Results of
Vintage Amusements : Sunday 15th February 2015

Our usual selection of Vintage Fairground Memorabilia, Carvings, Painted Artwork etc. Vintage Amusement Machines, Allwins, Bryans, One Arm Bandits, Viewers, Fortune Tellers etc. Circus Memorabilia, Posters, Props, Costumes etc. Vintage Shop Fittings, Advertising Art, Americana and other Intersting Collectables.

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Dolly Dimples (Celesta Geyer) Sideshow Panel
Dolly Dimples was the stage name of Celesta Geyer (née Herrmann) b.1901 - d.1982 - the most famous circus fat lady of all time. She was also known as Bonnie Sonora and Jolly Dolly Geyer.

She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on 18th July 1901 and grew up in a close-knit German-American family where over-eating was normal. Six times a day, the family sat down for large meals and substantial snacks. The young Celesta had developed a big appetite by the time she was six and preferred playing with candy rather than toys. Her parents' way of soothing Dolly's hurt feelings over the teasing of her classmates was to provide her with more home-cooked food. By the time she left school (she dropped out to escape the teasing of her classmates and to help contribute financially to her family) she weighed nearly 300 pounds. By her twenties she weighed nearly 400 pounds.

Her biography details the many painful incidents she endured growing up, while also recalling the insulated world provided to her by her loving family. Despite the emphasis on food in the family, Celesta seems to be the only one who developed a serious weight problem. Despite her girth, Celesta was a strikingly attractive woman and she had several suitors. Celesta worked in factories, sold cosmetics and worked as a manicurist before marrying Frank Geyer, a man of normal weight. By all accounts, Frank and Celesta had a happy marriage for over 40 years, but no children resulted.

In the late 1920s her husband lost his job at Ford Motor Company. As the Depression reduced his job prospects even further, financial need resulted in Celesta and Frank joining a travelling circus at the invitation of a professional fat lady who told Celesta that people were laughing at her anyway, so she should make them pay good money for the privilege. Celesta took the stage name "Dolly Dimples".

Dolly Dimples was billed as "The World's Most Beautiful Fat Lady". Also an accomplished singer and impersonator of celebrities of the day, such as Kate Smith, Dolly's act became a big draw on the sideshow circuit. Her husband also worked with the sideshow as a road assistant and acted as Dolly's manager. By the late 1930s they were working for the Ringling Brothers, the pinnacle of the traveling circuses. By this time, Dolly was consuming approximately 10,000 calories daily, enough for five average women. Her daily diet typically consisted of five pounds of meat, several pounds of potatoes, four loaves of bread, a gallon of milk, and almost two pounds of sugar primarily consumed in the form of baked goods and pastries. By the time she was in her 40's her weight peaked at 588 lbs and she sported measurements of 74.5-68-84 inches, with a height of 4ft-11in.

Dolly and Frank toured for over 20 years, wintering in a home they eventually established in Florida. The home became a haven for Dolly, away from the crowds and fitted out with suitably sized furniture and bathroom fixtures. During the winter months, she earned money by doing psychic readings from her home. Her weight eventually caused her to slow down and she began to suffer physically by her late 40s, making traveling with the circus more difficult.

After surviving a near fatal heart attack in 1950, Dolly followed a strict 800 calories per day diet and in little more than a year she reduced her weight to 112 pounds, maintaining the loss for the rest of her life. She regained her health and became an avid advocate of dieting and exercise. Dolly's weight loss was recognised as a world record by the Guinness Book of World Records. Her autobiography, "Diet or Die; The Dolly Dimples Weight Reducing Plan", was published in 1968 by F. Fell.

In her later years, Dolly ran a small art gallery. Frank died in the late 1960s, and Dolly/Celesta died in February 1982.

This wonderful painted panel was acquired by David & Karol Hooper in the early 1980's at a time when they were shipping container loads of "brown furniture" to the USA, and equal loads of "much more interesting stuff" back to the UK to fill their famous 4-storey shop in Regent Street here in Royal Leamington Spa (now the Thai Elephant Restaurant). Many will remember 'Dolly Dimples' being on display in pride of place in the Hoopers' shop - where she was never for sale at any price!

Now for the first time in 30 years Dolly is looking for a new home...



Giant Metal Trowel and Fork - Shop Signage



Fibreglass Clown Head
made in 1974



Enamel Sign



Bryans Elevenses Allwin
appears complete and working, original 1D payout tube sleeved to 2p coin size - nice easy project to convert back to old penny play and a fresh coat of varnish to restore to former glory



1920's Playball Allwin
all complete on old penny play with nice original finish to the cabinet and chromework.



Cast Iron Landrover Bell



Cast Iron Tractor Coat Hooks



Cast Iron Michelin Man in Racing Car



Cast Iron Animated Money Box



Cast Iron Michelin Man Money Box



2 Cast Iron Signs - Shell & Michelin



Cast Iron Landrover Sign



Cast Iron Railway Stop Sign



Retro Ashtray



Aristocrat Arcadian One Arm Bandit
good working order on 1p play with keys



Sega One Arm Bandit
in good working order with jackpot and escalator on 6d play with keys



Jubilee Deci-Coin One Arm Bandit
in working order with twin jackpots and keys on shilling play



Sega Bell One Arm Bandit
all original in good working order with jackpot and escalator on 6d play with keys



Duchess One Arm Bandit
working on old penny play with keys



Mills Lucky Devil Hi-Top One Arm Bandit
unusual model in nice condition, plays and pays on 6d size coins/tokens including US 1cent



Primus Wall Mounted One Arm Bandit



Mills Bandit Mechanism on 6D



Ornate Art Deco Trade Stimulator by Buckley
complete and operating, with working gum vender and original back door



Sneezy - 1930s Electro-Mechanical Light-Up Dice Machine
interesting little machine for restoration - looks to be complete. Dice mechanism and gum vending mechanism are working. Coin slide working on large old penny.



Original 1930/40's American Fire Call Box



Lovely Cast Metal Beech Nut Chewing Sweets Vending Machine
with key






Sega Light-Up One Arm Bandit
in absolutely stunning fully restored condition working on 1p coins



Jennings Club Chief One Arm Bandit
on 6d play