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Rocking horse

Rocking horse

  • Place of origin:

    England (possibly, manufactured)
    Germany (possibly, manufactured)

  • Date:

    1920s (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved wood, mainly beech, footrest softwood and head probably a fruitwood

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Toy horses have been played with for thousands of years, but it was not until the seventeenth century that ride-on ones were first developed. They were seen as an important developmental toy for wealthy children, who would often be riding real horses from a young age, as they helped with balance and confidence.

At their height of their popularity rocking horses were made in their thousands by skilled craftsmen and would have been expensive to buy. Many have survived as they were well looked after and often belonged to several generations of a family. This one was made for very young children and has a safety bar to help hold the child in.

Physical description

A wooden chair with rockers. The chair has a circular wooden ring held in place by wooden spokes, this is intended to hold a small child in place and to give them something secure to hold on to. At the front of the seat is attached a wooden carved horse's head and neck. It has a leather bridle and possibly originally had reins. The horse's ears would also have been made from leather but are missing: all that remains are stubs of leather. On the rockers is a foot plate and on the sides are back painted decorative lines.

There are signs of damage and repair, there are two broken points on the safety ring, and on the left rocker. The seat has a split through the right hand side.

Place of Origin

England (possibly, manufactured)
Germany (possibly, manufactured)


1920s (manufactured)



Materials and Techniques

Carved wood, mainly beech, footrest softwood and head probably a fruitwood


Length: 105 cm, Height: 53 cm, Width: 35 cm

Object history note

Brought at Christies October 2005, shortly after Faith Eatons death.

Descriptive line

Carved nursery rocking horse chair made in England or Germany about 1920

Production Note

probably English or German


Beech; Softwood; Fruitwood



Subjects depicted



Dolls & Toys; Children & Childhood; Nursery Equipment; Furniture

Production Type

Mass produced


Museum of Childhood

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