Barnum & Bailey Hand Painted and Decorated Toy Circus Wagon
A HAND PAINTED AND DECORATED TOY CIRCUS WAGON.
It was probably commissioned in the 1930s or 40s as a promotional item for The Barnum & Bailey circus. It is made of wood, metal, and composition. Some have speculated that it was made by the Hubley or Schoenhut toy company. The iron wire barred cage sits on four wheels with a turning chassis, decorated with carved crests, supports and seating, all red and green-painted. Inside the cage are two free-standing resin bears, one black and one brown, 7 1/2" to 8 1/2" tall. The wagon is driven by a clown dressed in tan and green sitting atop a marvelous 16” high elephant. CIRCUS is painted on the sides. The hinged rear door is painted with a banner inscribed: “The Greatest Show on Earth 100,000 Clever Tricks Circus Performers Acrobats Tight Rope Performers .”
The wagon itself weighs 12 pounds and measures about 23" x 16 1/4" x 12.” The wagon and associated pieces together in place measure about 34.5''L x 20''H x 14''W.
The wagon was meant to be attached to the elephant with chains that hook to the harness at the sides. The chains are currently missing but could be easily replaced. The pieces have some nicks and chips not uncommon in a piece of this vintage. There are visible some slight spatters of paint. Please see pictures.