State Library of South AustraliaState Library of South Australia

Rocking horse


View More Images

Catalogue record

Place of Creation: unknown

Date of creation : unknown

Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for personal research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.

Format : Toy, 160 mm

A wooden rocking horse on a black frame with white mane and tail.

Rocking and hobby horses have been used by children for centuries. The history of rocking horses can be traced back to mediaeval times when the sons of nobles were expected to become knights, and their toys reflected this as they mimicked the men in the family going to war or hunting.
Hobby horses were also popular at the same time - children would pretend to ride around on a 'horse' that was made from a stick with a fake horse head on top. Both these sorts of toys are still used by children all over the World.
During the 19th century children in wealthier families had sturdy rocking horses made for them by estate carpenters. Their construction required the hand-carving of wood, artistic painting and saddlery skills. The look would have reflected horse colours popular at the time (i.e. dappled grey) and real horse hair was used for the mane and tail and was similarly coiffed.
They were the sort of item that was handed down the generations and surviving examples with provenance have become quite valuable.

This hand-held rocking horse at 16 cm, is the kind of which we see available at Christmas time. 

Search Treasures

Use the keyword search above for a quick search, or use our advanced search.

Current highlight

Play

James S. Pearce, Kapunda Football Club, 1879, B 7437
View the Football in SA exhibitions.

Stay in touch

Subscribe to our e-news and stay in touch with the State Library of South Australia's news and events.


Navigation

Home

Treasures

About the wall

Preservation

Learning

Links

Sponsors