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Rare Original & Beautiful Strobridge Circus Poster


Some historic lithography is so aesthetically breath-taking no further comment is required !

During the late 1800s, the Sells Brothers Circus was one of the largest, most successful shows of its kind in the country. 

It ran from 1862 to 1863 and again from 1871 to 1895. The circus was based out of Columbus, Ohio in area that was known as Sellsville. Sellsville was of considerable size, animals and staff lived in the area during the off seasons. It merged with the circus operated by Adam Forepaugh to form the Forepaugh-Sells Brothers' Circus in 1900.

One of the really big features of the Sells Brothers Enormous United Shows were their elephants. At the time, most circuses transported their elephants by wagon, but the Sells Brothers wanted their star attractions to only go first class, so they constructed a number of specially designed railroad cars that could transport their giant beasts from one town to another.

The demanding circus and personal problems in the family led to a gradual transfer of ownership of their three ring circus. In the late 1890s, James Bailey purchased part of Sells Brothers circus In 1906 the entire circus was transferred to the Ringling Brothers, which would ultimately become the circus we know today: Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth.

The 1901 silent film Day at the Circus by Edison Manufacturing Company features a parade and horse race from the circus.     Here we have a very rare original Sells Brothers Poster from 1900.   Only one other is known to exist in a very prestigious collection.    And trust me when I say the gorgeous artwork on this vintage treasure is breath-taking!  As you can see from the enlargeable images above and below

VERY RARE, original 1900 Chromolithograph Adam Forepaugh & Sells Brothers Circus Advertising Poster featuring fantastic, full color portraits of Forepaugh and the Sells Brothers by Strobridge Litho Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio.

To begin with we must stress that this this is an ORIGINAL, 1900 Adam Forepaugh & Sells Brothers Circus poster - it is NOT a reprint, reissue, reproduction, reissue or modern print but the Poster offered here is UNCONDITIONALLY guaranteed original - printed and distributed in 1900 to advertise performances of the "Greatest Shows Consolidated"!!!!

This outstanding chromolithograph Poster measures approx. 40” x 30” (including margins - one sheet size) and features beautiful, bust portraits of three of the most important figures in American Traveling Circus history - Adam Forepaugh - Peter Sells and Lewis Sells. Text below the portraits reads "Adam Forepaugh & Sells Brothers Greatest Shows Consolidated". The poster is copyrighted 1900 and carries the mark of the lithographer with text that reads "The Strobridge Lith Co. Cin'ti & New York".

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Howard Tibbles Poster Collection (the world’s largest collection of American Circus Posters) does include an example of the Poster offered here. As stated above - this is an original 1900 Chromolithograph Adam Forepaugh & Sells Brothers Circus Poster and is unconditionally guaranteed as such. Both the lithography and the graphics on this outstanding, American Circus Advertising Poster are stunningly beautiful - the colors are bright and vibrant and the Poster is MUCH more attractive than the scans below. This is an example of THE very finest and most highly desirable, American Circus Advertising Posters and is a beautiful display piece.  Was linen-backed many years ago and is in quite amazing condition for its 116 years !

This very rare and very beautiful, original 1900 Adam Forepaugh & Sells Brothers Circus Advertising Poster is in very good condition - the colors are bright and vibrant with no significant soiling or staining. The Poster was linen backed a very long time ago and has since been folded in quarters (as originally issued). This has caused some very vertical creasing which is barely noticeable. There is also some minor loss to the sheet at the lower left hand corner affecting the margin area only. Overall the Poster is well preserved and with a quality matting and framing will make a stunningly beautiful display piece.

Strobridge Lithography Company BIO:
The Strobridge Lithography Company created some of the most artistically stunning posters in the 19th, and early 20th century.  In the genre of vintage posters they produced "masterpieces"!.   Strobridge was founded in Cincinnati in 1847 by Elijah Middleton and eventually bought out by one of its workers, Hines Strobridge, remaining open until 1971. Offices were located in downtown Cincinnati, Norwood, and New York City.  Strobridge was most famous for its circus posters, often producing them for The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey. Libraries and museums all over America, including the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress, hold examples of Strobridge’s “Amazing American Circus Poster.” However, because the Strobridge firm was based in Cincinnati, Cincinnatians are fortunate to be in the vicinity of many of the greatest Strobridge collections. In addition to the Archives & Rare Books Library, the Cincinnati Public Library and Cincinnati Art Museum are valuable resources for Strobridge enthusiasts. 

* See other amazing Strobridge Vintage Posters below under, "

Note: Cvtreasures stamp NOT ON original

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