26 Fantastic Vintage Circus Posters from the Late 19th Century

Around the joint of the 19th and 20th centuries, stage tricks were a mainstay of theater entertainment. To seduce the crowd there were posters, each fashioned with feverish, hallucinatory images of death, evil, the Beast, phantasmagoria and the darkest magic.

The occult was a big lure. The subconscious was pricked. Here, below is a collection of attractive posters advertising the circus and magic performances in the Victorian era.

Female trapeze acrobats at circus, 1890
Funny scenes on bicycles and skates, poster for Barnum & Bailey, 1900
Kellar and his servants, magician poster, 1894
Kellar in the woods with demons, magician poster, 1900
Kellar the magician, performing arts poster, 1894
Kellar toasts the Devil, performing arts poster, 1899
Levitation 2, magician poster Kellar, 1894
Levitation 3, magician poster for Kellar, 1900
Levitation, magician poster Kellar, 1894
Louis Cyr, strongest man on earth, 1898
Marvelously trained sea lions & seals, poster for Forepaugh & Sells Brothers, 1899
Scenes in the grand water circus, poster for Barnum & Bailey, 1895
Self decapitation, magician poster for Kellar, 1897
Terrific flights over ponderous elephants, poster for Forepaugh & Sells Brothers, 1899
The great Coney Island water carnival, poster for Barnum & Bailey, 1898.
The great Coney Island water carnival, poster for Barnum & Bailey, 1898
The marvelous foot-ball dogs, poster for Barnum & Bailey, 1900
The Orfords, poster for Forepaugh & Sells Brothers, 1897
The Sandow Trocadero Vaudevilles – Sandow lifting the human dumbell, 1894
Troupe of very remarkable trained pigs, poster for Barnum & Bailey, 1898
Twenty funny felt-crowned fools, poster for Forepaugh & Sells Brothers, 1899
Wm. H. West’s Big Minstrel Jubilee – The De Elmar Trio, vaudeville poster, 1900
Wondrous Wild Beasts, poster for Forepaugh & Sells Brothers, 1897
Zan Zig performing with rabbit and roses, magician poster, 1899
A congress of the great birds of the world, poster for Forepaugh & Sells Brothers, 1898
Champion great danes from the Imperial kennels, poster for Forepaugh & Sells Brothers, 1898

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: