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Circus Collection

Step right up and enter the magical world of the circus. 🎪✨ From Elsie on Hassan to Laura Knight's stunning artwork, every corner is filled with wonder

Background imageCircus Collection: Elsie on Hassan - Laura Knight

Elsie on Hassan - Laura Knight
Oil on Canvas 68.6 x 76.2

Background imageCircus Collection: Wombwells Menagerie

Wombwells Menagerie, Crystal Palace, 1897 Date: 1897

Background imageCircus Collection: Battys Circus Royal, Sheffield, 1839

Battys Circus Royal, Sheffield, 1839
Original at Sheffield Local Studies Library: MP 99/6 VL

Background imageCircus Collection: Piccadilly Circus by night, London. Date: 1960s

Piccadilly Circus by night, London. Date: 1960s

Background imageCircus Collection: Please, Mr Policeman, where is Father Christmas by Matania

Please, Mr Policeman, where is Father Christmas by Matania
In the centre of London, close to Piccadilly Circus, two children stop a policeman from directing traffic to ask him where Father Christmas is

Background imageCircus Collection: Flea Circus

Flea Circus
An advertisement for Professor Likontis wonderful Roumanian Fea Circus

Background imageCircus Collection: Piccadilly Circus 1956

Piccadilly Circus 1956
Piccadilly Circus street scene, with huge billboards advertising Bovril, Wrigleys and Craven A cigarettes amongst others

Background imageCircus Collection: Les Saltimbanques, 1874 (oil on canvas)

Les Saltimbanques, 1874 (oil on canvas)
EDI187971 Les Saltimbanques, 1874 (oil on canvas) by Dore, Gustave (1832-83); Private Collection; French, out of copyright

Background imageCircus Collection: Circus Elephant / Trainer

Circus Elephant / Trainer
A circus elephant and his trainer, Miss Cornak, who also has a little dog on a lead to show how versatile she is

Background imageCircus Collection: Piccadilly Circus, London

Piccadilly Circus, London Date: 1960s

Background imageCircus Collection: Ancient Roman costume

Ancient Roman costume from the time of the late Roman Republic -- warriors, legionnaires (infantry soldiers), a cavalryman, a centurion, an emperor in purple (red), an ensign bearer

Background imageCircus Collection: Interior of tramshed, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire

Interior of tramshed, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire
Interior view of a tramshed at Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, showing various trams with advertising material: Jacobs Cream Crackers, Colmans Mustard, Lifebuoy Soap

Background imageCircus Collection: SIDESHOW POSTER, c1949. Circus sideshow poster by Nieman Eisman, featuring Celesta Geyer

SIDESHOW POSTER, c1949. Circus sideshow poster by Nieman Eisman, featuring Celesta Geyer, known as Jolly Dolly Dimple, c1949

Background imageCircus Collection: Ben-Hur, chariot race scene, book by General Lew Wallace

Ben-Hur, chariot race scene, book by General Lew Wallace
Ben-Hur, chariot race scene, jacket design of the book by General Lew Wallace, published by Sears, Roebuck and Co, Chicago, USA. 20th century

Background imageCircus Collection: Great Western Hotel, Cliff Road, Newquay, Cornwall. Early 1900s

Great Western Hotel, Cliff Road, Newquay, Cornwall. Early 1900s
An elephant pulling a wagon from the Bostock and Wombwell Circus and Menagerie, followed by two camels, near the Great Western Hotel in Newquay

Background imageCircus Collection: Poster, Sir Alan Cobhams National Aviation Day Campaign

Poster, Sir Alan Cobhams National Aviation Day Campaign Air Display (also known as Cobhams Flying Circus), Chapel Farm, Lochgelly Road, Kirkcaldy, 13-14 July 1935. Date: 1935

Background imageCircus Collection: The neon lights of Piccadilly Circus at night, London

The neon lights of Piccadilly Circus at night, London Date: circa 1950s

Background imageCircus Collection: Picture No. 10789115

Picture No. 10789115
Hen Harrier - Male passing prey to female in flight above nest (Circus cyaneus) Date:

Background imageCircus Collection: Coronation procession at Oxford Circus, 1953

Coronation procession at Oxford Circus, 1953
The colour and pageantry of the Coronation procession - detachments of the Foot Guards marching along Oxford Street into Oxford Circus showing the vast crowds lining the decorated route. Date: 1953

Background imageCircus Collection: Carlisle Circus, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Carlisle Circus, Belfast, Northern Ireland. circa 1908

Background imageCircus Collection: The Brighton Pierrots, 1915 (oil on canvas)

The Brighton Pierrots, 1915 (oil on canvas)
6041475 The Brighton Pierrots, 1915 (oil on canvas) by Sickert, Walter Richard (1860-1942); 64x76.8 cm; Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, UK; eAshmolean Museum; Image eAshmolean Museum

Background imageCircus Collection: Cliff Road, Newquay, Cornwall. Early 1900s

Cliff Road, Newquay, Cornwall. Early 1900s
A line of two elephants and three camels passing Newquay Railway Station. There is a man in costume riding the second elephant. Possibly from the Bostock and Wombwell Menagerie. Photographer: Unknown

Background imageCircus Collection: Wombwells Poster

Wombwells Poster
A poster from Bostock and Wombwells circus, featuring Madame Jumbo, performing horses and various other beasts, birds and reptiles. Date: Late 19th century

Background imageCircus Collection: Poster, Sir Robert Fossetts Circus and Zoo

Poster, Sir Robert Fossetts Circus and Zoo, featuring lions and an elephant. Date: circa 1950s

Background imageCircus Collection: Circus scene. Illustration by G鲡rd Laplau (1938-2009)

Circus scene. Illustration by G鲡rd Laplau (1938-2009)
Circus scene. Illustration by G鲡 rd Laplau (1938-2009). Naive art. Painting

Background imageCircus Collection: Wanstead Flats Fair

Wanstead Flats Fair
A travelling funfair, at Wanstead Flats, east London. Date: 1930s

Background imageCircus Collection: CIRCUS POSTER, c1910. American circus poster, c1910, featuring Singers Midgets

CIRCUS POSTER, c1910. American circus poster, c1910, featuring Singers Midgets

Background imageCircus Collection: Backyard carnival, 1800s

Backyard carnival, 1800s
Children putting on a circus in the backyarrd, 1800s. Hand-colored halftone reproduction of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageCircus Collection: Brown Bear riding a motorcycle at the Bertram Mills Circus

Brown Bear riding a motorcycle at the Bertram Mills Circus
Photograph showing a large brown bear riding a motorcycle during a performance of the Bertram Mills Circus at Olympia in December 1951. That year was the Silver Jubilee of the Mills Circus at Olympia

Background imageCircus Collection: Blackpool Entertainment

Blackpool Entertainment
The front cover of a souvenir programme for the Blackpool Tower & Winter Gardens, including the Tower circus and ballroom

Background imageCircus Collection: Park District, Glasgow, 2009

Park District, Glasgow, 2009
Central Station, Glasgow, LANARKSHIRE, SCOTLAND facing West. NCAP: RCAHMS Aerial Survey - 24/04/2009

Background imageCircus Collection: Bertram Mills Circus

Bertram Mills Circus
A centaur style illustration, featuring a clown and a circus horse, adorn the cover of a programme for performances at Olympia, London

Background imageCircus Collection: London - Piccadilly Circus in the 1920s

London - Piccadilly Circus in the 1920s
London - Piccadilly Circus photographed in 1924. The Trocadero is showing Wanderer in the Wasteland - an American colour silent Western film directed by Irvin Willat and starring Jack Holt

Background imageCircus Collection: LONDON: PICCADILLY CIRCUS. View of Piccadilly Circus with the statue of Eros

LONDON: PICCADILLY CIRCUS. View of Piccadilly Circus with the statue of Eros, Angel of Christian Charity, London, England

Background imageCircus Collection: SIDESHOW POSTER, c1945. American sideshow poster for The Frog Boy, c1945

SIDESHOW POSTER, c1945. American sideshow poster for The Frog Boy, c1945

Background imageCircus Collection: Circus Poster / Polito s

Circus Poster / Polito s
A poster for Politos Menagerie advertising a horned horse (or nilghau), a zebra, an elephant and a fully grown lion!

Background imageCircus Collection: Tower Circus / Blackpool

Tower Circus / Blackpool
Two girls perform tricks while riding a white horse. A clown holds a hoop with a paper surface which one of them has just leapt through

Background imageCircus Collection: Barnum & Bailey Poster

Barnum & Bailey Poster
Poster for Barnum and Baileys Circus

Background imageCircus Collection: Piccadilly / Eros 1950S

Piccadilly / Eros 1950S
The famous statue of Eros in the middle of Piccadilly Circus

Background imageCircus Collection: German circus scrap

German circus scrap -- dog jumping through a paper hoop. 19th century

Background imageCircus Collection: Double bicycle patent, 1905 C024 / 3615

Double bicycle patent, 1905 C024 / 3615
Double bicycle patent, 1905. Artwork of a double bicycle patent invented by Karl Lange. It was designed to perform a loop the loop stunts at circus performances

Background imageCircus Collection: Bonzo - Bostocks remarkable Sea lion

Bonzo - Bostocks remarkable Sea lion
Bonzo a remarkable performing Sea Lion at Bostock and Wombwells Travelling Circus - pictures with trainer Zetta Hills Date: circa 1926

Background imageCircus Collection: Bertram Mills Lorry

Bertram Mills Lorry
The Circus Comes to Town! A picturesque setting for the Bertarm Mills Circus, at Maidstone, Kent, England. Date: 1950s

Background imageCircus Collection: London Birdseye 18

London Birdseye 18
Bird s-eye view of London at the end of the 19th century : the City Road, Finsbury Circus to the Angel, Islington

Background imageCircus Collection: Circus Poster / Polito s

Circus Poster / Polito s
A poster for Politos Menagerie advertising a royal tiger, a fiery lynx, an ursine sloth and a pelican

Background imageCircus Collection: Circus Clown Pointing

Circus Clown Pointing
A young child, with a hoop decorated with flowers, rides on the back of a skewbald (brown and white) horse, while a clown stands and points

Background imageCircus Collection: Circus Poster / Paris

Circus Poster / Paris
A poster for Cirque d ete (Summer circus) in the Champs Elysees, Paris. Open every evening, there are clowns, lions and horses, to name but a few acts

Background imageCircus Collection: Astleys Amphitheatre

Astleys Amphitheatre
Philip Astleys amphitheatre, Westminster Bridge Road, London : loved by Dickens, this was also the scene of clowns such as Grimaldi, and popular melodrama



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Step right up and enter the magical world of the circus. 🎪✨ From Elsie on Hassan to Laura Knight's stunning artwork, every corner is filled with wonder. The enchantment continues as we explore Wombwells Menagerie, where exotic creatures captivate our imagination. As night falls in London's Piccadilly Circus during the swinging 1960s, a dazzling display of lights illuminates the cityscape. Sir Alan Cobham's National Aviation Day Campaign poster takes flight, reminding us that even in this bustling metropolis, dreams can soar high above. But amidst all the excitement, a little child asks "Please, Mr Policeman, where is Father Christmas?" Matania's heartwarming illustration reminds us that joy and innocence are at the heart of this spectacle. Traveling back in time brings us face to face with ancient Roman costumes and their grandeur. We marvel at their elaborate attire as they perform death-defying feats under the big top. And who could forget about the flea circus? A miniature marvel that proves size doesn't matter when it comes to entertainment. These tiny performers defy expectations and leave audiences astounded. The sideshow posters beckon us closer; one featuring Celesta Geyer known as Jolly Dolly Dimple captures our attention. Her talents amaze spectators as she showcases her unique skills within this vibrant world of oddities and curiosities. Stepping into Piccadilly Circus in 1956 transports us back to an era filled with nostalgia. The hustle and bustle of city life intertwines with laughter and applause from delighted onlookers - a true feast for all senses. Taking inspiration from General Lew Wallace's epic tale Ben-Hur, we witness chariot races unfold before our eyes. The thunderous hooves pounding against ancient sands create an adrenaline-fueled atmosphere like no other. Finally, we find ourselves once again surrounded by neon lights in Piccadilly Circus at night.