M S Rau Antiques Defines "Decorative Monumental” with Giant Silver Urns and Rare Antique Carousel Horse from America’s First Carousel Maker

  • NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana
  • /
  • October 13, 2011

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An original, rare carousel horse (measuring more than 5ft tall) designed by Charles W. Dare.
MS Rau Antiques


At the recent fall Armory Antiques Show in Manhattan, M S Rau Antiques of New Orleans surprised visitors with a worldly mix of American memorabilia (a 1900's stock ticker, for example), as well as with some of the biggest, decorative silver pieces (a pair of 4ft tall silver urns), the largest jewelry cabinet ever from the French Empire  (almost 8ft tall), as well as (nearly life-sized) carousel horse made by Charles W. Dare.  

The graceful silver urns which stand nearly 4 ft tall are the largest and tallest pieces of sterling silver that Rau Antiques has ever offered.  Neoclassic in design, with incredible repoussé, a Bacchanalia scene covers the entire circumference of the urns.  A pair of lean maidens serve as handles.  Breathtaking in size and craftsmanship, these urns date from 1890 and are superb examples of 19th century silversmith techniques.  One can only imagine the uses today for such over-sized urns!

For those who remember what it's like to ride an old-fashioned carousel, M S Rau has recently acquired an original, rare carousel horse (measuring more than 5ft tall) designed by Charles W. Dare. Considered a pioneer in carousel horse carving, Charles W. Dare was the founder of Country Fair-style carousels and was one of the earliest makers of amusement equipment in America. He founded the New York Carousel Company in 1867 when he produced portable carousels, and let his imagination run wild with menagerie animals including camels, elephants, donkeys and rabbits.  He also built one of the first Ferris wheels, called a Dare wheel.

A pair of graceful silver urns which stand nearly 4 ft tall, made in 1890.
MS Rau Antiques

Dare’s works are highly prized and important pieces of antique Americana. In fact, this horse is one of the earliest works from the finest carousel maker in America.  This stately horse, perfectly carved to mimic a horse, is brightly painted and exhibits all the hallmarks of Dare's classic carousel designs, such as the forward-facing ears, the perfectly combed horse-hair mane, and the distinctive "bird" saddle. Among carousel collectors, those created by Dare are the benchmark by which later carousel carvings are measured. He brings a distinctive folk charm to his carvings, even as other carvers created more realistic designs.

Not only is M S Rau Antiques the country's largest antiques, fine arts and estate jewelry dealer, it's also one of the oldest, celebrating its centenary in 2012.  Owned by the same family and at the same location where it started--the historic French Quarter of New Orleans on Royal Street—M S Rau Antiques prides itself in offering a steady stream of 18th and 19th century antiques, as well as French Impressionist paintings, from masters such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, as well as some of America's celebrated painters like Norman Rockwell.  View the entire collection of antiques and fine arts at www.rauantiques.com

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