I spent Thursday and Friday at the extraordinary Brimfield Antique show in Central Massachusetts.   The show, which is held in May, June, and September, turns the tiny town of Brimfield, MA into a city of  about 5000 antique dealers and countless buyers.  Interesting items, great conversations, and fantastic carnival-type food all make for a fun day!

This year, I spotted an amazing piece of folk art: a hand-carved carousel from the mid-1800s.  The dealer told me that it was once part of a traveling medicine show and circus and was situated between the popcorn machine and the real carousel.  The toy carousel and figures were powered by steam, which caused the carousel to go around in circles and some of the figures to move, including a figure of a man who drops a milk bottle in front of a very stern-looking woman!  The material used for the toy’s tent was from an original Big Top.

The elderly man who the dealer bought this piece from said the circus show was owned by members of his family and went out of business in the 1930’s.  He has a picture of himself as a boy standing in front of the working carousel!

If you’re interested in purchasing this one-of-a-kind piece, contact BRADLEYMICHAELS@AOL.com!



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This entry was posted on Saturday, July 17th, 2010 at 2:13 pm and is filed under Automated Toys. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One comment

1.  Betty
July 15th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Such an interesting piece. So glad you were able to take photos to share. Its nice to know that things like this can still turn up at antique shows. Thanks.

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