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Barnum's Great Menagerie

play set

This play set depicting figures of exotic animals and a structure in which to house them probably refers to part of P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome, an enterprise the great entertainer established with William Cameron Coup in 1871. The menagerie concept began in the collections of wild and common animals kept by European royalty during the Middle Ages and Renaissance to demonstrate their power and wealth. The traveling menageries of 18th-century Europe inspired similar entertainment in the United States. Eventually, mobile menageries in 19th-century America combined with traveling circuses and presented colossal shows--leading Barnum in 1872 to call his business The Greatest Show on Earth.

  • Manufacturer: Elastolin
  • Material: painted wood | lithographed paper | wire | composition
  • Origin: USA
  • Object ID: 111.1037
Creative Commons License