This dapple-gray wooden rocking horse was probably made in either the United States or England in the second half of the 19th century, when the carved toy became most prevalent.
Folklore holds that Queen Victoria visited rocking horse maker J. Collinson in Liverpool in 1851 and gave his dapple-gray version her royal approval, helping spur it to become the most popular “breed” of rocking horse.
The rocking horse design evolved in 1877 when P.J. Marqua of Cincinnati patented the safety stand. Instead of the original bow rocker, the safety or swinger stand provided a fixed frame on which the rocking horse could swing.
The DAR Museum’s version features a mane and tail made of horsehair, and its saddle and bridle are leather, with metal stirrups.
The toy was a gift of Mrs. Matherson, and conservation was funded by the New Hampshire State Society in honor of Bea Dalton.