Barnum & Bailey parade wagon offered at Heritage Auctions

A 1903 Barnum & Bailey Circus parade wagon is set to cross the block at Heritage Auctions.

Known as the Two Hemispheres, it's regarded as the greatest circus wagon of all time.

Barnum Bailey Wagon
The wagon is over 28 feet long and required 40 horses to pull it

At over 28 feet long and weighing 13,600 pounds, it's certainly the largest. A team of 40 horses were required to move it.

It was created in New York, in the workshop of the Sebastian Wagon Company.

The carvings were produced by Samuel Robb, one of the most renowned carvers of cigar store Indians and other promotional figures of his era.

An exquisite Santa Claus carving he made for his daughter sold for $875,000 at Sotheby's in 2014.

The wagon cost an estimated $4,400 - which would have bought a large house in the early 1900s.  

The wagon was fully refurbished in the 1940s and has passed through a handful of owners in the intervening years, including the Circus Hall of Fame in Sarasota, Florida.

The auction house explains: "Very few of these behemoths have survived.

"Their very size and issues of maintenance led most to be abandoned or dismantled years ago, with only a few of the more dramatic carved adornments preserved."

The lot will auction with an opening bid of $250,000 in the Americana sale in Dallas on May 14.

Barnum & Bailey was the most famous circus of its era. It operated under the legendary tagline: "The Greatest Show on Earth".

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