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Product 29/82

Circus Poster Gargantua Barnum & Bailey portrait style 1938

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kevin@cvtreasures.com

Barnum & Bailey  "Gargantua" , 1938
Original Vintage 
Strobridge Circus Poster (28x42")



Great vintage circus poster with spectacular artwork of the iconic circus star   "Gargantua"..  One of the most desired Barnum & Bailey circus posters that sell at auction for up to $2000.    The first we have ever owned in 35 years collecting.   Very Good condition. Has been linen backed. Has tape stains in borders and some slight wrinkling in upper left corner.  Also, the previous owner put it into a plastic protective sleeve which it currently remains.  Designed by the legendary lithography company Strobridge .   * See enlargeable images above and below. 

Circus Poster "Gargantua" (Ringling Bros./Barnum and Bailey, 1938). Poster (28" X 42"). Miscellaneous.
"Buddy," was born in the Belgian Congo and lived on a freighter with the boat's captain. One day a drunk sailor threw acid in his face marking him for life physically and mentally. This heinous act left him with a grotesque and frightening look. Becoming aggressive, he was given to a wealthy New York woman who dressed him in clothes and drove him about in her car! After he climbed into bed with her for comfort from thunder (all 460 lb of him!) she sold him to John Ringling in 1937. Ringling immediately changed his name to "Gargantua" and exhibited him from 1938 to the gorilla's death in 1949. Ringling always admitted that millions of circus goers drawn to "Buddy's" exhibit saved Ringling Bros. from bankruptcy during the war years. Original posters from the great Strobridge lithography company have always been sought by poster collectors the world over. A poster that displays signs of use. 

Original posters, from the great Strobridge lithography company, have always been sought by poster collectors the world over. This is a particularly nice, horizontal style, one sheet, featuring a dramatic drawing of Gargantua hoisting a Congo native over his head. This is a true piece of vintage Americana.

Strobridge, the outstanding American lithography company, produced many of the best circus and Wild West advertising posters of the late 1800's and early 1900's, particularly the outstanding posters for the Barnum & Bailey Circus, "the Greatest Show on Earth." The coloration and crisp detailing of these Strobridge posters makes them instantly recognizable to advanced collectors, even the versions that were executed in other languages. That's right, Strobridge would produce posters in the U. S. for the big shows that they would take with them for use overseas

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.