Over the years there are many rocking horse makers that most people have heard of. But there are also lots of unnamed rocking horses from earlier periods that are very well carved and look nice as well.
Early bow rockers ie Georgian etc are very sought after and their elongated faces make them look very different. Of course bow rockers do tend to come up very long so more space is needed.
My own private collection does not tend to collect bows because of the space problem, but some of the smaller ones do look very nice and of course they are how one imagines a true rocking horse to look.
I am now adding pages to this site with a little information of the various makers of later years and this does help identify and see the differences.
The makers generally are of course
F.H. Ayres with their variations of bow rockers, swing stands, moving head, extra carved, with tongues, to nursery rockers with end seats. Of course the prices are relevants to the size and rarity.
G&J Lines, then later known as LInes Brothers, then going on to be Triang or Triangtoi.
J. Collinson and Sons
Paul Leach rocking horses are not so common and quite sought after.
Also JR Smith, Baby Carriage, Hill & Harrison, Norton & Barker are also quite often seen. There are of course many more that I have not mentioned, mainly because they are horses that I have not ever owned in my collection throughout the years. There are many good books that give lots of information on some of these more obsure makers.
I also must mention a rare 48/49 inch Gamages Bronko patent No 467670 these were made by AW Gamage from 1878-1972. These were not regular rocking horse makers but produced a patent on the bronko and are quite different in that they were constructed to a Gamage's own design with cowboy saddle and stirrups.
Some rocking horses come with their original paint and where possible its nice to keep this and the restorers can just 'touch it up' and seal it for the enjoyment of future generations.
Then there are the fully restored horses these are generally restored to the same pattern and to how they would have looked within reason but it does make the horse much more easier to keep in todays centrally heated homes which of course can cause rocking horses to naturally crack as wood is a natural material and these hores were made many many years ago and were kept in houses that were heated more by open fires not todays dry heat.
Rocking horses do come in lots of sizes so even if room does not permit a large horse the tiny horses and miniatures are still made with the same high quality of carving of their larger brothers.
Sometimes its takes a long while to get ones collection to the highest standards and of course along the way owning of different horses is very enjoyable and then selling them on and getting a little bit better one is rewarding.
If anyone would like to send me photos of their treasured rocking horses with information please feel free to do so.
tel: 01485 544596 or 07766 025 204