A rare mythical creature highlights the magical merry-go-round at Bonhams

Carousel and Circus Memorabilia and Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata
4 Dec 2012
Los Angeles

Los Angeles – International auctioneers, Bonhams, is pleased to announce the Carousel and Circus Memorabilia and Mechanical Musical Instruments auction on December 4 in Los Angeles. The highly anticipated sale will feature approximately 100 lots of amusement memorabilia and mechanical musical instruments. Works of note include carved animals, horses and other quadrupeds dating from the turn of the last century as well as an important private collection of more than 20 French automatons from the late 19th/early 20th Century.

Leading the holiday auction is a handsomely carved and painted carousel Hippocamp by Daniel Carl Muller. Often called a sea-horse, the fanciful creature is found throughout Phoenician, Greek and Etruscan mythology depicted as a horse in its forepart with a coiling fish-like hindquarter. Rare to auction, the exotic creature is expected to bring $35,000-45,000 during the winter sale.

Brooke Sivo, Vice President and Director of American Furniture and Decorative Arts said of the animal, "Bonhams is please to offer Muller's Hippocamp during the holiday auction. This animal is highly collectible and rarely seen at public auction. We anticipate widespread interest in the Hippocamp from the US and abroad."

Many a child's imagination has been stirred by whimsical and imaginative carousel figures and the vibrant merry-go-round music played as the animals circle and gallop. Bonhams is pleased to bring this enchantment to life for collectors of all ages.

Three distinct carving styles can be seen within the animals on offer during the winter sale including the "Philadelphia style," established by Gustav Dentzel and his brother, the more elaborately decorated "Coney Island style," and the "County Fair" or "Travelling style".

Additional highlights include a double eagle stander carousel horse (est. $12,000-18,000) and decorated pig (est. $5,000-7,000) by Gustav Dentzel, PA and a stunning carousel giraffe (est. $10,000-15,000) and Goat by the Herschell-Spillman Corporation, NY, among others.

The illustrated auction catalogue will be available online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at www.bonhams.com.

Los Angeles Preview: November 30-December 3, 2011, Los Angeles

Auction: December 4, Los Angeles


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

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