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Our New Find, Summer 2008!

Another Armitage Herschell Carousel Track Horse
circa 1900 or so...

What is a track horse carousel?
These were carousels where the horses were fastened on the end of beams
(set up like spokes of a wagon wheel) on a circular platform.
The horses were connected with metal fasteners that pivoted allowing the
horses to rock back and forth as they traveled in a circle.

This horse was used as a store display in an upscale Minnesota furniture store for over 30 years. He is in pretty good shape for his age, however, it appears that somewhere along the line someone felt the need to "antique" him: There appears to be gouges in unusual places, sanded off parts (that look like someone hit him with a belt sander) and various other "antique-ing" techniques. This will be quite a challenge all in of itself because the issues are not from normal wear. We will probably be taking him mostly apart -- although we haven't even stripped him yet to do a full assessment. Check back in the fall for any progress...

Notice his pole: it's in the wrong spot. Normally if a pole is in the middle of a saddle the horse is a fake. However, we can recognize from his construction that he is authentic and that someone along the way (probably for the store display) decided to turn him into a carousel horse (he was a track horse with no pole when he rode track machine -- precursor to a carousel machine).

It's going to be an interesting challenge for Tom: remove the pole and cut a matching wood plug to fill it.

These pictures show where the track machine metal plate to attach him to the machine would be -- but is not there now. It appears that someone created a wood plate with a thin metal plate on the bottom to accomodate for the space that was left from the missing hardware. (look under the saddle-strap, bottom of horse to see the thick piece of wood that was cut to conform to the bottom of the horse).

Back leg joint.

The cantel is very pretty and in reasonably good shape.

Here is a good example of "antique-ing" -- The hooves appear to be sanded round (this is not normal wear).

Here's another example of some intentional damage done to this horse: there is a large (what appears to be) sanded gouge on top of the front leg. Not normal damage -- very smooth, very deliberate. Unfortunately someone took gouges out of this horse in several places. *Also notice the globs of what appears to be epoxy on the knees. We'll find out more when the horse is stripped.

The cloth tail was cut off by the seller. It will get a horsehair tail when restored. (It originally had a horsehair tail).
Until the weather gets cold, [it's just too beautiful in Wisconsin during the warm weather to stay in for long periods...] our new horse (not named yet) will be spending alot of quality time with Sally in our living room.