1988 25c Carousel Animals

# 2390-93 - 1988 25c Carousel Animals

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U.S. #2390-93
1988 25¢ Carousel Animals
American Folk Art Series

  • Pictures four traditional carved carousel animals, including one still in use at the First Day ceremony site
  • 9th issue in American Folk Art Series
  • Issued for 8th Annual Stamp Collecting Month

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Series: 
American Folk Art
Value: 
25¢, first-class rate
First Day of Issue: 
October 1, 1988
First Day City: 
Sandusky, Ohio
Quantity Issued: 
76,253,750 blocks
Printed by: 
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: 
Lithographed and engraved
Format: 
Panes of 50 in sheets of 200
Perforations:  11

 

Why the stamps were issued:  The Carousel Animals block was issued for National Stamp Collecting Month with the slogan, “For the ride of a lifetime – collect stamps.”

 

About the stamp designs:  Long-time stamp designer Paul Calle painted the artwork on these stamps based on photographs from two books – The Art of The Carousel by Charlotte Dinger and The Carousel Animal by Tobin Fraley.  Initially, the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee considered making a carousel animal stamp series, so Calle designed several other stamps in other formats and designs picturing other carousel animals, including a frog, a seahorse, a lion, and a tiger. 

 

The deer (US #2390) was carved by famed carousel artist Gustav Dentzel in 1895.  The deer has real antlers on its head and is covered in an antique glaze that brings out the engraved details in the fur.  It was restored by Bill Carlone and at the time the stamp was issued, it was in the private collection of Charlotte Dinger, one of the largest private collections in the country.

 

The “lead” or “king” horse (US #2391) was created by Daniel C. Muller to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Dentzel Company.  Muller had learned his craft under Dentzel and produced this horse with detailed armor, draped coverlet, and fine ornaments.  It’s considered one of the most rare and beautiful carousel creatures ever crafted.  It was still in use at Kiddieland carousel at Cedar Point when these stamps were issued.

 

The gold and jewel-covered camel (US #2392) was crafted by Charles Looff in 1917.  He frequently created camel carousel animals, dating back to his first one in 1875.

 

The rare long-horned goat (US #2393) was carved in 1880 by Charles Looff.  It was owned by Jean and Noel Thompson at the time the stamps were issued.

 

First Day City:  The First Day ceremony was held at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio, which was home to the “king” horse pictured on #2391.

 

Unusual fact about these stamps:  This block has been found with the red ink omitted.

 

About the American Folk Art Series:  The USPS created the Folk Art Series in 1977 to honor important and lesser-known items in American art and culture.  Folk Art is loosely defined as the art of the everyday, rooted in traditions that come from community and culture and expressing cultural identity by conveying shared community values and aesthetics.  The series lasted nearly 20 years and featured folk art including Pueblo pottery, quilts, Pennsylvania toleware, Pacific Northwest Indian Masks, duck decoys, Navajo Blankets, wood-carved figures, lacemaking, carousel animals, Indian headdresses, and carousel horses.  Click here for more about the series.

 

About National Stamp Collecting Month stamps: October has been designated by the US Postal Service as National Stamp Collecting Month.  The first celebration occurred in 1981 as a way to promote the hobby of collecting stamps.  Each year, new stamps are issued in early October to stimulate additional interest, and many philatelic organizations hold special programs during the month.

 

History the stamps represent:  Carousels have a long and fascinating history that can be traced as far back as early Byzantine times.  Rather than being used for amusement however, early carousels were actually used for training purposes.  In fact, the word itself comes from 12th-century Arabian games of horsemanship called carosellos or “little wars.”  Fragile, heavily scented clay balls were tossed from one rider to another; dexterity and equestrian skill was needed to avoid the unmanly mark of the loser – a bath of sweet-smelling perfume.

 

By the late 17th century, carousels had been developed to train young noblemen for spearing contests.  Seated on wooden horses the riders tried to lance rings as they rode around a pole.  Forerunner of the modern-day carousel and its game of “catching the brass ring,” the ride evolved into a popular form of entertainment.

 

Born in Germany in 1846, Gustav Dentzel had learned to carve carousel animals while working for his father. In 1860, he moved to America and opened a cabinet making shop in Philadelphia. Dentzel soon grew tired of the work and turned back to carousels. He built a small portable carousel that he could travel the country with. After seeing how popular his carousel was, he decided to build them full time and established the Dentzel Carousel Company in Philadelphia in 1867. Dentzel found other local European woodworkers to help him craft his intricate carousels.

 

While carousels had existed in America before Dentzel, he is often credited with pioneering the modern carousel in America and spawning the Golden Age of the Carousel (1870-1930). After Dentzel died in 1909, his son took over the business and sold it to the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1928. It’s estimated there are about 150 Dentzel carousels still in existence today.

 

The Flying Horse Carousel, located in the Rhode Island resort town of Watch Hill, is the oldest American carousel. Established in 1879, the unique amusement ride features carousel horses suspended by chains. The carousel horses swing out from the center as the carousel gains momentum, giving riders the sensation of flying. Each horse is handcarved from a single piece of wood and adorned with tails of real horsehair and saddles of genuine leather.

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U.S. #2390-93
1988 25¢ Carousel Animals
American Folk Art Series

  • Pictures four traditional carved carousel animals, including one still in use at the First Day ceremony site
  • 9th issue in American Folk Art Series
  • Issued for 8th Annual Stamp Collecting Month

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Series: 
American Folk Art
Value: 
25¢, first-class rate
First Day of Issue: 
October 1, 1988
First Day City: 
Sandusky, Ohio
Quantity Issued: 
76,253,750 blocks
Printed by: 
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: 
Lithographed and engraved
Format: 
Panes of 50 in sheets of 200
Perforations:  11

 

Why the stamps were issued:  The Carousel Animals block was issued for National Stamp Collecting Month with the slogan, “For the ride of a lifetime – collect stamps.”

 

About the stamp designs:  Long-time stamp designer Paul Calle painted the artwork on these stamps based on photographs from two books – The Art of The Carousel by Charlotte Dinger and The Carousel Animal by Tobin Fraley.  Initially, the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee considered making a carousel animal stamp series, so Calle designed several other stamps in other formats and designs picturing other carousel animals, including a frog, a seahorse, a lion, and a tiger. 

 

The deer (US #2390) was carved by famed carousel artist Gustav Dentzel in 1895.  The deer has real antlers on its head and is covered in an antique glaze that brings out the engraved details in the fur.  It was restored by Bill Carlone and at the time the stamp was issued, it was in the private collection of Charlotte Dinger, one of the largest private collections in the country.

 

The “lead” or “king” horse (US #2391) was created by Daniel C. Muller to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Dentzel Company.  Muller had learned his craft under Dentzel and produced this horse with detailed armor, draped coverlet, and fine ornaments.  It’s considered one of the most rare and beautiful carousel creatures ever crafted.  It was still in use at Kiddieland carousel at Cedar Point when these stamps were issued.

 

The gold and jewel-covered camel (US #2392) was crafted by Charles Looff in 1917.  He frequently created camel carousel animals, dating back to his first one in 1875.

 

The rare long-horned goat (US #2393) was carved in 1880 by Charles Looff.  It was owned by Jean and Noel Thompson at the time the stamps were issued.

 

First Day City:  The First Day ceremony was held at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio, which was home to the “king” horse pictured on #2391.

 

Unusual fact about these stamps:  This block has been found with the red ink omitted.

 

About the American Folk Art Series:  The USPS created the Folk Art Series in 1977 to honor important and lesser-known items in American art and culture.  Folk Art is loosely defined as the art of the everyday, rooted in traditions that come from community and culture and expressing cultural identity by conveying shared community values and aesthetics.  The series lasted nearly 20 years and featured folk art including Pueblo pottery, quilts, Pennsylvania toleware, Pacific Northwest Indian Masks, duck decoys, Navajo Blankets, wood-carved figures, lacemaking, carousel animals, Indian headdresses, and carousel horses.  Click here for more about the series.

 

About National Stamp Collecting Month stamps: October has been designated by the US Postal Service as National Stamp Collecting Month.  The first celebration occurred in 1981 as a way to promote the hobby of collecting stamps.  Each year, new stamps are issued in early October to stimulate additional interest, and many philatelic organizations hold special programs during the month.

 

History the stamps represent:  Carousels have a long and fascinating history that can be traced as far back as early Byzantine times.  Rather than being used for amusement however, early carousels were actually used for training purposes.  In fact, the word itself comes from 12th-century Arabian games of horsemanship called carosellos or “little wars.”  Fragile, heavily scented clay balls were tossed from one rider to another; dexterity and equestrian skill was needed to avoid the unmanly mark of the loser – a bath of sweet-smelling perfume.

 

By the late 17th century, carousels had been developed to train young noblemen for spearing contests.  Seated on wooden horses the riders tried to lance rings as they rode around a pole.  Forerunner of the modern-day carousel and its game of “catching the brass ring,” the ride evolved into a popular form of entertainment.

 

Born in Germany in 1846, Gustav Dentzel had learned to carve carousel animals while working for his father. In 1860, he moved to America and opened a cabinet making shop in Philadelphia. Dentzel soon grew tired of the work and turned back to carousels. He built a small portable carousel that he could travel the country with. After seeing how popular his carousel was, he decided to build them full time and established the Dentzel Carousel Company in Philadelphia in 1867. Dentzel found other local European woodworkers to help him craft his intricate carousels.

 

While carousels had existed in America before Dentzel, he is often credited with pioneering the modern carousel in America and spawning the Golden Age of the Carousel (1870-1930). After Dentzel died in 1909, his son took over the business and sold it to the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1928. It’s estimated there are about 150 Dentzel carousels still in existence today.

 

The Flying Horse Carousel, located in the Rhode Island resort town of Watch Hill, is the oldest American carousel. Established in 1879, the unique amusement ride features carousel horses suspended by chains. The carousel horses swing out from the center as the carousel gains momentum, giving riders the sensation of flying. Each horse is handcarved from a single piece of wood and adorned with tails of real horsehair and saddles of genuine leather.