Gautiers Menagerie in France

CollectionKept totally 1, 0 present (0,0,0), 0 births, 0 relocated, 1 deaths
LocationFaucon, Avignon, France
Type: private

The founder of the circus dynasty Gautier, Jean Baptiste Gautier (1758-1823), from Faucon in Avignon, was exhibiting a menagerie together with his wife Rose Louise de Lefevre, daughter Victoiare, the sons Jean Leonard (Baptiste), Joseph and Didier, and his assistant Mr Antoni Agazzi, who married Gautiers daughter Victoiare 1805.

1779: Gautier bought an asian elephant in London, which he exhibited in Preussia, Poland, Russia and Finland.

Jean Baptiste Gautier toured with the asian elephant, Vervet monkeys, parrots, dogs, and a trained horse from St. Petersburg to Finland in 1804, then in September 1804 to Sweden 1804-1807, from May 1807 in Denmark and after this to Germany.

The son Didier Gautier returned with a circus to Sweden in 1830, and became a Swedish citizen. In 1831 he was granted permission to build a permanent circus building on Djurgården in Stockholm. The builing took fire later, and was rebuilt as present Djurgårdscircus. In 1869 Didi Gautier sold his circus Didier Gautiers menagerie to Adèle Houcke.

But Didis brother Jean Leonard (Baptiste) had a son, Jean-Baptiste (1841-1915) who had 10 sons, the son Leonard (1866-1955) started circus Leonard Gautier in Denmark 1900, and some of his sons started in Sweden Cirkus Bröderna Gautier (Gautiers Bros circus).

One of the broters, Louis (Lulu, 1887-1949), was rider and animal trainer and came with Hagenbecks Circus to Sweden in 1945, engaged by Trolle Rhodins Zoo Circus. Lulus daughter Ingeborg Gautier (born 1929) married Trolle Rhodin, who also hired Hagenbecks Circus elephants and their trainer Hugo Schmitt in 1945. Trolle and Ingeborgs daughter Diana Rhodin presented two african elephants from 1980 to 2002, when one of the elephants died. The second elephant died in 2009, as Swedens only circus elephant, some 200 years after the first elephants was exhibited in Sweden.

Records about from William "Buckles" Woodcocks Blog at http://www.bucklesw.blogspot.com/


Louis “Lulu” Gautier and Edith Gautier, presumably his wife, came to RBBB for its 1947 edition. Both are listed in the route book for that year. I do not know if Axel had been born at that time.

Louis Gautier presented his horses in an end ring in Display 15. In the center was Czeslan Mroczkowski (pronounced “March-kowski”) with his wife Gena in the other end ring. She performed under the name “Mrs Gena Lipkowska.”

All of these were “First Time in America” performers. Johnny North had gone to Europe and really loaded up the 1947 show with new foreign performers. They were all from countries besides Germany because the visa authorities were trying to sort out who had been a Nazi and who had not. That was a real problem for a number of years after the War.

Even Lorenz Hagenbeck was initially prevented from coming to America. He got the Ringling show to intercede on his behalf through renowned Washington attorney (and CFA honcho) Mel Hildreth. He had a lot of influence and the show regularly used him.

Of course, Rudolph Matthies and Hugo Schmitt were both Germans and veteran Hagenbeck animal men. That notwithstanding, they got into the USA for RBBB’s 1947 edition. Seemingly, they did so because they came out of Sweden, not Germany. The Gautiers were with them.

All of them had been performing with the Hagenbeck circus (Lulu Gautier had horses and zebras). Late in 1944 Lorenz Hagenbeck sent them out of Germany to Sweden for Trolle Rhodin and his family circus. Lorenz wanted to get them away from the destruction and devastation looming over Germany.
Richard Reynolds, Buckles blog, 13 February, 2009.

http://bucklesw.blogspot.com/2009/02/hagenbeck-circus-6.html




Lulus son Axel Gautier(1887-1949), went as assistant to Hugo Schmitt to Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baileys Circus in 1947, when they bought the elephants from Hagenbecks Circus. Axel Gautier remained with the Ringling show to replace Hugo Schmitt in 1970, and was in charge of the Blue Unit's elephant herd through 1989.

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