A 19th century banner used to advertise the original Jumbo the elephant is predicted to sell for between £3,000 and £5,000 for auction at Chorley’s this month.
Having lived at London Zoo from 1865 to 1882, Jumbo the elephant was bought by an American entertainer called P.T. Barnum, the inspiration for The Greatest Showman.
The animal was purchased for £2,000 to appear in the Barnum & Bailey Circus, and was shipped to the USA to star in the show.
The auction will take place on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 July at Chorley’s Auctioneers in Gloucester. It is thought that the rare sign shows Jumbo, the ‘Most famous elephant on Earth’ that provided the initial idea for Disney’s well-loved film Dumbo.
Jumbo soon became the main attraction at Barnum & Bailey’s ‘Greatest Show on Earth’, earning the circus $1.75 million. The star elephant also crossed the Brooklyn Bridge in 1884 to reassure the public that it was safe, following a stampede the previous year where 12 people were killed.
Jumbo died in 1885 when he was hit by a train in Ontario, Canada, as he was taken back to his box after a performance.
The valuable banner is made of thick cloth canvas with an oil paint design and is considered to be a unique piece of British folk art.
For more information call 020 7812 0645.
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