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Charming Poster For Billy Smart's Circus

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  • £220.00
  • €256 Euro
  • $272 US Dollar

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Item Description

Billy Smart was born in London in 1894 - one of 23 children from a family that worked on fairgrounds in London and the South East. In his earlier years Billy Smart set up a Fun Fair with his brothers, but in 1946 he bought a second hand 'big top' and opened his own 'New World Circus'. Initially the circus ran alongside the funfair, but the funfair was phased out in the early '50s. Billy Smart's Circus toured with a menagerie of animals and managed to secure regular TV shows with the BBC. The circus grew to become one of the largest in the world and by the '60s it was the world's largest travelling circus under canvas (according to King Pole magazine). This poster for the famed circus is likely to date to the 1960s, advertising a couple of weeks of performances in Kingsbury. As would be expected for a show that focused on animals it features a wonderful illustration of a performing elephant and mouse. These circus posters were usually pasted up and so it's rare to find surviving examples. This particular example came from a circus fanatic who travelled throughout the '50s-'80s watching performances around the country and collecting souvenirs along the way. The poster was printed by W.E. Berry Ltd of Bradford - the printers of choice for circuses and carnivals of the period. The poster has survived the decades in decent order and with vibrant colours. There's a small tear to the lower left edge and a yellowed tape mark considering it's fragility it's done remarkably well. This poster is of unusually small proportions, measuring 51.5cm high x 34cm wide. It's been professionally framed and is ready to hang.

Item Info



Seller Location

London, London

Item Dimensions

H: 51.5cm W: 34cm D: 1cm



Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Location

London, London

Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Contact No

+44 (0)7703104788