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The Forever Circus: Vintage Circus Posters on 2014 U.S. Postage Forever Stamps

Vintage Circus Posters on New U.S. Postage Forever Stamps
New 2014 Forever stamps picture gorgeous vintage circus posters. Clowns and tigers and elephants, oh my!
 FIRST DAY OF ISSUE May 5, 2014  •  Sarasota, Florida 
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Posters 
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, companies such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum &Bailey used posters to let people know that the circus was coming to town. The U.S. Postal Service® is excited to celebrate the large, colorful pieces of art that showcased eye-catching imagery of stunts, performers, and animals.
This sheet of 16 self-adhesive stamps features reproductions of eight vintage circus posters. Each stamp features one vintage circus poster. The sheet’s verso text includes a brief discussion of the history and purpose of circus posters. The selvage features an image of a circus entrance shot by photographer Edward J. Kelty in 1937.
Row 1, Column 1; Row 3, Column 3
This 1917 Barnum & Bailey poster, made by the Strobridge Lithographing Company, features a clown tipping his cap and gesturing toward the circus. The poster also includes the words “Greatest Show On Earth.”
Row 1, Column 2; Row 3, Column 4
This 1919 Sells-Floto Circus poster, made by the Strobridge Lithographing Company, features “Fantastic Wire Dancer” Victoria Codona, who was billed as “Princess Victoria.”
Row 1, Column 3; Row 3, Column 1
This 1925 Ringling Bros. and Barnum &Bailey poster, made by the Strobridge Lithographing Company, highlights Lillian Leitzel, the “World’s Most Marvelous Lady Gymnast.”
Row 1, Column 4; Row 3, Column 2
This circa 1915 Al G. Barnes Wild Animal Circus poster, made by the Erie Lithographing & Printing Company, showcases a tiger riding an elephant, which is wearing a green, red, and gold cape.
Row 2, Column 1; Row 4, Column 3
This 1918 Ringling Bros. Shows poster, made by the Strobridge Lithographing Company, features Hillary Long, who as the poster attests, “Puts His Skates Upon His Head And Wears His Hat Upon His Feet While Accomplishing Apparently Impossible Stunts.”
Row 2, Column 2; Row 4, Column 4
This 1916 Barnum & Bailey poster, made by the Strobridge Lithographing Company, features a realistic portrait of the kind of gorgeous tiger audiences paid to see.
Row 2, Column 3; Row 4, Column 1
This 1926 Ringling Bros. and Barnum &Bailey poster, made by the Strobridge Lithographing Company, features an ornately costumed elephant. The poster advertises “5 Big Herds Of Performing Elephants In 5 Circus Rings At One Time.”
Row 2, Column 4; Row 4, Column 2
This circa 1930 Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus poster, made by the Erie Lithographing &Printing Company, features the face of a smiling clown.
These posters are now part of the Tibbals Digital Collection at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
Art director Greg Breeding worked on the stamp sheet with designer Jennifer Arnold.
The 2014 Vintage Circus Posters stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. These Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate.
Keep up with the latest stamp news at http://uspsstamps.com/departments/blog
Read articles about famous stamps, and famous stamp collectors at http://uspsstamps.com/departments/collecting-culture

See a vertical scrolling slide show of a dozen other gorgeous circus posters at  http://uspsstamps.com/stories/circus-posters

My faves:


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