Patriotic Jumper Horse, Jantzen Beach Carousel

MPF Conservation assessed the Jantzen Beach Carousel in 2018, and subsequently treated three horses and several decorative objects from the carousel.

Patriotic after treatment, left,
just before the contract ended.

This page is about the carousel restoration treatment for “White Patriotic Corn Jumper XL” (hereafter called Patriotic) from the Jantzen Beach Carousel.

Note: Throughout MPFC may switch from flash to non-flash images,
because we are trying to show the best image of the treatment.
Videos to recap the processes are located at the bottom of this page, and on Vimeo.

Above, Patriotic’s romance side, below, the backside before treatment.

The romance side, above, is the side that is more detailed, intended to be presented, and in the USA the carousels travel counter-clockwise. When we refer to the outside back side, below, it is the side that in the USA will be facing the inside of the carousel.

Below, more images of Patriotic before treatment. She has a modified open-handled mane, beautiful saddle that was created of several layered colors, and an all-American corn Cantle.

In image two below, the stars on the two American flags were sticky stars instead of paint, and obviously they didn’t last long as they were applied in the last restoration, a little more than a decade before.

The white horses were originally bright white, not off-white. We easily discerned this through images of this and other Parker carousels, and in our own removal of the layers. The yellow tinge was an overcoating of an amber synthetic varnish, plus grime. The last overcoating was applied over dirt; they did not clean Patriotic before applying overcoats, and so, the overcoat also wiped off easily.

There was so much grime on Patriotic, seen in all these early images.

Note: Items were grouped together for understanding, not chronologically, which is why,
for example, suddenly the finish is “removed” out of sequence.

A decade earlier a restoration was performed where the horses were chemically dip stripped. This caused joints to shrink and substrates to contract. We rarely advise this type of stripping, because it causes more damage to an object than other options. After the 1995 restoration, joints continued to loosen, composites and glues continued to fail, and areas of rot, hidden beneath inappropriate repairs fell apart. Maintenance crews used large nails (sometimes construction) and screws to hold parts in place.

There is rarely a reason to dip strip to remove paints and varnishes from historic surfaces. We prove this in our work on Patriotic.

The goal was to repair breaks properly so that people riding the historic horses did not break them again or become injured by failing elements or protruding hardware, especially when they climbed on legs and tails to mount a horse. Cutting corners may cost less in the short run but in the long run can have lasting monetary implications, including liabilities if a limb fails when a child is climbing on it.


Dozens of keylocks (shown right) were made in two sizes for many items in the project. The keylocks were then modified as necessary for a specific area. This was more efficient than making the proper keylock for each break on the various horses. Mortise were routed to bisect major breaks and butterfly keys were glued into position, anchoring both ends of the butterfly into the superstructure.

The Breaks

Patriotic was the possibly the most damaged horse we assessed relative to imminent loss to her superstructure. She had a belly split, a rump split, a broken tail, a minor neck crack (not treated), a minor front shoulder crack (not treated), and four broken legs, one of which connected to rot in a leg-to-tail connection.

We are not showing the work performed on all the areas, but have chosen four to show on the website. All others were performed in the same manner:

Click on the image below to see blog posts
about the Jantzen Beach Carousel horses.