Bringing the Horses & Roses Carousel Horse to Life!

‘Enjoy the Magic’ as we walk you through the creative process in developing one of our most beloved musical treasures, the “Hearts and Roses Single Horse Carousel.”

It’s all SO magical! The music, the characters, the colors, the motion! A final musical figurine or water globe is a masterpiece in design, craftsmanship, and quality! What does it take to get there?

Well, we followed the team at the San Francisco Music Box Company as they developed their signature Carousel horse figurine. Their carousel horse evokes memories of laughter and fun on those dizzying rides around the carousel when we were growing up! Remember riding up and down and waving to the watchers….your parents, your grandparents, your friends?

The most important part of creating a magical, musical gift is discovering what is magical to the recipient. What treasured memories do we want to evoke in them? What occasions and events bring a smile to their face? OR, what gift would evoke new memories to reminisce fondly on in the future?

A second critical part of developing that magical gift involves researching the idea for design and musical elements. What makes the carousel magical? What does the receiver think of when they see a carousel? What colors, images, and sounds encompass the total “carousel experience” which is cherished in their childhood memories? We talk to our customers. We research carousel history, images and songs, and then develop a strategy for each item.

Next, we deliver our information to the SFMB master artist, Michael Adams. Michael then creates artistic renderings and designs of carousels that embody the ‘magic’ that only an SFMBC gift can bring. Here is an example.

Movement, light, and sound are all considered in the final development of the artistic vision. Choices for tunes are carefully reviewed and the most appealing song for that item is chosen. For example, this particular carousel will play the tune “Waltz of the Flowers.” The horse will also move up and down on the carousel pole, just as you remember from your carousel rides! After approving a final rendering, the artist creates a colored version of the drawing for review and approval. The final drawing is then sent to the SFMBC workshop for production.

Once approved, our talented sculptors will take the colored rendering and create a clay model of it. Taking a 2-dimensional drawing and making it a 3-dimensional figurine is no small feat! We are continually amazed by the incredible talents of the artists and sculptors that work together to transform a 2D drawing into 3D rendering! Here is a sample clay model.

This clay model holds a space for the musical mechanism which will create the magical sound everyone loves in their musical gifts! This clay sample is again reviewed for design details and stability in shipping and size. Once approved, it proceeds to a ‘painted sample.’ All San Francisco Music Box Company figurines and water globes are hand painted. The detailing is astonishing, with tiny roses, little faces, and any myriad of extras that make these items so magical!

In the process of painting a sample, the musical mechanism is also added. Some items have an 18-note mechanism, which is the sound that most people think of when they see a music box. Others have an IC chip, which allows for digital recordings of songs and song lyrics. This carousel horse figurine has an 18-note mechanism when the final sample is shipped to our home offices for final approval. Here it is!

NOW, we are ready to reproduce it so that every one of our SFMB fans can have their own personal carousel horse figurine! Remember, every item is hand-painted, checked for quality and given individual care in its creation. The San Francisco Music Box Company takes pride in knowing that each SFMBC customer has the opportunity to take home a one-of-a-kind musical gift that can be carried down from generation to generation. . . and we hope it will bring many smiles!

See and hear this carousel horse at


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