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Rocking Horses

Rocking horses were a noted predecessor to rocking cradles, which are seen throughout history beginning in the Middle Ages. The rocking horse in its current form was not seen until the 17th century. In the 19th century, rocking horses became the norm, with craftsmen creating ornately carved pieces covered with real hide for children to enjoy.

During the Industrial Revolution, numerous toy companies produced tin toy rocking horses. From early American penny toys to mechanical toys, rocking horses remained popular until the ‘60s when children’s Western cowboy items began to fade and the rocking horse faded with them.

Rocking horses were created in varying grades with the finest of grades featuring miniature detailed saddles and highly carved or decorated surfaces. Several carousel horse manufacturers including Dentzel, Charles Looff, and Charles Illions carved dramatic rocking and platform horses which were as highly detailed as full-size carousel horses. These same companies also produced small-scale carousel horses which are sometimes seen in portable or small carousels still in operation today.


Quick Facts

  • Though rocking horses generally sell for less than $5,000 for very fine examples, their sister-making carousel horse companies have sold for record prices. A rare Daniel Muller outside stander horse sold at Sotheby’s in October 2006 for $90,000
  • During the 20th century, rocking horses led to playground spring horses. Today, collectors buy, display, and restore spring animals that were deemed unsafe and removed from children’s play areas
  • According to “The Guinness Book of World Records,” the largest hand-carved wooden rocking horse weighs 1,200 pounds, stands 7 feet 8 inches tall, and can hold up to 5 children at a time

Recommended Items at Auction

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Carousel Horse on Swinging Base
Dec 03, 9:00 AM EST
Carousel Horse on Swinging Base
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $200- $400
$602 Bids
Antique Victorian Childs Rocking Horse
Dec 03, 1:00 PM EST
Antique Victorian Childs Rocking Horse
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$500 Bids
LOT OF 2: VERY EARLY FISHER PRICE WOODEN HORSES ON PLATFORMS.
Nov 30, 9:00 AM EST
LOT OF 2: VERY EARLY FISHER PRICE WOODEN HORSES ON PLATFORMS.
by Morphy Auctions
Est: $100- $300
$500 Bids
Hand painted wood and metal rocking horse
Nov 30, 11:30 PM EST
Hand painted wood and metal rocking horse
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $30- $35
$200 Bids
HERMÈS 2021 A BEECHWOOD ROCKING HORSE
Dec 01, 2:30 PM HKT
HERMÈS 2021 A BEECHWOOD ROCKING HORSE
by Poly Auction Hong Kong
Est: HKD5,000- HKD10,000
HKD5,0000 Bids
VINTAGE ARTICULATED HORSE RIDING TOY
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
VINTAGE ARTICULATED HORSE RIDING TOY
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $700- $900
$3500 Bids
PLATFORM ROCKING HORSE
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
PLATFORM ROCKING HORSE
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $600- $800
$3000 Bids
VICTORIAN SUSPENDED GLIDER TOY HORSE
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
VICTORIAN SUSPENDED GLIDER TOY HORSE
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $500- $700
$2500 Bids
19TH C. AMERICAN BOW ROCKING HORSE
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
19TH C. AMERICAN BOW ROCKING HORSE
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5000 Bids
19TH C. ROCKING HORSE
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
19TH C. ROCKING HORSE
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $600- $800
$3000 Bids
19TH C. GLIDER HORSE
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
19TH C. GLIDER HORSE
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $300- $400
$1500 Bids
PAINTED ROCKING HORSE
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
PAINTED ROCKING HORSE
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
CARVED WOODEN ROCKING HORSE
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
CARVED WOODEN ROCKING HORSE
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
Vintage Carved Child's Rocking Horse Toy
Nov 30, 12:00 PM EST
Vintage Carved Child's Rocking Horse Toy
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $50- $100
$500 Bids
Antique Style Carousel Design Rocking Horse
Nov 30, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Style Carousel Design Rocking Horse
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
Antique Style Carved Wooden Rocking Horse
Dec 03, 9:00 AM EST
Antique Style Carved Wooden Rocking Horse
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$250 Bids
Early American carved and painted rocking horse
Dec 03, 9:00 AM EST
Early American carved and painted rocking horse
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $600- $800
$3000 Bids
Shoo fly wooden horse rocker
Dec 03, 9:00 AM EST
Shoo fly wooden horse rocker
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Kids Play Horse W/ Saddle 31"X31"
Dec 04, 9:00 AM PST
Kids Play Horse W/ Saddle 31"X31"
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $35- $45
$100 Bids
DECORATIVE METAL ROCKING HORSE, 29.5"H
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CST
DECORATIVE METAL ROCKING HORSE, 29.5"H
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
CHILD'S WOODEN PAINTED ROCKING HORSE
Dec 04, 11:00 AM EST
CHILD'S WOODEN PAINTED ROCKING HORSE
by D. L. Straight Auctioneers
Est: $100- $300
$500 Bids
PAINTED WOODEN ROCKING HORSE
Dec 04, 11:00 AM EST
PAINTED WOODEN ROCKING HORSE
by D. L. Straight Auctioneers
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Wonderful Childs Rocking Camel
Dec 04, 10:30 AM AEDT
Wonderful Childs Rocking Camel
by Aalders Auctions
Est: AUD250- AUD450
AUD2000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Rocking Horses


Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

D. L. Straight Auctioneers

D. L. Straight Auctioneers

Keystone Auctions LLC

Keystone Auctions LLC

Greenwich Auction

Greenwich Auction