Welcome to Vintage Rocking Horse UK
We are an authorised eBay affiliate and are delighted to bring to you a vast selection of vintage rocking horses available exclusively on eBay. Please click the links to the left to browse our categories, or use the search facility at the top of the page. Should you require any specialist assistance in finding your perfect vintage rocking horse, please do get in touch via our contact form. We will be only too happy to help.
Are you the proud owner of a Vintage rocking horse?
Here is the story behind your charming equestrian keepsake!
Rocking horses have been the beloved toy of children for centuries. They have remained a popular gift, and cherished heirloom and are still found in baby nurseries and playrooms worldwide. But where did these uniquely wonderful toys comes from? The vintage rocking horse toys found in today’s flea markets and antiques shops have a long and fascinating history. And like all great stories, the tale of the rocking horse includes princesses and kings, children and creativity and most of all magic!
The original rocking horse is said to have been inspired by the wooden, wheeled horses used by swordsmen and guards during the middle ages. Though these wooden horses were not toys but important training tools, they did spark the imaginations of many toy makers and led to the development of what we now recognise as the toy rocking horse. The traditional horse design which has become increasingly popular with children, complete with saddle details, rocking base, reins and painted accessories was introduced to privileged children in the middle of the 18th century.
In the 19th century, as a result of the industrial revolution toys began to be made in abundance and were now accessible for families and children from all walks of life. However, the vintage rocking horse design which is so highly collectable today did not become popular until given the “royal approval” from a very special young queen.
Queen Victoria herself visited J. Collinson in Liverpool to purchase a rocking horse to ride and enjoy. The world was captivated when she left with a dapple grey rocking horse in tow. The tale of the surprising shopping trip spread quickly and soon children everywhere were wishing, hoping and praying for a darling dapper grey of their own.
Unlike other toys, as time went on the popularity and love for rocking horses did not dwindle but rather grew and spread for years and years. The vintage rocking horse toys collected today can range from the elaborate carousel designs of the 18th century to the more modern models which were mass-produced and purchased in the 1900s.
If you are a collector who is interested in purchasing a vintage rocking horse, do some research and enjoy the history! After all, it is the story behind a collection which makes it magical!
Looking for a Vintage rocking horse?
Here are some of the types you may find!
Collecting vintage rocking horse toys has always been popular. But as more and more people discover the decor value behind these precious heirlooms, the more collectors begin actively searching for the perfect horse for their home.
However, while searching and shopping for a vintage rocking horse it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of unique designs, details and types of these timeless and valuable toys. If you are one of the many people who are hoping to find the perfect vintage rocking horse either to give as a gift or enjoy in your home, here are the most common toy designs you may find;
Wooden: Traditional wooden rocking horses are definitely the most common and the most desirable for collectors. When searching for a vintage rocking horse, wood is always the best choice for many reasons. For example, the techniques, finishes and painted details of a wooden rocking horse are known to be more accurate and will change depending on the toy maker and manufacturer, making it easier to determine age and collectability.
Spring: Though these toys are not technically rocking horses, they are quite popular with collectors. These durable riding toys were quite readily available in the 1960s and 1970s. The design includes a plastic or metal horse which is supported by the metal base with attached springs. As the child bounced up and down in the saddle, the horse swung rapidly, supplying the rider with a wild and sometimes uncontrollable ride!
Plush: These durable and safe rocking horse designs were made available to children and parents in the 1940s. Though they are harder to find then other types of vintage rocking horses they can be easily refurbished and restored to their original glory. Plush rocking toys can be found in many different shapes and sizes and are not limited to only horse designs. There are also other rocking animal products such as rocking giraffes, rocking moose and even rocking bears!
Carousel: Carousel horses are the most elaborate and colourful of all rocking horse designs. Inspired by the popular carnival ride, carousel rocking horses are often painted with great detail and can appear to have jumped from the pages of a children’s fantasy tale. A vintage rocking horse which has been finished in a carousel design will quite often be one solid piece with the mane, tail and face details finished in paint rather than other fibrous materials. Though this type vintage rocking horse is the most sought after it is also the most uncommon, found mostly at estate auctions or museum stock sales.