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Step right up and see the wonders of the circus
SARASOTA, Fla. — The circus sideshow will come to life again on Jan. 18-19 when Freedom Auction Company presents more than 1,000 lots of circus memorabilia. This will be the third year Showfolks of Sarasota will host the event. The auction has grown so large a day was added to the sale to present additional material relating to the popular genre.

More than 20 sideshow banners will be sold including those by artists Fred Johnson, Johnny Meah, Pete Hennen and Jack Sigler. The photography of Edward J. Kelty will once again grace the block with more than 20 examples of Kelty’s work. Last year, a Kelty “Freaks” photograph sold for $8,600. A private collection of more than 200 circus posters includes examples from the late 1800s. Examples from Strobridge and Erie will be among the posters sold.

A train-car load of wardrobe pieces will adorn the Showfolks hall. Features include the complete wardrobe, props and road boxes of “Rogana,” known as the “Baroness of Balance.” Rogana performed on the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for years and appeared on other shows around the world. Another Ringling alum’s attire will also make an appearance, that of “Michu,” the “Smallest Man in the World.” The costumes are by Brooks Van Horn of New York.

The auction will contain other interesting items like a large volume of route books, circus tickets, photos and business records.The personal photo and clipping scrapbooks of Walter McClain (Ringling show elephant trainer), Hazel King (Wild West performer) and James A. Cole (Cole Circus Proprietor) provide an insight into the lives of these well-known circus personalities.

For more information visit or call (941) 725-2166.

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