Rocking Horse Maker
" Welcome to the rocking horse maker online workshop
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One particular horse - a truly magnificent example by that much sought after maker F.H. Ayres 1864-1940. This horse dates from the late 19th century and is as good as you will find - they just don't come any better!

Note the extra carving to the horses neck and the top of the leg.

This horse also has a tongue and segmented teeth. A striking feature of this horse is the head tilted to one side.

This horse has a removable bridle and saddle, unlike most historical rocking horses which had fixed tack.

When the horse came to us it had been over painted with white gloss paint, one ear was missing and the other broken, as were its teeth.

There were numerous cracks needing attention especially a particularly bad one in the horses neck. This horses saving grace is in the fact that the stand is in good original condition, having a lovely rich patina.

Work started by carefully removing the gloss paint - hopefully to expose the original paint work and preserve this. It soon became apparent that this was not going to be possible as the underlying paint and gesso was in such poor condition.

Once taken back to the wood, new pieces of timber were fitted and missing ears, teeth etc. carved - keeping to the original design. A new gesso coating was applied and the horse painted and dappled again in the correct style for this horse.

We are fortunate in there being a picture of one of these quite rare horses, with its original paint work, in that wonderful book 'The Rocking Horse' by Patricia Mullins, now sadly out of print.

Our saddler made a new saddle on a wooden tree, a hand stitched bridle and martingale to complement the horse which was then returned to one very satisfied and lucky owner.

Many rocking horse collectors would give their eye teeth for this magnificent rocking horse - actually we took quite a fancy to it ourselves - it looked rather nice in our dinning room, while awaiting delivery!

We've got more interesting restorations booked in over the coming months, but they're for future Newsletters.

We are constantly looking to buy old rocking horses - we have people waiting for them - if you have one - call us.

You may have an old rocking horse and wish to know more about it - we are able to identify many of these horses - send us photographs, if we can identify your horse, we will send you a short history of the firm and a guide to its value - this is a free service!

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