antique wooden circus set
antique wooden circus setantique wooden circus set

Antique Wooden Circus Set

Antique wooden toys

Turn of the century antique wooden circus set we restored using wood putty and enamel. The enamel will last for more years than the set has seen.

When we acquired this set many years ago, we were told it was over a hundred years old and possibly one of the more intact sets from the last century. There are performing animals – tigers, lion, horses and elephants; an alley of clowns; a band of musicians; trapeze and parade performers. Never mind the performers were not able-bodied (a hand less or a foot gone in many pieces). Never mind the fragmented pieces look nothing like anything usable.

Then one ordinary day and many nights and dawns after, we actually fashioned limbs, trumpets, trapeze (this from scratch) and whatever missing parts they motioned us towards. The original pieces had some chippy paintwork to indicate how they want to be revived and we abided with their early color schemes. The only deviation we braved through was their facial expressions and thus individualism. Our rationale is simple: we are two Chinese dreaming of a long-lost Western circus. Plus we are quite gay. And believe it or not, the guy on the elephant is true to his turban!

There is another two-part trapeze not photographed here, with some work undone, but these circus folks are really hot-blooded and already pushing us here. Hopefully we’ll get around to the finish line; the act of restoration is an obsessive one. Plus we don’t know anyone out there who’d do what we did given what we had.

(Antique Wooden Circus Set)

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