• 20
    Dec

Advertisers, Just Like the American Public, Loved the Circus

Not long ago, circus performers were as popular as today’s movie and music stars. Their images appeared regularly in magazine advertisements for non-circus products—everything from cigarettes to musical instruments to insurance policies. The American public has always loved the circus, so it’s not surprising that advertisers would take advantage of the circus’s popularity. Adding circus […]

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  • 28
    Nov

Elizabeth Taylor’s ‘Crown Jewels of Hollywood’ Coming Up for Auction

A selection of 2,000 items from what some call “The Crown Jewels of Hollywood,” Elizabeth Taylor’s incredible collection, will hit the Christie’s auction block this December. A special, online-only component of the sale includes more than 500 pieces of fine and costume jewelry for the online-only sale, including exceptional Art Deco-era jewelry and an array […]

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  • 31
    Oct

Unloved Antiques: 19th-Century Pump Organs

The next item in this series of Unloved Antiques is the 19th-century “pump” or “reed” organ, or the Estey “Eastlake-style”* organ, to be more precise. The reed organ was once an important domestic instrument, offering a cheap alternative to the ever-popular family piano while, at the same time, providing a suitable instrument for accompanying family […]

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  • 17
    Oct

Unloved Antiques: ‘Stradivarius’ Style Violins

The twelfth item in this series of “Unloved Antiques” is the world-famous “Stradivarius Violins.” Nothing hits the popular-culture’s buttons better than the idea of a found treasure, which shows like “American Pickers, “Storage Wars,” “Auction Hunters” and the venerable “Antiques Roadshow” highlight on a weekly basis. The rarer the item, the more a collector’s heart goes […]

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  • 10
    Oct

Tibbals Learning Center Expansion a Boon for Circus Researchers, Scholars, Historians

SARASOTA, Fla. — With the recent opening of the New Wing of the Tibbals Learning Center, the Ringling Circus Museum at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is now the most significant circus archival and interactive space in the United States. Public exhibit space in the Tibbals Learning Center includes Howard Bros. Circus, […]

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  • 6
    Sep

Collectibles Filing System Helps Keep Circus Ephemera in Order

When I was a young boy, I decorated my bedroom walls with circus posters and cut circus pictures out of magazines to fill a scrapbook. However, I never gave serious thought to preserving or categorizing what I found. Over the years, most of those early items were lost or tossed. When I first started to […]

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  • 18
    Jul

Jumbo the Elephant Toys Lived Long After the Great Pachyderm Passed On

Jumbo the Elephant arrived in 1882 from England to appear as a feature attraction in The Greatest Show On Earth. But, P.T. Barnum wasn’t the only businessman to benefit financially from the huge elephant. For decades, entrepreneurs capitalized on Jumbo’s likeness and name. Barnum’s Jumbo was the subject of many advertising trade cards. Kazine Laundry […]

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  • 20
    Jun

Marilyn Monroe Costumes Go for Millions at Debbie Reynolds’ Auction

An unidentified person bidding by phone snatched up the iconic “subway grate” dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in “The Seven Year Itch,” paying $4.5 million—more than double the amount expected—proving that movie collectibles are right up there with classic art and other collectibles in terms of their increasing value. Several of the lots in the […]

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  • 15
    Jun

Debbie Reynolds’ Cinema Costume and Prop Auction Offers Unique Hollywood Treasures

Remember the dress that flies up and exposes Marilyn Monroe’s legs to her waist as she stands over a New York City subway grate in “The Seven Year Itch?” The resulting widely published photograph became an iconic Monroe image, although it disturbed her then-husband, baseball great Joe DiMaggio, so much it contributed to the disintegration […]

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  • 13
    Jun

New Circus Poster Exhibit Features Storied Strobridge Lithographs

Circus posters are highly prized by collectors. They have always been the lifeblood of circus advertising. Among the most treasured are those posters created by the Strobridge Lithographing Company. The Amazing American Circus Poster exhibit, features posters printed by Strobridge from 1878 to 1939 and is now on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum through […]

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