Circus memorabilia paraded to $378K total at Potter & Potter
CHICAGO – Potter & Potter Auctions‘ September 24 circus sale performed triumphantly, realizing a total of $378,000. This event featured the circus collection of John and Jan Zweifel as well as the Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry’s entire circus exhibit, many elements of which had been on display at the institution for decades.
Lots of note included a 1944 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey / World’s Biggest Menagerie bird’s-eye view poster, which was estimated at $125-$175 and made $3,600.
Also, a 1930s signed Sells-Floto Miss Arline and Kiddo Balloon Horse poster maquette, estimated at $500-$700, achieved $4,080. The gouache-on-board poster illustration was done for Erie Litho.
Another standout was a lion model circus wagon from around 1940, which realized $6,600. This 53 by 24 by 48in example was finely detailed and painted, and included well-carved miniature lion heads decorating each of the four wheels, and three taxidermy cats displayed inside the
wagon. It also featured a Hagenbeck Wallace Shows / Peru Indiana cast metal plaque below
the steering wheel.
And finally, materials related to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Shows achieved spotlight status, led by a pair of beaded and decorated gloves purportedly owned by Buffalo Bill that was estimated at $250-$350 and went for $1,560. The gloves were accompanied by a placard stating the gloves were a gift of Captain William Heyer of Sarasota, Florida. The card indicates that Dexter Fellows, a Ringling Bros. press agent, received the gloves from Cody.
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