Asked on Jun 26, 2013

Please Help Me Pinpoint Age & Origin of This Wooden Rocking Horse

by Shari
Several years ago, I walked into an antique mall in search of a small farm style table and walked out with a wooden rocking horse instead. (Total impulse buy but I was completely smitten--and still am--because I had never seen one like it.) Ever since, I have periodically searched the internet trying to find some info about this style rocking horse. The only rocking horses I can find that even remotely resemble this horse are on United Kingdom websites and typically those horses are shown with the slider style base rather than the rocking base my horse has.

There are no identifying markings on it that I can find. It is large enough to accommodate a 3 year old child (and maybe even a small 4 year old). From the floor to the back of the saddle measures 26 inches, from the floor to the tip of the ears is 36 inches and from front tip to back tip of the rockers, it measures 41 inches. It appears to be solid wood (it's very heavy!) and the wood grain is quite pretty. I suspect the mane and (whimpy) tail are real horse hair. The saddle, bridle and breastplate are real leather. The English style stirrups are some kind of metal but not stainless steel like real English irons.

I doubt this rocking horse is antique, or even vintage, for that matter. I think it's probably more of a contemporary creation. I'm curious to find out if this rocking horse is mass produced, or whether it is handcrafted. Although the rocker base is somewhat simplistic, the horse almost seems too perfect to be handcrafted. Has anyone seen a rocking horse like this one? Can anyone tell me about it or direct me to a knowledgeable and reliable source that might be able to pinpoint its age, manufacturing origin and possible value? Thanks!
  9 answers
  • Z Z on Jun 26, 2013
    Wow is he beautiful Shari! If it is old it has been lovingly restored. The only sign of age I see is around his neck.
  • 153091 153091 on Jun 27, 2013
    I would guess Mexico or an overseas import. You are right..not old. Rockers, handles and leather are signs of repro/newer..Try to Google wooden horse imports. I have seen several like this at Antique Malls and auctions. If I like an item and I have the perfect spot to place it...It really doesn't matter if it's old or new if it achieves the look I want....HOWEVER if it is sold as better be OLD!
  • Debbie Debbie on Jun 28, 2013
    Beautiful item...would not care if reproduction or not, it is one of the nicest rocking horses I have seen, even the carousel horses I have walked away from, because I just didn't connect with the piece! I would have taken it home too!!
  • Frankie Laney Frankie Laney on Jun 28, 2013
    I think it is a repro or from one of our importing countries. That said, I love it and it will become a family treasure for you to pass on to future generations.
  • Sharon Clyatt Sharon Clyatt on Jun 28, 2013
    its sure is beautiful ,wonderful wood grains and love the eyes almost like real,I have never seen one like this one and I don't think it's old either. '
  • Shari Shari on Jun 29, 2013
    Well, with further research using the clues from those of you who thought the rocking horse might be an overseas import, I'm pretty sure I have finally found the origin of this horse--Thailand. It is almost an exact match to one of the medium sized horses pictured on the Thai Rocking Horse Co website. The website indicates their horses are hand-carved from Monkeypodwood, which is also called Rainwood. The booth owner who sold the rocking horse to me said she had bought it for a family friend's newborn child. However, as I recall, she said the family lived out of state and due to the logistics of getting the horse transported, the horse was never gifted to the child. Time passed and the child it was intended for outgrew it so she had decided to sell it. Frankly, when I bought it, I had no idea of it's age, origin or value...and really didn't care. I never even thought to ask the booth owner where she got it or how long ago she had purchased it. For me, it was simply a matter of "love at first sight." Actually, we had just bought a 30 acre horse farm so it seemed only fitting that it come home with me to be displayed in our family room. Someday, I do hope I have at least one grandchild to pass it to but at this point, that seems unlikely since my only child, a grown daughter, is more into animals than kids. So far, my *grandchildren* are the furry-faced, 4 legged kind--2 dogs, 2 cats, and 4 horses. :) Thanks all for your responses!
  • Fay Most Fay Most on Jun 29, 2013
    This reminds me of some beautiful carvings a folk artist (can't remember his name) that was featured in several magazines. Probably Early American Homes, or old Country Homes magazines. Past issues, as I go through them time to time, I will get back to you if I find the articles.
  • Carole Alden Carole Alden on Apr 03, 2014
    I think it's home made or from an over seas market. Here is a picture of an old one found in the collection of Malcolm Briggs KNISELYBirth 6 Sep 1900 in Battle Creek, Calhoun Co., MI. Death Living Death 29 May 1954 in San Joaquin, California
    comment photo
  • Bil1676764 Bil1676764 on May 13, 2015
    Hello, I would love to purchase it from you if you ever want to sell it.