1918 Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster - Elephants Playing Football!

Sold For: $5,925

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1176

Item Year: 1918

Category: Advertising and Photographic Displays

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Extremely rare Barnum & Bailey circus poster heralding one of the show's main attractions: "Elephant Comedians - The Wonderful Foot-Ball Playing Elephants." The colorful poster (27 x 18 inches) features an extraordinary illustration of the talented pachyderms playing football, with all them sporting period uniforms and gear, including leather helmets and noseguards. As noted in the lower left, the scene depicted here is "The Kick-Off." Copyright 1918 by the Strobridge Litho Company of Cincinnati and New York. This is one of the rarest of all circus posters, and also one of the most delightful, fun, and interesting football-related display pieces ever produced. Featuring exceptional graphics, this poster generates positive attention and a positive emotional reaction in an across-the-board manner that few display pieces of any kind (football-related or otherwise) can match. In 1913 Barnum & Bailey issued a poster featuring elephants playing baseball, so it was only natural that the animals later expanded their act to include a football game as well. Both the elephant baseball poster and this football poster are exceedingly rare, with literally only a few examples known to exist. As rare as the baseball elephant poster is, incredibly the elephant football poster is apparently even rarer. In fact, we have never before even seen an example of the elephant football poster, let alone offered one. This is a spectacular item for display. The poster has a light horizontal and vertical fold, as well as a few very light creases. The year, "1918," is lightly written in pencil in the upper left corner. Strong overall Excellent appearance. We think it would be impossible not to like this poster! This is an outstanding display piece with a rare universal appeal. Framed to total dimensions of 29.25 x 20 inches. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $5,925

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