\"Clown Who Fell In Lions Cage\" Pio Nock Hand Signed 5X3.5 Photograph COA For Sale

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\"Clown Who Fell In Lions Cage\" Pio Nock Hand Signed 5X3.5 Photograph COA:

Up for sale a RARE! One Of A Kind!!\"Clown Who Fell In Lions Cage\" Pio Nock Signed 5X3.5 Photograph. This is the only known signed photo to exist.This item is certified authentic by Todd Mueller Autographs andcomes with their Certificate of Authenticity.


THE OLD cliche of the broken-hearted clownbecame reality for Pio Nock in May when his wife of 50 years, Alexandra, died.But the show went on, and, even at the age of 77, Nock remained a star, andcontinued to perform. He died performing before a packed audience at a wintercircus in Dortmund, Germany. Towards the end of his number, he fell from hischair into the sawdust and was taken to hospital, where the doctors were unableto resuscitate him. Even as they tried to do so, his granddaughter Nina Cortes continuedthe performance, hiding her own emotions as she carried out a high-wire act hergrandfather had taught her. It was the opening night of the Christmas seasonand the public could not be disappointed. Nock came from Switzerland, a countrythat has created many of the finest clowns, including the Chickys, Pic,Dimitri, Andreff, Emil Steinberger, the cabarettist who made a sensationaltransition into the circus ring, and the television stars Duo Fischbach, aswell as the greatest clown of all, Grock (Adrien Wettach, 1880-1959), whoretired from the ring at the age of 74. Nock, however, could not bring himselfto retire from the life into which he was born. Pio Nock could trace his circusheritage back to 1770, when the dynasty was founded by Jakob Nock. Pio was borninto the sixth generation, in Berne in 1921, the second son of Julio Pius andAmanda Nock. His brothers and sisters, Charles, Anneliese, Edith, Lotti, Erika,Eugen and Elizabeth, all became circus performers. Eugen, Charles and Elizabethstarred in London in 1953 at Tom Arnold\'s Harringay Arena Circus with theirdeath- defying exploits at the top of three 70ft-high swaying poles, beforegoing to America, where they established new branches of the Nock family. Thebasis of the Nock dynasty\'s performing artistry lay in their early exploits asitinerant highwire walkers. They gave al fresco open-air displays in thestreets and market places of Switzerland, and the tradition of Nockwire-walkers has persisted to the present. As soon as Pio could walk, he beganhis training. In 1929, his mother and father founded their own travelling show,Arena Pius Nock, which gave open-air performances, in which all the childreneventually took part. Pio\'s grandmother, Alexandra Josefina Strohschneider wasstill dancing on the high wire at the age of 74. In 1946, in Lucerne, Nockmarried Alexandra Buhlmann, a member of another Swiss circus family, and asPio\'s youngest sister Erika married Alexandra\'s brother Moritz Buhlmann, it wasnatural for Nock to graduate to the Buhlmanns\' family show, Circus Pilatus.Moritz Buhlmann was the family daredevil performer, the projectile in the humancannonball act and the show\'s lion trainer. It was not long before Nock andBuhlmann had devised a new thrill act, with Nock clowning on the high wirewhile below him sat seven hungry lions waiting for their prey to fall into thecage. His surefootedness, despite his crazy antics, ensured that he neverbecame part of their diet. In 1948, in addition to training horses and ponies,Nock turned his talents to clowning full-time, creating a lovable character whowas at first partnered by the white-face clown Angelo and then by Max vanEmbden, Grock\'s former partner. He created a classical slapstick and musicalclowning act which stood the test of time, and which he performed around theworld for 50 years. After the Circus Pilatus closed, Nock and his growingfamily travelled extensively with leading circuses in Portugal, Spain andFrance, to Israel and Turkey, Holland, Germany and many other countries,topping the bill wherever he went. For the Christmas season of 1960/61, he cameto England for the first time, appearing in the King\'s Hall, Manchester, withthe Belle Vue International Circus in the clown act and, with his wife, in thecomedy highwire number performed above Buhlmann\'s lions. Later he took hisson-in-law, Mario Cortes, as his white-face clown and faire-valoir, and membersof his family joined him in the highwire act, in which he appeared above theswimming pool in Bournemouth at George Baines\'s Aqua Show. Three generations ofNocks appeared in Mary Chipperfield\'s Circus at Pleasureland, Southport, forthe summer season of 1989, Pio Nock\'s last appearance in England. In the 1960sNock worked in Germany with the Circus Paula Busch and went on to joinGermany\'s huge Circus Franz Althoff. He played a major role in the epicAmerican circus film, The Magnificent Showman, or Circus World as it was knownoutside Britain. Made by Samuel Bronston in 1964, it starred John Wayne,Claudia Cardinale, Rita Hayworth and Lloyd Nolan, with Nock and Max van Embdenin their clown acts. Nock continued to enjoy enormous success in his nativeland, and was featured by the renowned Swiss National Circus Knie on severaloccasions. He was in their special programme for Expo 64 in Lausanne and againin Knie\'s own 50th jubilee programme in 1968. He appeared in America for sevenyears with \"The Greatest Show on Earth\", the Ringling Brothers andBarnum and Bailey Circus. During this time, Nock sustained a fall from 10metres up on the wire. He fell directly into the wild animal cage containing adozen or more fierce lions and lionesses and it was only thanks to the quickactions of the trainer Wolfgang Holzmair, who herded them swiftly out of thecage and back to their living quarters, that his life was saved. Although heestablished a second home in Sarasota, Florida, close to the winter home of theRingling show, he never appeared in America again. He returned to Knie for the1976 season and was subsequently invited back in 1978 for Knie\'s 60th jubileecelebrations, and yet again in 1994 for its 75th anniversary. Pius\"Pio\" Nock, clown and high-wire performer: born Berne, Switzerland 10November 1921; married 1946 Alexandra Buhl-mann (died 1998; two sons, onedaughter); died Dortmund, Germany 4 December 1998.

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