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Product 42/114

Circus Poster Gargantua Original Vintage Ringling Barnum Poster

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Circus Poster "Gargantua"
Original Vintage Ringling Bros./Barnum and Bailey Poster, 1938
Starring "Gargantua"


After 35 years collecting vintage movie and circus posters, this is about as exciting as it gets!  The stunning artwork and shock value (what Barnum always intended) is extraordinary!   The enlargeable image above says it all!

Description: Following on the heels of the immensely successful Hollywood movie "King Kong," the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows purchased a gorilla for $10,000 and capitalized on the public's fascination which invigorated show attendance and their bottom line. "Gargantua" is shown dispatching an unfortunate village warrior on this poster which reads "The Largest Gorilla Ever Exhibited - The World's Most Terrifying Living Creature!" Copyright by The Strobridge Litho. Co. Cincinnati and New York, circa 1938.

SIZE: Image: 42" w x 28" h. Excellent Condition.   Prior to linen backing had minor fold wear . This gem has been professionally linen backed and looks amazing! ...
Imagine the reactions having it up on Your wall??

NOTE: There are reproductions of this amazing poster and also a 1970s reprint that you will often see online such as on eBay, with many sellers promoting them as the "Original".   They are usually a smaller size like 24x36" and the graphics are far inferior with mostly black and missing the colorful detail of the originals..   Also, many of the reproductions have on the bottom left "P-1938" and do not have the Storbridge copyright on the bottom right as the originals do. .  . This IS the original 1938 and is Guaranteed Authentic for Life!

Circus Poster "Gargantua" (Ringling Bros./Barnum and Bailey, 1938). One Sheet (28" X 42") Horizontal Style.
Few top "entertainers" have had a more interesting life history than "The largest Gorilla Ever Exhibited!" Born in the Belgian Congo in 1929, ..."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. 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.

* Be sure to check out our other rare vintage historical circus posters below under, "Similar Treasures You May Like"

Note: Cvtreasures stamp NOT on original

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