gallery ~ male performers

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Andy Sole
Andy Sole, jockey rider in Sole Bros Circus, 1922.
Andy Sole jockey rider


Tex Bailey and his Posing Dogs
The American Tex Bailey and his posing dogs appeared as Bailey's Posing Dogs, Brennan's National Ampitheatre, Sydney, 1913, here depicting a scene called 'The Hunter'
Tex Bailey and his Posing Dogs in 1913


The renowned French ropewalker, Jean Francois Gravelet, known professionally as Blondin, won international fame in 1859 for walking a tightrope above Niagara Falls. Blondin performed before enormous crowds when he toured Australia in 1874 and again in 1875.

Blondin tightrope walker


This young Javanese boy, apprenticed to FitzGerald Bros Circus in the early 1900s, was presented to Australian audiences as Lycurgus on the prize pony Silver King.
Lycurgus on the pony Silver King


Colonel Ike Austin
Colonel Ike Austin, whose correct name was Isaac Putnam Smith, was an American Civil War veteran who became a professional sharpshooter after the end of hostilities. By 1884, he had arrived in Australia to give exhibitions of his shooting skills in circuses and sideshows. This image was published in the Australian Town and Country Journal, 5 January 1884.
Colonel Ike Austin


Robert Taylor, 1833-1917
The young Robert Taylor juggled a large globe with his feet in Ashton's Circus in 1855. In 1873, Taylor entered into partnership with the circus proprietor, Henry Burton, in a circus styled Burton & Taylor's Grand United Circus. Later in life, Taylor gave away circus work to become a preacher. He died at Castlemaine, Victoria in 1917.

Mr R. Taylor juggling in Ashton's circus 1855


Golding 'James Henry' Ashton, 1820-1889
The son of an Essex tinker, Golding Ashton was one of Australia's earliest circus identities. He made his first appearances as a bareback rider in Hobart Town in 1848. By 1852, he had formed his own circus and eventually adopted the professional name of 'James Henry' Ashton. He died at Gladstone, Queensland in 1889. His descendants continue to conduct Ashton's Circus to this day.
Golding Ashton one of Australia's earliest circus identities.