Antique Carousel or Not?

This information is provided to help you avoid being taken for being naive and uninformed.  Your best approach to purchasing and Antique Carousel Horse is to be prepared. We always suggest you try to deal with an experienced, reputable Carousel Dealer. Many others will give you all kinds of stories (and we have heard some gems),  just remember the 1st rule....if it sounds too good to be probably isn't true!

  • 1. If you do find a wood horse and want it to be identified or make sure of what you are purchasing, most Carousel people would be glad to help should expect to pay for this service, this is what these people do for a living...... it is usually under $50. and would be well worth it to you to be sure. ( We charge $25. and require photos of both sides of the animal , top , bottom , and any details on it. and $50. for a full history and details)
  • 2. You should learn as much as you can, there are many fine Carousel books out there, we have several in stock too, and check your local library.
  • 3. The Boats are in...several boat loads of reproduction carousel horses, and lately I have been seeing a small Cow, and a Frog, are appearing again in the market place. We reiterate, there is nothing wrong with these IF they are sold to you as Current carvings or Repliques, or Reproductions. These are decorative sculptures, not of investment quality nor have any provanence (history,lineage). These were NEVER on Carousels, but produced for the American market. Oh another new antique out is the copy of the French Bicycle (Veloipede) Horse). He has a Bicycle chain under his neck.
  • 4. Most Antique Carousel Horse are Hollow, with the head, neck, legs, tail all carved seperatly, and PERMANENTLY ATTACHED. The ears and tails were never left detachable.....
  • 5. Carving on the two sides of a Carousel Horse are not the same, since you did not see the inside of the horse from the viewing areas, the companies did not spend the money to have the horses detailed on both sides (except some English and European Horses). Jewels were usually on the outside only, but there are always a few exceptions.
  • 6. Carousel manes were on the outside of the horse , just like a live one, not on both sides , not the same on both sides, does not look like they were carved with a little rake.
  • 7. Authentic carvings are smooth and well finished, no chisel marks or rough areas.
  • 8. The hole and pole go all the way through the horse and match up (except Track machine horses, they have no top pole).
  • 9. Latest scam , is to strip the horse and leave it out in the weather to crack and age.
  • 10. Coca Cola did NOT make any carousel horses, these are all illegal Mexican reproductions on illegally copied Coca Cola bases. They were never on carousels, and never associated with Coca Cola. © Carousel Workshop All rights reserved