• 31
    May

The Circus In Art

Even for circus collectors, only a privileged few will ever own an original painting by one of the great masters, but original circus art and limited-edition prints are readily available. I own several pieces of original, circus art. One of my favorites is a block print of a performing elephant, received as a gift in […]

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  • 18
    May

Mysterious Ringling Bros. Coloring Book – Is It Authentic?

Most kids enjoy spending time coloring inside the lines of images in simple, inexpensive coloring books. Circus coloring books may be big sellers at the concession stand, but they are not high on the list of circus memorabilia sought by serious collectors. Many of them are generic, often printed on newsprint, with a few pages […]

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  • 4
    Apr

The Circus When America Was Young

The “Golden Age of the Circus” is a perplexing period of time that historians have difficulty pinpointing. One historian identified 1880 to 1918 as the Golden Age and linked the decline of the railroad circus with its end.1 But other historians have a range of opinions: 1880-1900,2 1860-1930,3 1840-1940,4 beginning in the 1850s,5 or ending […]

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  • 22
    Mar

Another Year’s Worth of Collectibles at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Each March, I spend a three days at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, hunting circus memorabilia for my collection. Last March, I wrote an article for WorthPoint describing this annual event titled Searching For Circus Collectibles. Another year has flown by and I just finished another busy weekend hunt at the 2011 Book Fair. The Florida […]

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  • 8
    Mar

A Circus Collector’s Connect-the-Dots Find: Paul Anka Promotional Postcards

Totally unexpected, there in the middle of a shoebox full of postcards, were several promotional postcards for pop singer Paul Anka. I was at an antique auction preview and the other browsers gathered around couldn’t understand why I was so excited. It’s doubtful anyone—other than me—understood the importance of my find and how a postcard […]

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  • 7
    Feb

Mail-Order Circus: The Greatest Show on Earth in Cardboard Miniature

Twenty-five cents and two box tops from Lever products and once got you a 35-piece, punch-out circus by mail; and not just any circus, mind you, but Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, “The Greatest Show on Earth.” That’s what the magazine advertisement promised to children of all ages in 1948. Premium offers have […]

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  • 1
    Feb

Circus Super Stars: Wild Animal Trainers

Circus purists will tell you, “A circus isn’t a ‘real circus’ unless it features animals.” Many of the greatest circus performers have been wild animal trainers. Clyde Beatty and Gunther Gebel-Williams will certainly go down in history as two of the most famous. In 1921 Clyde Beatty ran away to join the circus when he […]

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  • 10
    Jan

Ringling VIP Gifts Are Rare Circus Collectibles

Collectors of circus memorabilia are rarely able to enhance their personal collections with VIP gifts from The Greatest Show on Earth because so few are available. The Feld era of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey began in 1967 when Irvin Feld and his brother Israel Feld bought the total assets of the show from […]

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  • 28
    Dec

Some Circus Animals Are the Stars of the Show

“. . .There they go, the pride of the circus. There they go, our animal stars. Give a hand to these handsome creatures. They are the big top’s finest features. Those fabulous animals. Those glorious animals. Those fabulous animals. Our greatest stars.” — Excerpt from “Those Fabulous Animals,” the theme song of a Ringling Bros. […]

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  • 7
    Dec

Collect a Virtual Library of Circus Books from the Internet for Free

Circus books are an important part of any circus memorabilia collection. A previous article (Circus Books: Building a Solid Foundation for Collecting) was all about that topic. Modern technology has given us a whole new way to look at books. For about a year now, I have been investigating the various e-book readers that are […]

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