Milhous Collection carousel and Wurlitzer Band Organ could spin to $1.5m

How much would you need to spend to buy your very own carousel? The answer is $1.5m or even more, according to presale estimates for an upcoming auction of the Milhous Collection.

The Milhous Collection is one of the finest assemblages of Americana to have ever appeared for sale to collectors.

A variety of mechanical and Americana memorabilia items - including classic automobiles - will be offered from the collection, amassed by Florida brothers Bob and Paul Milhous over the past 50 years.

Among their most fantastical buys is this 46-foot custom carousel with 42 animals, two chariots and a Wurlitzer 153 band organ. It is for sale estimated at $1,000,000-$1,500,000.

They say Americans do things 'bigger'. This was certainly true during the country's 'golden era' for carousels and mechanical music in the early-20th century.

1998 46-Foot Custom Carousel With 42 Animals, 2 Chariots and Wurlitzer 153 Band Organ410.jpg
The 46-foot custom carousel with 42 animals, dated to 1998

US carousel designs featured elaborate animals, chariots and decorations all handmade by master craftsmen. The Milhous Collection carousel typifies this remarkable era.

The carousel for sale is actually a modern reconstruction from the 1990s. It was custom made to exacting specifications for the Milhous Collection, and took several years to build.

This 46-foot custom carousel was finally installed in 1998. As you can see in the above video, the attention to detail in its construction is absolutely stunning. Notable features include its stained glass and depictions of the Eight Wonders of the World.

The carousel's menagerie of 42 animals and two chariots is made up of individual creations, each based on rare and well-known original carousel pieces. All were professionally reproduced.

1998 46-Foot Custom Carousel With 42 Animals, 2 Chariots and Wurlitzer 153 Band Organ410-2.jpg
One of the carousel's 42 animals, based on an early-20th design

An original Wurlitzer Model 153 Band Organ has been installed in the carousel's centre, which was one of the early-20th century's most popular models.

Even more remarkable is the fact that the $1,000,000-$1,500,000 presale estimate doesn't even match the original cost of the carousel's construction and its accompanying organ.

Hopefully Bob and Paul Milhous will enjoy a good return on their investment when their 46-foot custom carousel auctions on February 25. Watch this space for more news on the Milhous Collection.

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