Project Description

Africa Tableau

(1903 in winter quarters – Richard Conover collection)

The America Tableau was built by the Sebastian Wagon Co. of New York in the year of 1902. The order was placed on January 14, 1902 (1) while the Barnum & Bailey Circus was still in Europe in anticipation of their return to the US for the 1903 season. It was used by the Barnum and Bailey Circus during the 1903 and 1904 seasons. With the death of James A. Bailey on April 11, 1906, the Barnum & Bailey Circus was eventually sold to the Ringling Bros. in 1907. This created a change of ownership of this wagon even though it still toured on the Barnum & Bailey Circus.

(Conover Set # 2025, photo # 1)

The carvings from atop the Africa Tableau were removed and ultimately saved. In 1950, they were photographed at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan by Richard Conover. These carvings are not in the same configuration they were on top of the Africa Tableau, but they are the original carvings. These remain at the Henry Ford Museum to this day, but they are in storage and not on public display.