Anonymous, ‘ Barnum & Bailey / Paradise Alley’, 1897, Rennert’s Gallery

One of the most interesting and unique of all circus poster images ever created. Here, for your amazéd eyes, are "The two greatest riders in horse sketches true / Of Paradise Alley and Fifth Avenoo." Paradise Alley, the deepest darkest den of Five Points (where the Bowery Boys and the Dead Rabbits battled in "Gangs of New York"), delivers a hardscrabble working-class gal, atop a rough nag (a sign around the horse's neck reads, "My chest is week" [sic]). Opposing her is the belle of Manhattan gentry, all silk and lace, standing upon a charging white Arabian stallion. In reality, they're Josie Ashton and Rose Wentworth, two of the greatest equestriennes in show business. They perform among a cavalcade of cheering clowns and little people, in a spectacle of the ages.

Publisher: Strobridge, Cincinnati

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