Circus Poster and Carved Lion

It’s a circus poster! What child doesn’t love the colors and promised excitement of the circus? This artwork would look great in a child’s room. And Leo, my heavy, handsome lion, is ready to stand guard.

Let me back up, though. I visited an estate sale at the home of an adult circus enthusiast. Circus plates, figurines, even vinyl records–this house had it all. I bought the poster, selecting it from many, because it looked visually arresting but more importantly it was the one I could afford.

This poster features Madame Olympia Desvall, a German-born equestrian. A New York Times article from 1907 described Madame as a “graceful rider with a troup [sic] of well-trained dogs.” Her Barnum & Bailey act included horses, ponies, and birds, all of which followed her around the ring, performing various tricks. Look at those dogs somersaulting and spinning in wheels. One horse has wings. Just how high can he soar?

But Madame and menagerie needed a frame, which David produced after scouting out a few sales. Plain oak with a band of white linen. Nothing special to see here. In fact, the whole thing is rather a yawn.

Circus Poster in Wood Frame

I painted it with ASCP Old Ochre and used Arles on the linen band but haven’t added wax yet in this photo:

Circus Poster with Painted Frame

It still wasn’t where it needed to be, so I added Clear Wax followed by Dark Wax to warm it up and give it some age. It’s hard to see the wax on the left side of the photo below because light washes it out. A mat and glass came next, secured at a new local frame shop. I love how the complete package turned out. The frame and mat are neutral enough to draw the eye to the vivid  circus colors.

Circus Poster with Matte and Frame

We carried the artwork into our booth at Avonlea Antique Mall and positioned the mighty Leo next to it. I really hope they can be sold as a set. Leo’s body color matches the linen stripe on the frame. Good luck, Madame, wherever your new adventures lead you. Take Leo with you.

Circus Poster with Carved Lion 2Ann Marie and David

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6 Comments on A Circus Poster To Frame

  1. Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces
    January 16, 2015 at 3:34 pm (4 years ago)

    This poster is really enhanced with the frame paint change…and with the little lion, it’s pure whimsy! Love it! Bet it sells quickly!

    Reply
    • irisabbey
      January 16, 2015 at 3:58 pm (4 years ago)

      Hello, again. Thanks for your kind comments. I’ve got to tell you, though, that Leo Lion is carved from solid wood which may be mahogany. He is a heavy boy — whom I love.

      Reply
  2. Cindy
    January 22, 2015 at 7:58 am (4 years ago)

    My son loved lions and the circus when he was a little boy, these would have been perfect for him. The frame looks amazing!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY.
    Blessings,
    Cindy

    Reply
    • irisabbey
      January 22, 2015 at 8:51 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Cindy, for your kind words. I really hope they are purchased as a pair because they go so well together.

      Reply
  3. Melody @ My Passion For Decor
    January 27, 2015 at 3:51 pm (4 years ago)

    I wish I lived close by! I would buy this in a heartbeat…as a set. I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for vintage circus items, but I’ve yet to buy any! Great job!! Thanks for linking up at the Be~YOU~tiful link party!

    Reply
    • irisabbey
      January 27, 2015 at 7:58 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks for your comment, Melody. It means a lot. I agree that the lion and circus poster make a great combo. I just realized (I think) that you and Karin are co-hosting the Be~YOU~tiful link party. That’s great!

      Reply

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