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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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Hermes Spirit Pull Along Horse
Dec 06, 2:00 PM GMT
Hermes Spirit Pull Along Horse
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £200- £400
£1001 Bid
Schaukelpferd deutsch.
Dec 16, 10:00 AM CET
Schaukelpferd deutsch.
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €60- €80
€600 Bids
VINTAGE CHILD'S ROCKING HORSE CHAIR
Dec 07, 10:00 AM GMT
VINTAGE CHILD'S ROCKING HORSE CHAIR
by Sheppards
Est: €100- €150
€600 Bids
Painted Wooden Rocking Horse
Dec 09, 10:00 AM EST
Painted Wooden Rocking Horse
by Alex Cooper
Est: $60- $100
$300 Bids
Miniature Rocking Horse
Dec 09, 10:00 AM EST
Miniature Rocking Horse
by Alex Cooper
Est: $50- $100
$300 Bids
Child's Rocking Horse Chair
Dec 09, 10:00 AM EST
Child's Rocking Horse Chair
by Alex Cooper
Est: $40- $60
$200 Bids
CREATIVE PLAYTHINGS MAPLE ROCKING HORSE CHILDS TOY.
Dec 06, 10:00 AM EST
CREATIVE PLAYTHINGS MAPLE ROCKING HORSE CHILDS TOY.
by Uniques & Antiques
Est: $120- $160
$800 Bids
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VINTAGE WOODEN ROCKING HORSE Height 24". Length 46".
Dec 09, 9:30 AM EST
VINTAGE WOODEN ROCKING HORSE Height 24". Length 46".
by Eldred's
Est: $250- $350
$1250 Bids
Holzpferd als Schimmel auf vier Rädern 1. H. 20. Jh.
Dec 10, 10:00 AM CET
Holzpferd als Schimmel auf vier Rädern 1. H. 20. Jh.
by Leo Spik
Est: €40- €48
€300 Bids
19th Century Folk Art Baby Rocking Horse
Dec 17, 12:00 PM EST
19th Century Folk Art Baby Rocking Horse
by Main Auction Galleries
Est: $60- $120
$300 Bids
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A dappled grey painted rocking horseSecond-half 20th century
Dec 06, 10:00 AM GMT
A dappled grey painted rocking horseSecond-half 20th century
by Bonhams
Est: £300- £500
£3000 Bids
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A painted grey rocking horse Early 20th century
Dec 14, 10:00 AM GMT
A painted grey rocking horse Early 20th century
by Bonhams
Est: £400- £600
£4000 Bids
Vintage Childs Wooden Rocking Horse
Dec 10, 11:00 AM GMT
Vintage Childs Wooden Rocking Horse
by Cooper Barrington LLP
Est: £30- £40
£140 Bids
A Wooden Rocking Horse
Dec 11, 1:00 PM EST
A Wooden Rocking Horse
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
A Silk Rocking Horse
Dec 11, 1:00 PM EST
A Silk Rocking Horse
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
A Pair of Vintage Cast Iron Rocking Horses
Dec 11, 1:00 PM EST
A Pair of Vintage Cast Iron Rocking Horses
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $125- $1,250
$1250 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Rocking Horses


Alex Cooper

Alex Cooper

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Bonhams

Bonhams

Eldred's

Eldred's