2014 49¢ Dainty Miss Leitzel
Vintage Circus Posters
This stamp is one of eight designs included in the Vintage Circus Posters stamps. Each pane includes stamps in two sizes: large horizontal stamps (2” X 1.46”) and smaller vertical stamps (1.12” X 1.46”).
Throughout history, acrobatic troupes traveled by wagon to perform throughout Europe. Usually a family-based business, the skills of the trade were often passed down from parents to children.
Circus acrobats can include floor tumblers, aerialists, jugglers, wire-walkers, gymnasts, or any combination. For the better part of the 20th century, one of the most famous acrobatic troupes, the Flying Wallendas, were best known for their work on the high-wire.
The Wallenda family began as a traveling circus troupe in the 1780s, perfecting the family skills in high-wire and trapeze stunts over the course of a century. In the 1920s, German-born Karl Wallenda continued the family tradition, eventually taking his own act on tour. Soon recruited by John Ringling, his troupe performed in the United States for the first time in 1928. They received a 15-minute standing ovation, the longest show stopper in circus history.
After headlining for Ringling Bros., Barnum and Bailey for nearly 20 years, Karl started his own circus in 1947. The Wallendas brought new feats to the high-wire, amazing audiences for another 30 years. Karl Wallenda never retired, but performed until his death at age 73. In his words, “life is being on the wire, everything else is just waiting.”
The Vintage Circus Poster stamps were designed to look like circus posters of the 19th century. Some of these original posters were big enough to cover the side of a building and they advertised that the circus was coming to town.
49¢ Vintage Circus Posters, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: May 5, 2014
City: Sarasota, FL, at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Printing Method: Lithographed, sheets of 96 with six panes of 16 per sheet
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11