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The Rocking Horse Shop

Designers, Makers & Restorers of Beautiful Rocking Horses Since 1976

Previously Restored Rocking Horses

Lines Brothers Rocking Horse

Here is an example of a Lines Bros Rocking Horse. At their peak , Lines Bros were the main competitors to Ayres (who are widely regarding as the finest rocking horse makers), in the early 1900’s,

As you can see, the horse had been repainted and lost all of its original hair and leatherwork. Once it was finished it had undergone quite a transformation before being returned home to another delighted owner. Although many aspects are not original, it is ready for another 100 years of use by many future generations.

Baby Carriages Rocking Horse

This example shows a Baby Carriages Rocking Horse, a mid-range antique horse from the early 1900’s. The company was previous known as Hill & Harrison and they traded from Liverpool. The distinguishing rectangular posts (similar to those used by Collinsons who, coincidentally also traded out of Liverpool) and tucked in head bears many similarity to an Ayres design are just some of their outstanding features.

This horse was bought to us in poor condition, missing most of its leatherwork and needing some serious repainting. Our first job was to stirip the horse back to the bare wood then to make some repairs made to the body work before being repainted and new traditional saddle and hair was fitted.

Lines SportiBoy Rocking Horse

The original Lines company traded in the period circa 1880 to 1931 variously as G&J Lines, the initials referring to the two brothers, George and Joseph. They operated a number of small factories in North London, making a wide range of toys. In 1927 they became Triang and for a while became the world's largest toy company.

This medium Lines SportiBoy was a popular and well-made model in the 1920’s. It came to us missing its original paint work and distinguishing removable saddle. After some minor repairs to the woodwork, new gesso, paint and bespoke leatherwork and hair, the horse looks as good as it did 100 years ago and was returned home to an overjoyed owner.

Ayres Rocking Horse

Although the name of Frederick Henry Ayres is very well known in the Rocking Horse world, it was first synonymous with high quality sporting goods: such as billiards, croquet and tennis, together with board games. From the mid 1800’s,  the company were based in London and were renowned for making the finest of Rocking Horses. Although the horse was brought to us in original condition, the owner opted to fully restore the horse, with new paint and leatherwork.

Collinson's Rocking Horse

One of out most popular horses to repair and probably the longest-established English rocking horse maker, J. Collinson traces its roots back to Liverpool in 1836. The more modern Collinsons are quite crude in their carving with less flaring of the nostrils, metal studs for the eyes and corduroy/leatherette saddles which all made for quicker / cheaper production in the factory. A hardboard diamond was often fitted to the top rail to hide the nails used to assemble the stand.

Thinking about Restoring an old Rocking Horse?

If you have a battered & forlorn old rocking horse, before you do anything to it please think carefully. Sometimes it is wisest to do nothing at all. Sometimes a little judicious touching up of leather or hair replacement is all that is called for and sometimes a full renovation is required. In our opinion old rocking horses should not be restored or renovated unless (a) they have been badly repaired and/or repainted in the past, or (b) are too battered to be safe for a child to ride (& even then it may be preferable to keep the old horse in its original battered condition as a museum piece, & buy a new one for the children to ride!).

Call our advice line on 01759 368737 or click fill in a form and we shall try to help you decide.