A Look In On The Restoration Of The 1927 M. C. Illions Supreme


Brass Ring Carousel Company is Currently Restoring the 1927 Illions Supreme. The Supreme is considered by many to be;

“The finest carousel ever built.”

This Supreme is the third and last of only three known to built, and this is the only one to remain intact.





The 1927 Illions Supreme. The last of the Illions “Triplets”

The last of its kind, the 3-row 1927 M. C. Illions Supreme Carousel of which just three are known to have existed and only this one remains intact. Illions’ youngest son, Barney, said his father often spoke of his prized “triplets”, referring assumably to his last three carousels, the Supremes in which he aimed to bring his carousel carving to its highest art form.

This spectacular machine and its amazing horses is in the midst of a multi-year restoration.

When the restoration is complete it will be clear why many consider the Supreme “The finest carousel ever carved”.


Recently Restored Horses – 2013 – Lise Liepman paint:

Recently Restored Horses – 2013- Pam Hessey paint:

Coming Out… In the fall of 2010:

After three decades in storage, the 1927 Illions Supreme came out of its containers, ready for restoration. The filming crew from “Ultimate Restorations” was there for their documentary on the restoration process. Also present were carousel restoration artists, Rosa Patton, Pam Hessey and Lise Liepman, along with the late John Daniel who rescued the carousel intact from Pomona in the late ‘70s and kept it intact and together for 30 years, before selling the his precious carousel just prior to his passing.


Archivist and Original Paint Discoverer, Rosa Patton, identifies and documents original colors on the Illions Supreme horses and trim:

See full original paint discovery article on Rosa’s blog at www.rosapatton.com.

In the Sun Valley, CA, Shop…

The Illions Supreme horses at the Brass Ring Carousel Company shop in California, wood restored, primed and ready for paint and leaf. Then a photo from Pam Hessey showing a bit of the 24 karat gold leafing process.

Supreme at the Pomona Fairgrounds, Los Angeles County, CA. 1950s-1970s:

Harry Illions, eldest son of M. C. Illions, emigrated from New York to Los Angeles in the early 1950s. Harry brought the Supreme with him as he moved the machine from Celoron Park in New York to Los Angeles, CA, in 1952. The Supreme would operate at the LA Fairgrounds in Pomona until the late 1970s. And, the moment the sale of the precious carousel was rumored, John Daniel stepped in and grabbed it – keeping it intact for over 30 years. Though hidden under years of weather and wear and park paint, Mr. Daniel knew very well what he was saving – the masterpiece of master-carver, Marcus Illions.

Special thanks to Darylle Goodfield for the Pomona photos.


Above-  the 1927 Illions Supreme at the Prospect Hotel in New York City, its original location.