Sells Bros. Angel Tableau
by Fred Pfening, III
(1) This wagon’s origin can be traced back to the Sells Bros. Circus in the 1890’s. The earliest definite date on this wagon is 1894 (reference: Bandwagon, January-February, 1964). It remained on the Sells show through its final season of 1895 and then was used in the parades of the Adam Forepaugh-Sells Bros. Circus from 1896 to 1907. While on the Forepaugh-Sells Circus, the Angel Tableau was numbered 44. It was part of the group shipped to the Bridgeport, CT. winter quarters from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the site of the closing stand of the 1907 Forepaugh Sells Circus.
(Bandwagon, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Mar-Apr), 1966, pp. 4 – P.M. McClintock photo )
About 3/5 of the Forepaugh Sells parade equipment was shipped to Bridgeport. The rest, which included between 12 to 14 cages and two tableaus, went back to the Ringling winter quarters in Baraboo, WI. These two tableaus were sold to the Gollmar Bros. Circus. They were the former Forepaugh Three Deck Tableau, which last appeared on the Cook and Cole Circus in 1927 and a less fancy three diamond mirror tableau that made its way to the Al G. Barnes Circus. Recent new information indicates the Angel Tableau was used on the Barnum and Bailey Circus during the 1908 and 1909 seasons. The reference for this is a note on the Moeller repair list of Forepaugh Sells equipment that lists the 1910 Forepaugh Sells Circus as having a “Barnum and Bailey Tableau.” The Angel tableau is the only wagon that the Moeller records could have referenced. As previously stated it was part of the group shipped to Baraboo from Bridgeport for use on the Forepaugh Sells Circus. While on the Forepaugh Sells Circus in 1910 and 1911 the Angel Tableau was most likely numbered 2. On February 25, 1913 J. H. Garrett purchased this wagon along with Ringling cages Nos. 14 and 81, the Ringling Sea Horse Mirror Tableau (probably No. 6), a cage with an Indian Head carving on the side that was of Sells Bros, origin and the St. George and the Dragon allegorical float. After the Rice Bros. Circus folded the equipment was acquired by W. E. Franklin, of Robinson and Franklin fame, for the C. A. Wortham Carnival. All trace of the wagons Garrett purchased from the Ringlings, with the exception of the Indian Head cage, disappear after the purchase by Franklin. This Indian Head cage appeared on the 1910 and 1911 Forepaugh Sells Circus, but its history will be covered with the cages in part two.
(1) excerpts from:”The Grand Parade of 1910 and 1911, Forepaugh Sells Circus, Part One” – Bandwagon, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Mar-Apr), 1966, pp. 4-8.
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