Auntique & Uncle Tony

Sellers of Antique Bookends, Vintage Glass, & Collectibles

Nuart

Circa 1930

“Diving Horse”

Price: SOLD

“Diving Horse” – Nuart Creations   – circa 1930.  Gray metal with bronze finish.  6” high x  7-1/2” long x 2-1/2” deep.  Weighs 6-1/2 lbs. the pair.  Inscribed Nuart Creations, Made in USA.  Original felt on bottom. Minor age-related wear to finish. Fabulous art deco bookends nearly impossible to find, especially in this wonderful condition.  They are listed in two reference books as “Drug Trip”, I suppose because the rider is nude.  If I had my way, I’d call them  The Steel Pier Diving Horse, from Atlantic City’s history.  These are among the most elegant bookends of the deco era. 

# 3038

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Diving Horse by NuartDiving Horse by NuartDiving Horse by NuartPostcard from Atlantic City, NJ

The world’s most famous animal act was

Steel Pier’s Diving Horse in Atlantic City, NJ

Steel Pier originally opened in 1898. In it’s heyday from the 1920s through the 1950s, it was the Nation’s Showplace in “Atlantic City, The Queen of Resorts.”  Everyone who was anyone played  there.  W. C. Fields was a member of the minstrel group that appeared during the Pier's inaugural season. Guy Lombardo, Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, Bob Hope, Amos 'n Andy,

Steel Pier promoSteel Pier's diving horse showSteel Pier's Diving Horse

Frank Sinatra - everyone played Steel Pier. It's been said that Big Bands weren't really big until they started to play on Steel Pier.

In 1925, George Hamid, a one time tumbler with the Buffalo Bill Circus who had a flair for presenting the most astounding outdoor circus entertainment, joined forces with the pier's owners to showcase the spectacles that launched a legend.

The Human Cannonball, the High Diving Hawaiians, Alvin "Shipwreck" Kelly - who set the world's record (seven weeks) for pole sitting and started a national craze and yes, the Diving Horse were all the ingenious work of George Hamid, who eventually purchased the pier in 1945.