I promised more from Carters Steam Fair, and these wooden horses do the trick. One of the now rare places where genuine popular art can still be seen, the traditional fairground gives up many treasures in handcrafted decoration. Noel Carrington and Clarke Hutton's King Penguin English Popular Art gives many superb examples from canal boats to gypsy caravans, and I expect the often itinerant artists would be just at ease painting a merry-go-round horse as the odd inn sign. Carrington thinks that fairground horses 'have something too of the medieval knight's charger or lady's palfrey as seen in paintings of the sixteenth century' and mentions that King's Lynn in Norfolk was once a principle centre for circus and fair outfitting. And how often do we say "That horse has got my name on it?". A closer look at this picture revealed that in my case one of them certainly has.
2 days ago