10 Animals That Llok Fake But They Are Real Identifying an Antique Rocking Horse

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Identifying an Antique Rocking Horse

The old rocking horse is a beautiful thing. They bring images of a time when children were happy with innocent play, before the days of running and toys and video games. A true antique horse can cost thousands of dollars, but how old are they, and how can you tell the real from the fake?

In the USA, toy horses were made as early as the 17th Century, by fathers in their workshops as gifts for their children. These are simple general toys and there are better techniques later. In Europe, sky horses were made from around 1750 and high horses on a swing stand were made from around 1880. The dates are similar for the US.

An old draft horse from Europe is much different than one from America. The American ones are often called the ‘human art’ of ancient horses. The designs are simple and the manes and tails are usually of horse hair. If there are saddles and left reins they will be leather. Some were painted and some were polished or left natural.

European horses, especially British ones, mostly date from about 1870-1920. Again, the hair and tail are made of hair, and the taki is the skin, often made of bronze. They are full. They don’t always have manufacturers’ names but some do, and the three biggest manufacturers are Collinsons (1836-1993), FH Ayres (19th and early 20th Century) and Tri-Ang Lines, who also make big horses covered.

So how do you know that the horse you are looking at is a horse with a past? First, it will look old! But be careful! Old can be faked. You need to know where to look. First, look at the delicate parts of the horse – the ears, the bottom of the face, around the eyes and legs. Most importantly, look at the seat. An antique horse should have signs of wear, not only in leatherwork, but also wood wear in the places where the saddle is covered. Also, the reins can be tied around the neck.

Second, tack. On an antique rocking horse this is almost always leather. A carved and carved saddle is truly unique on a fighting horse. Make sure the color is worn. Again, even look at the seat of the saddle. A European will have a bronze arrow on it to fix it, but this is not always the case. Nails and other metal materials can be artificially rusted so be careful.

Third, the mane and tail on an old rocking horse will almost always be real horse or cow hair. If you see one with a raised mane, it may be newer than you think.

There are some very excellent companies that make replica horses and these should not be confused with fake antique horses. If you do your research, check some pictures on the internet, and buy from a dealer you know you shouldn’t have any problems and will enjoy your old horse.

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