Neiman Eisman (attributed). Champion Sword Swallower Side Show Banner. c. 1930’s-40’s. Masterpiece! Paint on heavy canvas. Original leather straps and metal rings. Titled, not signed. 118” w x 90” h. Excellent condition. Est. $3,000-4,000. Ship: $75. Based upon the style of painting and other examples of his work, this banner is attributed to well-known banner artist Nieman Eisman, a co-worker of banner artist Fred Johnson. The typestyle used on this banner very closely resembles that found on other banners by him. In late 2003, the consignor contacted banner artist, as well as technical adviser on the HBO series "Carnivale," Johnny Meah by email, and it was his opinion that Nieman Eisman was the artist of my banner. He later forwarded the materials to Edward "Teddy" Varndell, banner dealer and co-author of Freaks, Geeks and Strange Girls: Sideshow Banners of the Great American Midway. Mr. Varndell also believed my banner to be by Eisman. In the early 1970's the consignor worked at a TV station in production. In the prop room behind the studio, he found this "carny" banner, back-side up, covering a pile of stacked lumber. With the station manager's OK, he replaced it with another tarp and he has had the banner since then. During early days at the TV station, travelling carnivals or circuses would bring performers, props and animals to the TV studio for promotions (back when productions were "live"). This banner was apparently left behind during one of these shows. Johnny Meah said circus banners in the '50s and '60s were considered so disposable they were often used under circus trucks to sop up oil leaks.