This is done in the same manner that was used when you learned to write. You were shown how to hold the pen, perhaps the position of the paper, and a "style" of writing was placed in front of you. You copied and you practiced until you had achieved the skill. And yet, no one person's handwriting is the same. Your personal "style" is infused into it. The technique of writing with ink bottle and pen and the "style" copied of years past is unique to it's age period.
This is also true in painting carousel figures. In years past, the paint was applied by brush, stippled, tole painted, blended much differently than it is today. Today's painters often use the new technology to air-brush on the paint. Although not historically correct, it is merely their "technique" of application. The final appearance is merely their "style".
How we picked the colors!
The research revealed that the North Tonowanda manufacturers who had created the figures on this mixed machine had a tendency to place horses on a row in the same color. They would however, in the later period, stagger the head position to give more movement. Due to the variation and sizes of all the horses and zebras, we first measured each animal, then placed in on our chart by size, by color, by style, and by age. The middle little horse on Rooster's row was a favorite in his black and white pinto body color.
We now had the body color for the row. Since Rooster would determine the color, we also chose to use his colors as our trapping theme. Levi would be painted pretty much in the same colors as when he had arrived. We placed Rooster on the outside due to his size and the fact that he had been a pinto. We placed "Bud" on the inside due to his trapping colors on arrival, and his rare little top knot.
Bud was considered by some as the ugliest pony on the machine. We felt this was not entirely fair, he was just the most unusual and had some really good assets. We were going to make this little pony a knock-out! We assessed all their assets, none of which were the large saddle area outlined previously in yellow. We would work to de-emphasize these large saddles on all the figures. Rooster was rare in that there were no rump or chest trappings. He was going to look pretty homely for a carousel figure unless we did some treatments that really made his trimming outstanding.
Smithsonian - on site - confirmation of its operation on the Smithsonian Mall with copies made of documentation, contract, etc. (ticket stub found inside Rooster also confirms this)
National Carousel Association Archives - by mail - Color photos of the carousel during the Mall period, census information, previous restoration documents and notes, newspaper articles. Confirmation of missing menagerie and chariot.
Herschell-Spillman Museum - two onsite visits - for style, history, method of manufacture
Merry-Go-Roundup - published by NCA - various articles of all companies in North Tonowanda and styles. Special emphasis on documented article by Brian Morgan.
Hershell-Spillman catalog, circa 1917. Actual photos of all styles of carousels, many of which are on the Wheaton machine.
Fairground Art - Weeden, Ward (out of print) 2 photos of carousel taken during period of operation of Smithsonian Mall.
The Art of the Carousel - Fried (out of print) photos of factory, including one photo of an exact horse matching the horse on the machine.
Paint the Ponies - Manns, Steven, Shank - numerous references including signage, horses in original paint, body styles.
Art of the Carousel - Dinger - same as above
Carousel Art - Swenson (out of print) issues on chariots, zebras, and body styles.
Carousel News and Trader, Loucks publisher, INDEXED - used for a myriad of confirmations of styles, age, paint, previous condition and value.
All of this implants a concept of painting, believe it or not. We will go into Rooster's, Levi's and Bud's painting in the next part of the series. Study the photographs!
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