News | August 30, 2023

Circus Posters Prove Popular at Potter & Potter Sale

Potter & Potter

Clyde Beatty Greatest Wild Animal Trainer of All Time poster

Circus poster maquettes printed by the Erie Lithographing and Printing Co. were a premier category in Potter & Potter Auctions' Midsummer Circus, Sideshow & Oddities Sale.

Leading the way was Barnum & Bailey/Jo-Jo which made $6,000. It was printed in Paris by Faria for Bourgerie et Cie in the 1880s-1890s. This linen backed poster featured a bust portrait the Dog Faced Man. Meanwhile, Joe Allen the Human Corkscrew sold for $3,360. This hand painted, midcentury canvas example was attributed to  Fred Johnson (1892-1990) and was acquired from the Canadian National Exhibition.

Other highlights included:

  • Clyde Beatty - Russell Bros. Circus / Clyde Beatty Greatest Wild Animal Trainer of All Time - in a Single-Handed Combat with 40 Man-Eating Lions and Royal Bengal Tigers which was estimated at $500-700 and sold for $3,360. It was printed around 1920-1930. This gouache on board example depicted Clyde Beatty taming animals
  • Cole Bros. Circus Clyde Beatty Greatest Wild Animal Act of All Time. Black-Maned Man-Eating Lions and Siberian Tigers, also estimated at $500-700, made $2,160. It was printed around 1910-1930. This  gouache on two panels on a single board piece featured Clyde Beatty taming numerous big cats
  • Cole Bros. Circus Clyde Beatty’s Gigantic Trained Wild Animal Exhibition and Ken Maynard the Screen’s Greatest Western Star made $1,440. It was also printed 1910-1930. This  gouache on board showed Clyde Beatty and a woman taming animals and Ken Maynard on a rearing horse

Overall, the sale in late July realized $442,000. "The strong results across the board in this annual event show that circus and sideshow relics continue to amaze and attract collectors across the board," said Gabe Fajuri, President of Potter & Potter Auctions.