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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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A vintage dappled grey rocking horse
May 24, 10:00 AM BST
A vintage dappled grey rocking horse
by Martel Maides
Est: £100- £150
£802 Bids
Quebec Folk Art Childs Goose Rocking Toy
May 25, 11:00 AM EDT
Quebec Folk Art Childs Goose Rocking Toy
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $40- $15,000
$401 Bid
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Hobby Horse
May 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Hobby Horse
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $40- $80
$101 Bid
A Relko Wooden Rocking Horse By Cookham Dean Of England
May 24, 10:00 AM BST
A Relko Wooden Rocking Horse By Cookham Dean Of England
by Martel Maides
Est: £400- £600
£3501 Bid
Two Vintage Child's Horse Toys
May 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Two Vintage Child's Horse Toys
by Schwenke Auctioneers
Est: $80- $100
$200 Bids
An English wooden rocking Horse, of small proportions, probably manufactured by Collinson & Sons
May 21, 10:00 AM BST
An English wooden rocking Horse, of small proportions, probably manufactured by Collinson & Sons
by Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd
Est: £150- £250
£900 Bids
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4x div. Baumanhänger, Erzgebirge, gr. Schaukelpferd, 7x9 cm, und 3 kl. Engel, Fehlteile, Weihnachtsmann??
May 31, 11:00 AM CEST
4x div. Baumanhänger, Erzgebirge, gr. Schaukelpferd, 7x9 cm, und 3 kl. Engel, Fehlteile, Weihnachtsmann??
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€100 Bids
Horse Riding Toy
Jun 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Horse Riding Toy
by New England Auctions
Est: $150- $250
$500 Bids
3 Vintage Wearable Hobby Horse Toys
Jun 03, 6:00 PM EDT
3 Vintage Wearable Hobby Horse Toys
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
ROCKING HORSE
May 28, 2:00 PM CEST
ROCKING HORSE
by Campo & Campo
Est: €300- €350
€2400 Bids
Franco Albini (Italian1905-1977) Rocking Horse
May 22, 6:00 PM EDT
Franco Albini (Italian1905-1977) Rocking Horse
by Kodner Galleries
Est: $50- $150
$200 Bids
Vintage hand-painted Rocking Horse
Jun 02, 11:30 AM AEST
Vintage hand-painted Rocking Horse
by Because Auctions
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD600 Bids
WOODEN ROCKING HORSE
Jun 09, 10:30 AM EDT
WOODEN ROCKING HORSE
by Farrin's country Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$200 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Rocking Horses


Martel Maides

Martel Maides

Campo & Campo

Campo & Campo

Barry S. Slosberg Inc

Barry S. Slosberg Inc

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd