Armored Carousel Horse, Made By C.w. Parker In Leavenworth
Bejeweled and armored American carousel horse made by C. W. Parker in Leivenworth, KS in the early part of the twentieth century, probably the mid-teens. Great, early, in-service, park-painted surface. Excellent condition for obviously extended outdoor use. Beautiful leaping form. Signed on all four of the metal horseshoes. A masterpiece of American carousel carving and one of the most sculptural and colorful examples I have ever encountered. Parker’s horses were rarely this elaborate, and this would have certainly been the carousel’s lead horse and an outside jumper. Two of the carousel’s brass rings were hung on the spear finial of its helm.
Charles Wallace Parker (1864-1932)
“C.W. Parker started out as a $32 a week janitor at the Dickenson County Court House in Kansas. He saved his money to buy a second-hand carousel, and the Parker Carnival Show was born. An Arkansas newspaper in 1907 called him "a man who by his untiring efforts has rescued the carnival business from the gutter." What Parker's horses lacked in flamboyance was amply compensated for by their owner. The master showman renamed himself Colonel Parker, Carnival King, and the shoes on his carousel horses' feet were forged with his name.”
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Condition: Some splitting with minor associated loss. Some in-service replacement of jewels. One jewel absent.