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October 26, 2012updated Feb 07, 2013

Balboa Park Carousel Egg Comes to San Diego

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

San Diego, California — Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

After nearly 20 years of design and creation, the Balboa Park Carousel Egg is on loan and display at The San Diego Natural History Museum. This feat of engineering and art is the creation of Jim Grahl of J. Grahl Design Studio and his team of artisans, originally commission in 1991 by Dr. Barry Marfleet.

The Balboa Park Carousel Egg was completed in 2008 and was first displayed to the public at the Gemological Institute of America. This one-of-a-kind piece was created from gold, platinum, diamonds and silver, stands twenty seven inches tall and weighs eighty pounds. It represents an exact scale replica of the world famous Balboa Park Carousel that was built in 1895. The mechanisms that make the music play, the carousel turn and animals move was entirely made by hand, and consists of approximately 5,000 individual parts. The twenty musical selections from the 1890s are played on an antique Reuge music box that is encased in 55% handformed optical lead crystal so that the music box and driving mechanisms can be seen.

“It is an absolute privilege to have this magnificent egg displayed at the Institute for the very first time,” said Elise Misiorowski, GIA Museum director. “This piece is a part of San Diego’s history and we are honored to have it in our museum to share with the public.”

Ann Laddon, V.P. of Institutional Advancement at the San Diego Natural History Museum said: “The 18-year-long challenge to J. Grahl Design’s team of artists was to create a modern day Faberge egg, matching the craftsmanship and creativity of the original pieces. Greater than the sum of its parts, greater than the efforts of the individual artists, the Carousel Egg is an objet de’ vertu that surpasses its original aspirations.”

The Balboa Park Carousel Egg was a signature piece at the San Diego Natural History Museum’s award winning, exhibition ‘All That Glitters: the Splendor and Science of Gems and Minerals’ and is featured in the museum’s current exhibition ‘The Horse’, open through January 20th, 2013. ‘The Horse’ exhibition is included in general Museum admission.

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