A Rare and Unusual Miniature Carousel, Dutch, circa 1900. Carved and polychromed wood, with electric motor and lights. This unusual piece is a handmade, miniature replica of a European, steam-driven salon Carousel of Louis Quinze design. It is a model of Anton Brenner's "Feeenplast" salon that stood in Amsterdam in the late 19th-century and was built by Alexander Devos. The scale of this miniature is about one inch to one foot, and it has not been determined whether it was intended as a salesman's sample or as a model of the original. The salon carousel was a popular entertainment in Europe, housing bars, restaurants and even a dance floor under one roof as a giant merry-go-round. The Rococo façade measures 72 inches long and 35 inches high, with a horseshoe-shaped outer wall consisting of twenty highly decorative mirrored panels. The rotating platform within these walls carries six gondolas and six horse teams. The gondolas, although they vary in design, are of the "Heyn" rocking style and rock from side to side in an orbital motion. Each team of "Hubner" style horses is graduated in style, and two teams contain a "Hubner" pig ridden by a "Carl Muller" clown. The horse teams move fore and aft to simulate running. The entire unit turns in a clockwise direction as most European carousels. Although the miniature may have originally been steam driven, when the carousel was discovered it was wired with very old electric fixtures: hand-wrapped transformers, intricate mercury switches, and receptacles and wiring for European 220 voltage. These were replaced with modern American wiring to power the 104 light bulbs, the motor for riding platform, and a tape-deck which plays Tangley calliophone music.
Measurements: h. 34 1/2", w. 74 1/2", d. 61"
Inventory number: AC4749