Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Courtesy of Steve Flint--Barnum and Bailey Tableau Inquiry Below

Den # 76

Den # 83

Den # 85 Is this a Nilgai?

Den # 87

Den # 90

Dear Wade-
This is in reference to your great postings concerning the Barnum & Bailey Tableau Dens. There were 6 known to be built at the same time. They are thought to have been built by Geo. Marx of Brooklyn, NY ca. 1915. An article appeared in the LCW Aug-Sept 1971 issue with sketches of the carvings. The historic entry credits the Moellers of Baraboo with the fabrication of these cages but there are no entries concerning this order in the Moeller ledgers on file at CWM. They were numbered 76-83-85-87-90-91 and seem to have kept the same numbers throughout their career.
The wagons were originally built for the (Ringling owned) Barnum & Bailey show. They were absorbed into the combined shows and appeared in the menagerie well into the 1940's. Photograph's of the wagons with all carvings intact are in short supply. Certainly by 1930 the skyboard carvings began to disappear and a fine painted scroll applied. Attached are 2 photo's of these wagons sitting in the Sarasota WQ's, presumably being readied for the upcoming season. Sadly, these wagons- except the 1 now in Baraboo- were "put out to pasture" in Sarasota after being replaced by newer dens.


Jim A. said...

I too vote Nilgai. They're a pretty sturdy Indian antelope that use to be found in many zoos, Not too common now.

Anonymous said...

What basis is there for the suggested Marx fabrication of these wagons?