The Big Reveal…or…You Had Me At Seaside Heights

And the mystery genius decorating item is:

LARGE 10″ X 14″ VINTAGE 1950’s COPPER TONE METAL HORSE. For sale is a Large 10 X 14″ vintage 1950’s Copper Tone Metal Horse that was won on the Boardwalk at Seaside Heights, N.J. in the late 50’s by my uncle. The Horse is the real deal in VERY VERY GOOD CONDITION with original Chain. (Suzette says: “This is not my actual item – mine has an unbroken chain – this is just a better picture so that you can see all the detail, including the anatomical correctness.”)

It’s a carnival horse – so-called because these were given away as carnival prizes beginning in the 1940s. I imagine that it’s possible that they could still be found at western type shows like rodeos, events and certain state fairs but I don’t know for sure. If they are, I’m sure they’re not as crisply detailed as these oldies are.  Both Jersey guy Jim PRS and Linda in Michigan got it right except for their visualizations of the horse being attached to its own clock. I know Jim’s been a round a few carnival games in his time so I’m not surprised that he figured it out but I guess Linda has a bit of the boardwalk in her as well.

I remember seeing these in my childhood but none as big as this. Most I remember were about 6″ tall. It must have been some masterful ring-tossing or air rifle-shooting that won something this magnificent. I completely love this thing.

You people! And your ideas! You make me want to look for things with clocks in their bellies and now my internal narrative is all pine cone pine cone pine cone. If I can only conquer my indecision about the wall color, we could move forward. Let me tell you something – those little $3 paint pot color samples at Home Depot are both a blessing and curse.

Still Life With Paint Samples

Ok it doesn’t look like much now but give the idea time to grow on you. I know the copper horse might be a little bit off-putting, but in the overall context it’s going to be great.

Now remember that my decorating theme for this room is Craftsman Style Meets American West Plus Pine Cones And A Big Clock. So there’s your big clock. The American West is going to be represented not only by the horse but also at least one or two vintage posters of Yosemite or Yellowstone. Pine cones because PINE CONES!!!1! And the Craftsman-style element won’t be rush to buy repro Mission furniture*, but rather by employing elements of that style: oak, leather, copper,  the hallmark colors.

The room is small with an awkward layout – there’s not a single solid wall.It can’t take much “decorating” so I have to choose each representational element carefully. It’s really meant to be a place for Sami sit at his new (second-hand) big ass desk, where he will cover it with piles of bills and supermarket circulars but it’s far from the room where the big ass TV is and he can’t shout at the cable news from 3 rooms away so he’s getting a smaller tv for this room.*

* Although, maybe I will.

**I recognize the irony that the den used to be the TV room until we bought the big ass TV and got dizzy from sitting in front of the enormous screen at close range so we had to move everything into the biggest room on the first floor.

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24 thoughts on “The Big Reveal…or…You Had Me At Seaside Heights

  1. Great unveiling! I love it, it looks like one my Grandmother had on her mantle. She had a revolving collection of figurines that changed about every 6 weeks. This was one that usually showed up in the summer. Hers was smaller, and she paired it with a ceramic palomino.

  2. Love it! Seriously…its a great piece. Now…if its going on the mantle…go with an opposite color to copper (on the spectrum). That longish sample of green would make the copper ‘pop.’

    I know these things. I have watched Candace Olson on HGTV for years…I even have mastered the term “pot lights.” Keep updating us with your Den selections.

  3. Really? a copper colored metal horse , the clock is on the wall and the pine cones are a figment of your imagination.
    This is the last time we invite you to our charade party!

    • Forgive me! – I should have made a course correction during the guessing. The overall design scheme included pine cones and clocks and copper. But not all wrapped up in one item.

    • 😦

      I’m using the Behr visualizer. That one even lets you upload a photo of your actual room so you can see how it will look with a new paint color. Every single one of my choices looked like a good one, but when I used the little samples, they were all ghastly.

      I’m losing my decorating mojo. WHAT IF I AM WRONG ABOUT THE HORSE?

  4. Loving the horse. I have a ‘thing’ for copper – polished, hammered, weathered, any kind of copper. I’ve used it a lot on my deck. Copper bird feeders, wind chimes, tiki torches, etc. I simply MUST find one of those horses.

  5. Taking the Fifth Amendment on the copper horse, I move on to the color swatches on the wall. Look again. Very interesting effect. How about a patchwork wall?

  6. I grew up in a place so small that rodeo was a letter sport in high school. But these were never sold at rodeos and while I saw countless numbers of these growing up I never knew where they came from. You never saw them in a store.

    • You couldn’t buy them – you had to win them. And that is the genius message behind what at first appears to be a strictly decorative object. You look at this and you immediately know that WE’RE WINNERS.

  7. I must admit, I was one of the readers that thought you had ONE item that incorporated all of the “hints”.

    Nonetheless, now that I know where you are heading I wanted to give you a heads up to something I just today saw on Target.com while looking for something else (candy cane lights I bought last year). I could not believe it when I saw it ….

    … they have COPPER color Christmas pre-lit artificial trees in all sizes, pre-lit copper wreaths and pre-lit copper garland too. Come holiday time you could drap the mantel, remove the clock and hang a wreath … and it would all coordinate with your horse!

    Of course … you could also stick in pine cones where necessary!

  8. I made my one and only trip to Seaside Heights about a decade ago. Obviously I should have come back with something other than photos and salt-water taffy.

  9. speaking of those little jars of paint….I brought one home the other day to try in my kitchen. My brand new coral colored purse was dropped onto the kitchen table, I love to play with paint and got started right away. I picked a wall on the other side of the room from the table, removed a painting, in the blank space left by the painting, I tried a fairly small patch of the new paint. It was hideous. I noticed a small dot of paint on my new purse just today. I can get paint on stuff in completely different rooms and objects easier than on the walls I actually Want the paint..It must be a magical power or something..

  10. I love the horse. Never heard of them before.

    I also love the hammered metalics spray paint. Rockets look gooooooood wearing ’em.

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