Sep 27, 2018 - Sale 2486

Sale 2486 - Lot 243

Price Realized: $ 1,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 700 - $ 1,000
(CIRCUS.) Promotional broadside for "Van Amburgh & Co.'s Menagerie & Den Stone's Circus of the People & Tyler's Indian Exposition." Letterpress broadside with 6 woodcut illustrations, 23 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches; moderate foxing, edges worn, laid down and stabilized on laminated backing. Marshall, MI, 19 June 1855

Additional Details

This spectacle featured three touring productions which were "United for 1855." Isaac Van Amburgh was an animal trainer who pioneered the integration of animal acts into circus performances. He was an important figure in circus history, but his treatment of animals was controversial even in his own day. This broadside promises that he "will fearlessly enter the Cages of the Wild Animals, where he will exhibit his astonishing and mysterious influence." A long list of his animals included a rhinoceros, elephant, zebra, kangaroos, lions, leopards, tigers, grizzly bears, and more. Den Stone is billed as "the Clown of the Era" and "the wittiest Clown in Christendom," joined by a troupe of equestrians and gymnasts. The final act was a group of nine Seneca Indians performing as "Wild Tenants of the Forest," enacting "scenes of savage life" such as "The Buffalo Hunt" and "The Indian War Dance." The performance was promised for Marshall, Michigan, then hardly removed from the frontier itself.