The Devil in the Circus – 19th century wood Folk Art Carving



Salvaged from the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus Train Disaster

An authentic South East Asian inspired wooden devil face. This hand-carved sculpture originally adorned an exotic 19th-century circus wagon but on June 22, 1918, it would become part of a tragedy that would be described as the worst rail disaster in US history and certainly the most infamous circus tragedy. Eighty-six members of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus were killed and another 127 were injured when their train was hit near Hammond, Indiana. For almost a century this Devil head was lost in the ruins of debris stored in a barn near the original crash site before being discovered.

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