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  • Object:

    Rocking horse

  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1906-1914 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gamages (retailers)
    The Star Manufacturing Company (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved and painted wood, leather

  • Credit Line:

    Given by West Ham Church of England Primary School

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Rocking horse of carved and painted wood, mounted on a polished wood and metal frame. The open-mouthed horse is painted with white gloss (possibly a restoration) and is very chipped. The nose, ears and tongue are painted red, the eyes are made from glass, and the grooved main line and hooves are black. The saddle is carved with a high pommel and back and is covered with leather. The leather for the seat is missing but is present for the skirts, it is held by large tacks. There are the remains of leather stirrups nailed at the top to the seat area. There are the remains of a leather chest strap with a small red leather breast plate and a metal medallion. There is no hair remaining on the mane, but there is a stump of white horsehair left at the tail.

Place of Origin

London (probably, made)


1906-1914 (made)


Gamages (retailers)
The Star Manufacturing Company (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

Carved and painted wood, leather

Marks and inscriptions

Serial number - on metal plate nailed to seat area.


Height: 113.1 cm, Length: 137.2 cm, Width: 40.7 cm

Object history note

This object was used by children at West Ham Church of England Primary School, Portway, London E15 until the school donated it to the Museum in 1984 [84/561]

On entry to the Museum its condition was noted: 'painted wood very chipped, severe break along joint of head and neck'.

Historical context note

The Bronko was marketed as a 'Safety Hobby Horse' and was specially made for Gamages to their own design.

Descriptive line

Rocking horse, Bronko, made for and sold by Gamages, London, patented in 1905

Production Note

Patented in October 1905 and available to buy from Gamages between about 1906-1914. It was available in four different sizes, ranging between 38.5 inches and 58 inches long. This example is the second largest (54 inch stand length) and in 1906 would have sold for £63. By 1924, Gamages copyright seems to have expired and the horse was sold in only two sizes: 41 inches and 52 inches long.

The Star Manufacturing Company may have made Bronko rocking horses on behalf of Gamages. They also produced a near-identical horse under the Swan Toys trademark.


Wood; Leather


Carving; Painting (coating)

Subjects depicted

Rocking horses; Horses


Children & Childhood; Animals and Wildlife; Play


Museum of Childhood

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