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Auction Magic Photography Potter & Potter Auction Sideshow Tattoo Women

Johnny Fox – ‘Freakatorium’ Auction

This is an amazing collection of popular culture  ‘Americana’ artifacts. Here are a few items of interest to those folks who admire sideshow.

This Saturday the auction happens. You can bid online!

Annie Jones Bearded Lady Cabinet Card Photograph. York, Penn.: Pentz, ca. 1880s. 6 ½ x 4 ¼”. Mount softened and beginning to peel by layers.

Carte de Visite of a Bearded Lady. Baltimore: D.J. Wilkes, ca. 1860s. Original mount, studio imprint to verso. 4 x 2 ¾”.

Betty Broadbent Youngest Tattooed Lady Photo. Boston: H. Golden, ca. 1928. 8 x 10” sepia tone photograph of Broadbent, also known as the “tattoo’d lady.” Crease at top and border damage at corners, not affecting image. In 1927 Betty Broadbent met tattoo artist Charlie Wagner, who alongside several other tattoo artists, including, Tony Rhineagear, Joe Van Hart, and Red Gibbons, would tattoo a bodysuit on her consisting of over 565 images.

Four Sideshow Attraction Cabinet Cards. American, nineteenth century. Including Lewando Baldwin, “Armless Wonder,” (Boston: J. Katz, 1880s); together with Mrs. May L. Baldwin, and photos of unidentified “Skeleton Man,” by Wendt, NJ; Bob McKay, sideshow “Fat Man”; and a “Fat Lady” by Eisenmann of New York. Evidence of wear, biographical information penciled in on verso to some.

Wild Men of Borneo Cabinet Card. New York: Wendt, ca. 1880. Cabinet card depicts sideshow “Wild Men of Borneo.” Identifying back stamp. Very good.

Carlton and Smaun Sing Hpoo Photograph. Bath, England: W. G. Lewis Studio, ca. 1880s. Sepia tone photo depicts “Carlton and Smaun Sing Hpoo, The Tallest and Shortest Artistes in the Variety Profession.” 8 x 10”. Clipped corners of card.

Charles B. Tripp “Armless Wonder” Cabinet Photograph. York, Pa.: Pentz Studio, 1887. Cabinet card of Tripp with samples of his calligraphy, and other work accomplished through the use of his feet. Signed and dated on verso “Charles B. Tripp. Woodstock Ontario. Age 32 ys”. With an endorsement, also in Tripp’s foot reading “William Kennedy, July 30 ‘87.” Very good.

John Robinson Circus. Group of Photos and Ephemera. Including a female cast photograph on cabinet mount (4 ¾ x 6 ½”); The Bartlett Sisters cabinet photo (6 ½ x 4 ¼”); Millie Irwin Iron Jaw Act halftone card; a cabinet photo of a horse-drawn wagon outside a large tent; a 1906 route card and booklet; and a 1927 program.

Siamese Twins Postcards. Four images, including a RPPC of Siamese twins Mary and Margaret Gibb, as well as Rosa and Josefa, The Hilton Twins, and unidentified RPPC of girl twins.

Siamese Twins Daisy and Violet Hilton Signed Photograph. Studio portrait of the twins posing with a dog, inscribed to the recipient “with love and best luck/always your pals/Daisy + Violet Hilton/Jun-9 1929”. Ornately carved antique wooden frame, overall 14 x 12”.

Skull and Human Bones Chapel Photo. Italy, ca. 1890s. Sepia tone photograph of Roman chapel decorated with skulls and bones, and with skeletons dressed in Capuchin robes. Framed to an overall size of 9 ½ x 12”. Not examined out of frame.

Fox, Johnny. Group of X-Rays Showing Johnny Fox Swallowing a Sword. Five original X-rays depicting the sword thrust down Fox’s throat as seen from various angles. 17 x 14”. Original Johns Hopkins Department of Radiology envelope.

Portfolio of Large Format Modern Sideshow Photos. New York: Val Duarte, 2004. Group of ten original full color photographs (14 x 11”) titled “Very Special People.” Submitted by Val Duarte, a photography student of Amy Arbus, for entry in an exhibition at the Gallery of the School of the International Center of Photography, NY. These include photos of sword swallower Johnny Fox, clown dwarf, dwarf fire eater, tattooed sword swallower, tattooed transgender woman, front and rear pictures of whole body tattooed man, and others. Together with a quantity of over fifty similar size photographs of various sideshow performers, including several of the octogenarian human blockhead, strip tease show, and others. Very good.

Click here for the Doyle & Doyle Website! Happy Hunting.

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Categories
American Circus Art History Sideshow

Sideshow Banner Paintings

SNAP WYATT – Banner Painter

Snap Wyatt was a prolific painter of huge circus banners primarily in the 1940’s and 50’s.  He was known for his bold, cartoon-like style. His banners were painted with quick caricatures, and only the essential details of the performer were outlined in black to make them stand out. He said he could finish one in a day for about $85. bucks. The bright and colorful banners drew in the crowd with the mystery of what was inside the tent. Wyatt is considered to be among the top in his field. His banners today sell for thousands.

Sideshow banner painter Snap Wyatt and a handful of others including Fred Johnson, Tattoo Jack Cripe and Jack Sigler (now all deceased), brought art to the carnival midways of the 30’s through 60’s with their 10′ x10′ banners that waved outside the circus and carnival sideshows drawing the crowd to come inside.

Originally intended as silent talkers, the huge canvases played to a carnival attendees curiosity and directed them to walk right into the sideshow tent.

The banners portrayed the acts inside the tent and were an interesting combination of the bizarre and human oddities – from Major Debert Tiniest Man to the 643 pound Sweet Marie, Huey The Pretzel Boy to the Alligator Girl, Hydrocephalus Baby to The Penguin Boy.

Few considered the canvasses of sideshow banner painter Snap Wyatt and the other banner painters an art form at the time they were painted, yet today the mega-paintings are being bought almost as fast as they’re hung on an art gallery’s wall.

Snap Wyatt’s banners sell today for thousands. Snap Wyatt (1905-1984)

Some of the original posters are now part of the Kohler Foundation.

For more information and other posters by Snap Wyatt go here.

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Categories
American Circus Circus Clown Comedy Dance Exhibit Juggling Magic Performing Arts Photography Sideshow Tent Show Variety Arts

SHOWHISTORY.COM – A Unique Image Archive

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This is the mast head for SHOWHISTORY.COM website. A very unique place for those interested in odd, unique and offbeat memorabilia.

Here is a comment by the website manager:

“Membership is $25 a year and allows you access to all of the materials, photos, letterheads, etc.– including multi-page items, such as the largest collection of sideshow pitchbooks ever gathered together– currently 65 scanned and online, and more than 60 more to be added.  Currently we have about 1200 images online and plan on adding about 2000 more items per year until the growing collection has been fully digitized.”
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“The origin of this undertaking emerged in casual conversation outside The Sarasota Showman’s Club one February evening sometime in 2001. The Showhistory.com website first debuted on February 11, 2002.  The plan then, as now, was to engage in the enormous task of listing every novelty, variety, sideshow and freakshow performer who ever crossed the lot, creaked the boards of dime museum or bally, saw sun glint in the eyes of an audience in some small town, waiting for the sound of nickels and dimes clacking into a metal box.”
 
“Finally expanding to more than a thousand pages of material and hundreds of images, the site was unfortunately mainly inactive after 2006.”
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“In October 2014 the site was redesigned and relaunched in a slightly different form– as an online image archive available on a subscription basis.  While now you must pay to access the full contents of the site, including our expanding archive of online images (over 1000 at launch), we plan on preserving and re-introducing all of the earlier material, and presenting a large quantity of free-access material.”
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ShowHistory.com plans on eventually making available online for members all of the 11,000-plus item archive of photos, pitchcards, handbills and ephemera in the area of sideshow, novelty and variety, vaudeville, burlesque, dime museums, carnivals, and outdoor show business in general.  The earliest item in the collection dates from 1609, and the archive continues to expand to include items from present-day performers and exhibits.”
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Showhistory.com wishes to chronicle the lost, fading and future scene on the fringes of the American amusement business– in biography, history, photographs, and whatever else we can find.  Collect the stories before they disappear, push and pull together the conflicting sources in books and memoribilia so that they can coexist in one place.”
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In the next post I have ready to go up I have ‘borrowed’ some text from Showhistory.com to help illustrate the life of Clarence Dale.
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Hope you have the inclination to JOIN…it is certainly worth the fee and it helps support the work they are doing on the site.
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Categories
Juggling Performing Arts Photography Sideshow Variety Arts Ventriliquist Video

Gay Life on the Carnival Lot: Jennifer Miller and Sideshow Impresario Ward Hall @ Coney Island USA

For the first time ever Legendary Sideshow Impresario Ward Hall  discusses his 70 years on the carnival lot as a gay man. In a live interview with Circus Amok director Jennifer Miller Ward will shared the stories of his life and the many gender queer performers he’s worked with over the years. Both he and Miller performed excerpts of their sideshow acts.

Jennifer Miller introduces the evening's agendaJennifer Miller introduces the evening’s agenda.

2013.10.18_WardHall.031Coney Island USA’s Dick Zigun presents Ward Hall with a special Award from Coney Island USA.

Ward Hall talks about his time peforming in the sideshow and carnivals.Ward Hall talks about his time performing in the sideshow and carnivals.

2013.10.17_WardHall.029Ward Hall talks about producing and directing sideshow for the past 60 years and his life during that time with partners.

Ward Hall performs his very risque vent act.Ward Hall performs his very risque vent act.

Jennifer Miller sits down with Ward Hall to discuss his personal life on the road.Jennifer Miller sits down with Ward Hall to discuss his personal life on the road.

Ward Hall pitches his novel to the audience.Like any good sideshow talker Ward Hall pitches his novel to the audience.

2013.10.18_WardHall.184Jennifer Miller closes the show with her ‘juggling machete’ sideshow act.

2013.10.18_WardHall.144

Jennifer Miller bids the audience ‘Goodbye’ and explains that Ward is selling his books and DVD’s in the bar. “Go have a drink”.

Great evening with the remarkable Showman Ward Hall and hosted by the delightfully charming and talented Jennifer Miller.

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VIDEO EXCERPT FROM THE EVENINGS TALK AND DISCUSSION

Categories
Clown Dixon Place Photography Variety Arts Ventriliquist Video

Lon Chaney/Tod Browning – A Silent Film night at Dixon Place – March 16th – 8pm

Lon Chaney stars in The Unholy Three presented at Dixon Place March 16thOriginal Poster for “The Unholy Three”

If you never seen a Lon Chaney/Tod Browning film…this is a good place to start.

THE UNHOLY THREE.

Friday night March 16th at 8pm.

FREE

Here is more information on this wonderful silent film classic from Tod Browning with Lon Chaney.

From Wikipedia.

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The Unholy Three is a 1925 American silent film melodrama involving a crime spree, directed by Tod Browning.[1]

The film was remade in 1930 as a talkie. In both the 1925 and the 1930 version, the roles of Professor Echo and Tweedledee are played by Lon Chaney and Harry Earles respectively. Both were based on the novel of the same name by Clarence Aaron “Tod” Robbins.

Three sideshow performers leave the circus after Tweedledee the midget assaults a child at one of their shows and become “The Unholy Three.” Echo the ventriloquist assumes the role of Mrs. O’Grady, a kindly old grandmother, who runs a bird shop. Tweedledee, “The Twenty Inch Man,” becomes her grandchild, and Hercules (Victor McLaglen) is their assistant. Soon an incredible crime wave is launched from their little store.

Convincingly disguised as a little old lady, Echo and his two carnival cohorts perform a series of Park Avenue robberies. Echo’s sweetheart Rosie (Mae Busch) plays along with the Unholy Three but changes her mind when their latest burglary, which ended in murder, threatens to send an innocent man (who is also Rosie’s Lover) to the electric chair.

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This will be the first in a series of “A QUIET NIGHT AT THE MOVIES”  that will happen once a month at Dixon Place. Hosted by Jim Moore and DP’s Katy Einerson.

Dedicated to the Silent Film. Mostly Lon Chaney and Tod Browning collaborations unseen by the public very often.

Come and enjoy a nice quiet night out at the movies. (The films are not recommended for the squeamish)

Friday March 16th 9pm at Dixon Place – DON’T FORGET – it is FREE!

Lon Chaney picture and bio from Wikipedia

Tod Browning's photograph and bio on Wikipedia