephen says:

    Wanted to make a correction. The poster I have is a leaping tiger, not lion.

  21. Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

    Minnie,

    Here was my reply to Stephen about these posters:
    From your description these are probably posters that came folded in the souvenir program books of the early 1970s. If you check you will see that they were folded in quarters and if you look carefully you will find staple holes along the folds. They are difficult to find but they are there.

  22. Raquel Martinez says:

    Hello
    I have a Barnum & Bailey poster with the roaring tiger head and a blue background. i was wondering if it was an original. It says p-4-784 in the left and then copyright 1916 Strobridge Litho. Co. Cinncinati and New York.

  23. Holly says:

    Hi,
    I also have a poster like the one Crystal has and it appears to be laminated. It measures 20in x 15in. Is this a reprint or an original? Thank-You!

  24. Ray Newman says:

    Larry, I have two poster, one of the “Trains more than one and a third mile long” and one of Barnum’s show with the great london circus featuring Jumbo the Elephant. These belong to my son who asked me to see if they were originals or reproductions. they are 23 1/2″ x 36 1/4″. He wanted to know if there was any monetary value to them.
    Thank you.
    Ray

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Daryl,

      Yes an original would have the same image but without the P-number. But the size would also be different. For instance a one sheet poster would measure 28 inches by 42 inches. A half-sheet poster would be half that size.

      Condition is always important but wonders can be done in restoring a poster.

      • Daryl says:

        Thanks Larry!! Where do I look to find original authentic barnum & bailey posters? I know it may seem stupid question but where can I start building my collection? Any good websites you can recommend for research or buying? Thanks!

        • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

          Daryl,

          I don’t know of any website that regularly sells original posters from that era. You sometimes find them on ebay but you really need to know what to look for so that you don’t buy a repro. Size is one of the most important factors.

  25. Daryl says:

    I am very new at this, and just bought my first poster. So, if I understand the article correctly, if the poster has a P in front of a number, it is a reporduction. For instance, I found the one i purchased, (P-128)in very bad condition. So the original would be identical, but without the P-128?

    How important is mint condition when buying an original?

  26. Courtney Allen says:

    HI, I have a complete set of 8 Circus World Museum reproductions in the original mailing envelope. They are in excellent condition. Would the value still be around $5 per print?

  27. Sharon Hanson says:

    Dear Larry,
    I have a poster approximately 30W x 20H. It says Barnum & Bailey (red letters with black outline) across the top, CIRCUS in the middle (blue with white and black outlines), and The Greatest Show on Earth (red with black outline) at the bottom. A lion’s head is within the C (of CIRCUS)and a clown is holding the letter S.

    At the right top (outside of the artwork) is: 16.B-238, and on the right bottom (under the words On Earth) it says: Copyright 1916 by the Strobridge Litho.Co.Cincinnati & New York.

    The art is bordered with a red line. The background begins as a light blue on the top fading to white on the bottom of the print. The clown wears white gloves, has a red pointy hat, a shock of red hair standing upwards. Around cuffs and neck are white ruffs with red bands. The lion’s mouth is open, but isn’t really snarly.

    It was purchased in 1970 for $400. Is it real? If so, has it increased in value?

    Thank you for any help you can offer.
    Sharon

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Sharon,
      I would need to see the poster to give an opinion.

      • Sharon Hanson says:

        Hi Larry,
        I can upload or postal mail you a photo. If you prefer an upload, how do I go about it? If postal, would you want to email the street address to me?
        thank you,
        Sharon

  28. TAIT D. says:

    Hello,

    I have recently rediscovered a GIANT Ringling Brothers poster that my parents once had. They found it folded up under the floor boards of their farm house that they purchased in 1970ish near Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It used to cover the entire wall of my childhood room for several years and my room was a large one within a 3 story Victorian home (not the farmhouse). I’m not sure of the actual size of the poster/billboard. Unfortunately the paper has become brittle and fragile and I’m afraid to unfold it to measure and photograph for I might damage it. It is made-up of 2 pieces. From memory, it has a blue background with an elephant as large as life. My approximation with out unfolding it completely is that is at least 6 feet long. Have you ever seen something like this? Is it worth restoration? If so, to whom should I trust the work?

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Yes, I have seen posters like this. It’s a multi-sheet poster, possibly a three-sheet. But to give you information on value or whether or not it is worth restoring I would need to see the poster.

  29. Gerry Martinez says:

    I Have two authentic Ringling Bros posters,

    1.- 1888 Proprietors

    2.- Army of 50 clowns

    I wondering how much money I can get for it???

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      I would need to see the posters to see if they are originals or reproductions as described in my story above.

  30. jim says:

    hi, am lookin at a poster that is a P-12 – 1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Gargantua the Great but it measures 50″ x 24″ is this also a reproduction ? it those have the p-12—-1938 on the bottom left side ? thanks

  31. jim says:

    hello again, i have a poster that says on the bottom left side ( RINGLING BROS AND BARNUM & BAILEY CIRCUS ) on the bottom right side ( LITHO IN USA ) with a leaping tiger on top and a leaping lion on bottom it measures 46″ x 28″ with a red & black border than the white what do you think reproduction or not ? thanks

  32. jim says:

    hello, how would i find out how much it could be worth ballpark or what year it was made ? thanks

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      If I could see the poster I could probably give you an idea about the year it was printed. I am not allowed to evaluate items here. If you will click on the Research Your Items tab you will find two ways to find advice about value—the Worthopedia – Price Guide and Ask a Worthologist – Expert Advice.

  33. Holli Adkins says:

    Hello,

    My name is Holli Adkins and about 20 years ago in my teens, I used to collect clowns. One day I found a clown like poster BOARD (1/2 thick)in the back of my grandmothers 1970 poniac. It is the Ringling Bros…Army of 50 clowns. It does have a copyright of strobridge…10x8x1/2. I was wondering if it had any value and what why it was printed on that board surface?

  34. Mark says:

    Hi,

    I have an original, framed:
    P-105 – 1904 – Barnum & Bailey – The Great Florenz Troupe

    Can anyone give me an estimate of its value?

    Thanks.

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Mark,

      Your poster is a reproduction and is worth less than $5. Read the article above for information about the P-105 on your poster.

  35. Sarah says:

    I have a set of the “Old Time Circus Posters” from the early 60′s. From your article they sound worthless but I don’t find the exact images listed. The ones I have are “the Children’s Favorite Clown” (I found it listed in the Circus Museum’s list) “The Celebrated Ponies “Jupiter” & “Joie”, ( also seen in poster listings but not the collection list), “Christy Bros. 5 Ring Wild Animal Show” with the hippos in the foreground, (also found) and the one I haven’t been able to locate, “The Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth Attraction Extraordinary A Congress of 50 of Japan’s Famous Strong Men and Women, Gladiators, Swordsmen, Wrestlers, Jiu-Jitsu and Athletic Chanpions.”
    Three have the Strobridge Lith Co. with different dates but no numbers with P in front or the “Circus Museum” anywhere. The border on each is yellow?
    Are they worth anything? Thank you for your time.

  36. jeff winland says:

    we have a ringtling bros. barnum bailey poster. it has two pictures of irvin and kenneth feld at the top two corners. it states irvin feld and kenneth feld present the greatest show on earth, circus, etc. below this is the portrait of the ringling brothres, with scroll work that has lion on the left and a tiger on the right above the portraits. below shows a picture of a performer and his white tigers. this is flanked by advertisments of clowns, michu, acrobats, and bareback riders of the world.
    this all framed with a letter on the back, dated may 19, 1984, signed by the felds. it has a number on front that shows 389 of 1500, and i guess the artist(?) tully burch. can you tell us what it’s worth please..thanks

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Thank you for your question. The purpose of this response section is to ask questions or make comments about the article above. I am not allowed to evaluate items here. If you will click on the “Research Your Items” tab you will find two ways to find advice about value—the “Worthopedia – Price Guide” and “Ask a Worthologist – Expert Advice.”

  37. Scott Holloway says:

    What about larger prints on canvas? I have one that is about 7′ tall and 18′ wide of a leaping lion and tiger. I also have a 7′ x 7′ lithograph of a couple of hippos. I bought them about 10 years ago and have no idea of their value. I’m guessing they were hung on trucks or tractor trailers or something. Any insight would be fantastic. Thanx!

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Scott,

      Yes those larger banners on canvas are original and are collectible but most people don’t have a way display them because of their size. I am not allowed to evaluate items here. If you will click on the “Research Your Items” tab you will find two ways to find advice about value—the “Worthopedia – Price Guide” and “Ask a Worthologist – Expert Advice.”

  38. Josh Edwards says:

    Im 98.9% certain I have an original “bears that dance”. It has been in the family for years and we got it from a family friend who worked for them years ago.
    A. whats it worth in mint condition? and
    B. How rare is it

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Josh,

      Thank you for your question. The purpose of this response section is to ask questions or make comments about the article above. I am not allowed to evaluate items here. I can help you determine whether or not your poster is original if you can tell me the size?

      If you will click on the “Research Your Items” tab you will find two ways to find advice about value—the “Worthopedia – Price Guide” and “Ask a Worthologist – Expert Advice.”

  39. Shannon says:

    Ken,
    I have a poster titled “Allan C Hill Productions Presents hoxie bros Great American combined Circus. It has a tiger on the left hand side and is approx. 26″ across.
    The style is just like this http://www.onlinewall.com/art-Hoxie-Bros-Circus-575558565555
    On the left side there’s a stamped NO. 66. Do you have any information regarding this? Thanks, I really appreciate your insight!
    Shannon

  40. Josh Edwards says:

    It is about 22in wide and 32 in tall. I looked for any of the reproduction markings you specified, and none were present. The only thing on the poster is located on the bottom left corner, and it is the date, 1916 in small font.

    Please tell me its an original… Thank you very much for your expertise and time allocated to my questions.

  41. Cindy says:

    Are the posters (25″ x 16 1/2″) that are in the 1970 Edition Ringling Bros. adn Barnum & Bailey Circus program reproductions? One is labeled “100 Clowns” with 1928 in lower right corner. The other is “Combined Shows” with elephants with “The Stobridge Litho……1927″ in lower right corner.

    Also is the program book itself worth anything?

    Thanks,

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Cindy,

      Yes, all posters that appeared in Ringling Barnum program books are reproductions. The programs from that era are worth $5-$10.

  42. michael says:

    larry, i guess i would like to ask you about an old posteri found. it seems to be the “high jumper”poster… i just dont know anything about it.. it has a stamp on the lower left corner from the stobridge litho co… also in the upper right corner it has the date-1904 then the letter “b” then “no.-8″.. this is in great condition, seems like itn has been framed in glass for some time now… if you could help me in figuring out what i have here, i would really appreciate it, thanks….. michael

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Michael, It’s difficult to give much information without seeing the poster. The size would help determine if it is an original.

  43. michael says:

    hello again larry, my question was to you yesterday pertaining about the “high jumper poster”.. now being that it is in the glass frame, i m guessing there is a border around the perimeter of the poster , im guessing about 1-2 inches around the poster (but im not sure) so i measured the red stripes at the top and bottom of the pic.the width is aprox 20″ w x 15 3/4″ h.. i found a similliar poster on another site. but this poster only had a few of the “7″ horses on it . this site is the only one i have found that actually shows a picture of the poster i have.. thanks for your time

  44. paul says:

    Hi i have fornd a Barnum and baily framed poster, after looking at your site (very helpfull, I couldent work out where this was from the poster is a tiger on blue background with the Copyright 1916 by the strobridge litho.co in the bottom right corner there is no folds etc and no other numbers in the left corner, however the size of the poster is 9 1/2 x 13 inches.

    Thanks

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Paul,

      I believe your framed poster is a page from the book One Hundred Years of Circus Posters by Jack Rennert published in 1974. The tiger with a blue background in that book is the size you describe. If you take the poster out of the frame you will see posters for 101 Ranch Real Wild West and Forepaugh & Sells Brothers on the other side.

  45. brandon says:

    Hello I have a reproduction of p118 done in German from the 70′s. It was appraised at 189$ would that be accurate?

  46. brandon says:

    Sorry i had put the wrong print number it’s actually p131.

  47. al says:

    Hi I have a Barnum and Bailey Poster the has a blue background of a Bengal Tiger. On the bottom is the following on the left side theres is nothing and The Stonebridge Litho Co Cincinnati & New York. and on the bottom right side has a 1920 number. The top right hand side has a R.B. 2024 and its 10 1/2 inches wide and 16 inches in length but it looks like it needs to be cut. The back has a picture of sells-floto circus its sayts OFFERS M’LLE FUGERE AND HER TRAINED LITTLE ELEPHANTS.Is this a repro or A collectible.

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      This is a single page from a book titled 100 Years of Circus Posters by Jack Rennert published in 1974 by Avon Books. It has not value.

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      This is a single page from a book titled 100 Years of Circus Posters by Jack Rennert published in 1974 by Avon Books. It has no value.

  48. shawn gardner says:

    Its like 36 by 26 inches.I have it in a frame its the barnum and baily polar bear on red background and has 1921 printed on the bottom right corner if memory serves.you thinks its the real deal?do you think its valuable?

  49. Don Bryson says:

    I have a polar bear poster also, its 23 1/2×36 with p-7–1921 in the corner, I assume from your site its a repro. What markings would a real one have? Thanks

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      A real poster would not have the P-7 in the border and it would not be the size you describe. The first part of the article above explains the sizes of orginal posters.

  50. david says:

    i have a tiger poster with blue background, i know its a reproduction but it is numbered on the right side 933/1000 in pencil above the kenneth field signature, is this anything?

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      The poster you describe was a licensed item sold by Willitts Galleries in 1989. This was one of six different posters Willitts sold. All were limited to 1,000 copies with a wholesale price of $7.50 each. Current value would be $10 or less. You might want to read an article on licensed Ringling items with additional information on the Willitts Galleries collection: http://www.worthpoint.com/article/ringling-name-sells-products

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