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Costume Jewelry Circus

Posted by Laurie Zeiden on

Reading an article about the history of circuses, I learned that the Mattel Toy Company owned Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1971 through 1983. Mattel owns Barbie Doll and Barbie was created by the Handlers who previously were co-owners of the Elzac Jewelry Company. Did you follow that? I found it interesting and this odd connection of circus and costume jewelry got me thinking. I decided to see what costume jewelry pieces I could find with circus motifs. 



Unsigned Mixed Metals Pin

Unsigned Enamel Pin

Unsigned Pin

Sinister Lisner Pin

Silver Pin by Lang

Unsigned Pin

Boucher Pin

Pin by AJC

Silver Charm Bracelet

Silver Earrings

Unsigned Pin

How many Ringling Brothers were there? Five. They were called "Kings of the Circus World." Two younger brothers joined them years after the company's initial success. And then there were seven.


Bracelet by Robert Kiefer

Pin by AJC

Unsigned Pin

900 Silver Pin

Napier Pin

800 Silver Charm

Silver Brooch

Unsigned Pin

Pin by Kenneth Jay Lane

Toshikane Silver Elephants Bracelet

800 Silver Spinner Fob

Unsigned Pin

Silver Pin

White Gold and Carved Ivory Brooch

Hobe Pin

Silver Bracelet by James Avery

Clara Pfeiffer Pendant


Pins by Gerrys

Silver Puffy Hearts

Unsigned Pin

Georg Jensen Pin

Clara Pfeiffer Cuff Bracelet

If the circus band plays John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever, it's a code signaling disaster, danger or a life-threatening situation. It's know as "The Disaster March" in the circus world.

The music is a cue to initiate emergency evacuation. The song has been played during circus performances when a dangerous animal has escaped, but the most famous use of the warning occurred at the 6 July 1944 performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, when a canvas big top caught fire.


The Ringmaster (Charlie Chaplin Fur Clip)

Admission to the first Ringling Bros. Circus was one penny.





JJ Cherub Pin

Silver Jumping Jack Charm

Gymnastics Medallion

When P.T. Barnum became associated with a small travelling circus, the company's name was changed to this mouthful - P.T. Barnum's Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan and Hippodrome. And later the name was extended to include "The Greatest Show on Earth."


Cookie and Alexander Charms

Enamel Pins

Silver Pin from Mexico

I hope you enjoyed this visit to the circus. For all your circus costume jewelry needs, be sure to see what's available in my shop.

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