Cristiani Brothers Circus in United States

Cristiani Brothers Circus


OwnerPete Cristiani and Norma Davenport
First elephant arrived1953
Last elephant left1960
Closed down1960
Country United States

Directors 1953-1960: Pete Cristiani (assistant director)
1953-1960: Norma Cristiani (assistant director)

Key People: Tosca Canestrelli (artist)
-: Vicky Cristiani (animal trainer)
-: Bonnie Cristiani (artist)
-: Antoinette Cristiani (animal trainer)
1953-1954: Corky Cristiani (animal trainer)
1953-1960: Oscar Cristiani (animal trainer)
1953-1960: Lucio Cristiani (animal trainer)
1953-1960: Belmonte Cristiani (animal trainer)
1953-1960: Paul Cristiani (animal trainer)
1953-1960: Daviso Cristiani (animal trainer)
1953-1960: Gilda Cristiani (animal trainer)
1953-1960: Jane Cristiani (animal trainer)
1953-1960: Toni Cristiani (animal trainer)
1953-1960: Deliah Cristiani (animal trainer)


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Record history
History of updates2022-04-04

Latest document update2022-04-04 07:16:53

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Cristiani Brothers Circus, United States , was founded in 1953 and the first elephant arrived in 1953. The last elephant left in 1960. Cristiani Brothers Circus closed down in 1960.

Comments / picturesThe Italian family Cristiani first appeared in the USA with Ringling Bros Circus at Madison Square Garden, in March 1934 after John Ringling North convinced the family to suspend their circus operations in Italy and agree to come to America.

Cristiani Brothers Circus in United States United+StatesCristiani family, 1936

After a few seasons they went over to Cole Bros Circus and other circuses, until they started their own circus in 1953.

"Dailey Bros. owner Ben Davenport gave daughter Norma five elephants--Norma, Mary, Maude, Bessie and Konti--in 1950 as a wedding present after she married Pete Cristiani. They became the Norma Cristiani elephants and were used on various circuses and Shrine dates until (according to Norma) she sold them to Beatty-Cole in 1960." Lane Talburt

Pete and Norma had sold the five Norma Cristiani elephants to the Beatty-Cole show in the late 1950s. The Norma Davenport (Cristiani) Five act went to Beatty-Cole during he winter of 1959-1960. Steve Fanning came with the act and was boss of the Herd in 1960.

1950: Pete and Norma joined the rest of the Cristiani family who were working with the King Bros. Circus owned by showman Floyd King.

1953: After touring with King Bros. and Cristiani Circus, the Cristiani family took their own Cristiani Bros. Circus on tour.

1958: The Cristiani circus was the second largest in North America next to Ringling Bros. Barnum &Bailey.

1960: Circus economics changed, forcing the show to close.

2021: Corcaita Cristiani (Corky) passed away as the last of the original Cristiani Family.

References for records about Cristiani Brothers Circus

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2024). Cristiani Brothers Circus, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

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