José working on carousel horse for client
The word "Carousel" is derived from the words "garosello" (Italian) and "carosella" (Spanish), both of which mean "little war" and were used to describe the serious game which Italian and Spanish crusaders saw Arabian and Turkish horsemen playing in the twelfth century: little clay balls filled with scented water were tossed back and forth between the riders; losers were those who missed a catch and smelled of perfume for days as a consequence.
From the time that the crusaders brought this game back to Europe, to early in America's history, the Carousel became a central part of a magnificent social event, as crowds of people in their "Sunday best" would climb aboard a favorite steed or just sit and listen to the lively music.
During the early 1900s, portable carousels found their way to Mexico in increasing numbers as part of traveling carnivals and fairs. Such machines greatly influenced the carvers who went on to pioneer the Mexican carousel industry. Unfortunately, the financial distress resulting from the global economic depression of the 1930s provoked a final, conclusive end to the "golden age" of hand-carved wooden carousels.
Tucked away in a small shop in south eastern New Mexico, José, an elderly Mexican-American, is bringing back the artistry of the hand-carved Mexican carousel horse. Using the traditional construction methods of the old masters, José creates one-of-a-kind, uniquely individual wooden horses. He is able to provide them in bare wood, as shown in the photo above, or elaborately painted to your specifications.
The full-sized bare wood carousel horses, as seen above, begin at $1000.00.
"Primed" horses are completely and precisely carved with all of your chosen trappings and detailing. They are assembled, sanded, and three coats of primer are applied. Meticulous sanding between primer coats creates a porcelain-like finish, which will easily accept paints. This is a "canvas" for the artist who is ready to take on a three-dimensional challenge. The figure is ready to be transformed by your paints, your talent and your love, into the horse of your dreams. Primed horses start at $1500.00
Completely finished hand painted horses start at $2000.00
A polished brass pole and a beautifully finished wooden stand can be added per your specifications at an additional fee so your finished horse will be complete and ready to display in your home. For more information please contact José at: Carousel Horse. He will be happy to call you at your convenience to discuss styles, designs, unique specifications, and colors to meet your needs.
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