How to Buy or Sell — Carousels, Carousel Figures and Amusement Park Collectibles
There was a difference between a carousel and a merry-go-round in the past. A merry-go-round had a variety of carved animals; a carousel had only horses. Today, people use either name for the amusement park ride. The hand-carved, wooden charging horse or prancing pig that was part of the amusement park merry-go-round is now classed as “folk art” and sells for tens of thousands of dollars. If it is possible to identify the makers of some of the animals, and if the name of the amusement park that owned the merry-go-round or the name of the artist can be determined, the value goes up 50 percent. In 2019, a giraffe carousel figure by Charles Looff sold for $15,600, the highest priced figure in the auction of a famous collection. Most went for $2,000 to $4,000, much lower than the prices in the 1980s.
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