Loading Spinner

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

See all items

Antique Carved Wood Toddlers Rocking Horse
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
Antique Carved Wood Toddlers Rocking Horse
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$304 Bids
bp parity badge
WOODEN ROCKING HORSE 20th Century Length 33".
Mar 07, 9:30 AM EST
WOODEN ROCKING HORSE 20th Century Length 33".
by Eldred's
Est: $150- $200
$701 Bid
A good large vintage painted wood rocking horse. 165cm long.
Mar 10, 7:00 PM AEDT
A good large vintage painted wood rocking horse. 165cm long.
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD201 Bid
Vintage Handcrafted Wooden Child's Duck Rocking Chair
Mar 02, 7:00 AM PST
Vintage Handcrafted Wooden Child's Duck Rocking Chair
by GWS Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$501 Bid
A large double-seated fairground carousel galloper horse by F Savage & Co.
Mar 07, 4:00 PM GMT
A large double-seated fairground carousel galloper horse by F Savage & Co.
by Sworders
Est: £2,500- £3,500
£2,0000 Bids
ANTONIO VITALI, ROCKING TOY 'SNAIL', C. 1960
Mar 19, 6:30 PM CET
ANTONIO VITALI, ROCKING TOY 'SNAIL', C. 1960
by Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH
Est: €550- €600
€5000 Bids
A vintage dappled grey rocking horse
Mar 08, 10:00 AM GMT
A vintage dappled grey rocking horse
by Martel Maides
Est: £150- £200
£1000 Bids
A 1950's combined wooden rocking horse and pull toy
Mar 07, 10:00 AM GMT
A 1950's combined wooden rocking horse and pull toy
by Martel Maides
Est: £80- £120
£600 Bids
Softwood rocking horse with remnants of old paint, c. 1900, 70x119x24cm, ears lost
Mar 01, 10:00 AM CET
Softwood rocking horse with remnants of old paint, c. 1900, 70x119x24cm, ears lost
by Kendzia
Est: €0- €0
€1000 Bids
AN EARLY WOODEN ROCKING HORSE. 3ft 3ins long.
Mar 06, 10:30 AM GMT
AN EARLY WOODEN ROCKING HORSE. 3ft 3ins long.
by John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: £150- £200
£1300 Bids
A rocking horse, by F H Ayres, late 19th century, …
Mar 20, 10:30 AM GMT
A rocking horse, by F H Ayres, late 19th century, …
by Roseberys
Est: £2,000- £3,000
£1,4000 Bids
Coin-op "Muffin" kids ride horse
Mar 23, 9:00 AM EDT
Coin-op "Muffin" kids ride horse
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $100- $500
$500 Bids
Child Size Antique Painted Rocking Horse, 41 in L
Mar 20, 10:00 AM EDT
Child Size Antique Painted Rocking Horse, 41 in L
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $100- $250
$10 Bids
Vintage hand-painted Rocking Horse
Mar 17, 7:00 PM AEDT
Vintage hand-painted Rocking Horse
by Because Auctions
Est: AUD300- AUD400
AUD2000 Bids
bp parity badge
PLUSH ROCKING HORSE
Mar 07, 9:00 AM AEST
PLUSH ROCKING HORSE
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Rocking Horses


Martel Maides

Martel Maides

Eldred's

Eldred's

John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

Roseberys

Roseberys