Of A Different Color To Be Sold At Auction
Take a free farewell ride on San Diegos 113-year-old carousel.
rare breed of endangered animals will take a final spin in San Diego
on April 17th when the 113-year-old Seaport Village carousel will
go on the auction block. It is one of the oldest and few remaining
antique wooden carousels still operating in America.
many generations carousel horses, revolving majestically to band
organ music, summons wonderful memories of childhood. The Golden
Age of the American carousel lasted 50 years, from 1880-1930. Sadly,
of the more than three thousand hand carved wooden carousels built
prior to the Great Depression, fewer than 70 of the grand Park
style carousels like the one at Seaport Village still survive.
Many folk art lovers regard wooden carousels as living museums.
Hand carved carousel figures that once graced merry-go-round platforms
are eagerly sought after by folk art collectors. Some single carvings
have sold for more them $150,000. Several of the Seaport Village
carousel dog carvings are thought to worth upwards of $50,000 each.
maker of the Seaport Village carousel was Charles Looff a pioneer
carousel artist. His first carousel was erected on Coney Island
Beach in New York during the summer of 1876. His early carousels
were exciting mixtures of menagerie figures (non-horses) plus the
ever-popular horses. Looff was an early amusement park tycoon. He
primarily built carousels that he operated himself, and then went
on to California around 1909 where he built entire amusement piers
in Santa Monica, Santa Cruz and Long Beach. His piers at Santa Monica
and Santa Cruz still are in use. With his wife and six children
they lived in the second floor of the carousel building on the old
Long Beach Pike.
Seaport Village Carousel has had many owners since it was built
around 1890. It operated briefly at Coney Island before moving to
Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts. The carousel was the result of the
combined talents of two immigrants William F. Mangels and
Charles Looff. Mangels was the reigning wizard of carnival rides.
His company manufactured the carousel machinery with the hand-carved
animals coming from Looff.
3-row flying horse machine carries 46 Looff animals, made up of
40 standing and jumping horses plus 3 magnificent dogs, and 3 unique
goats. The non-horses are much more valuable then the equine carvings.
1933 the old carousel was converted from steam to electricity, and
began operating it under the name of Broadway Flying Horses
at Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts. Where is ran for over 40 years.
In 1976, the carousel was sold and within a year moved to Seaport
Village. Initial restoration efforts began in 1977 under the supervision
of a professional carousel restorer. Many of the animals needed
extensive repair that included stripping off several layers of park
paint to expose the bare bass wood, missing parts
were replaced. This accomplished, the animals were sealed, sanded,
and painted with the final artistic paint they presently wear. Finally,
the German, c.1914, 52-key, 175 pipe Gebruder Bruder Waldkirch Band
Organ, which many fans consider the heart of the carousel was completely
Seaport Village Carousel opened for business during the summer of
1980 where it has delighted tourist and residents of San Diego daily
for the past 24 years. In 2002, over a quarter million dollars was
invested in the restoration of the century old carousel mechanism.
Click on the web site http://carousel.com/seaport/ to learn more
about the restoration work by Brass Ring Entertainment. The carousel
now operates as smooth at the day it was built and will hopefully
provide another century of joy, which speaks well for the original
carousel will operate dally until the auction. The public is invited
to come out and take a final free farewell ride for the first 50
children on the grand old carousel, beginning Saturday April 10
and each day until the auction, April 17th. Bring your kids and
camera for a last ride before the carousel leaves San Diego forever.
Auctioneers will sell the carousel. The 37-year-old Coldwater, MI.
firm specializes in the sale of amusement parks, zoos and other
important tourist attractions. Auctioneer, David Norton has personally
auction off over 150 complete carousels. The Seaport Village carousel
will be sold at absolute auction, without reserve, regardless of
the final selling price.
a carousel is worth more if the animals are sold off individually,
but the owners want to see the historic machine stay intact. The
Seaport Village Carousel will be sold as a complete unit that means
the carousel will not be split up! One bid buys it all! Saturday,
April 17th 1:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Bayside Hotel in
San Diego. It is hoped the carousel will find a new home after leaving
San Diego at a shopping mall, theme park or possible a museum.
has even been some interest in returning it to its old home back
in Massachusetts. A color brochure of the complete carousel and
band organ is available from Norton Auctioneers by calling 517-279-9063
or for more information and detailed pictures go to their web site
Auctioneers of Michigan, Inc.
W. Pearl Street, Coldwater, MI 49036
(517) 279-9063; Fax (517) 279-9191; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>