Featured Object

In each issue, the bimonthly DAR magazine, American Spirit, highlights an object from the DAR Museum collection in its "National Treasures" feature. These objects, often recent accessions or important pieces in the current exhibit, always have a story to tell about American history.

National Treasures

A Rockin' Good Toy

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.

More National Treasures

Sitting Pretty

To the Rescue

Strange Brew

Tayloe Family Ties

Ornamental Trio

Reviving the Stone

A Record to Remember

Strong Set

Fashion Flashback

Let's Go Ride a Bike


Isn't It Romantic

The Mystery of Mother and Child

Keep Cool

Dress for the Ages

Historical Register

Banjo Time

Getting Warmer

Virginia Map Quest

Serve It Up

Greatest Toy on Earth

Dress for the Day

Boston Uncommon

A Teapot to Revere

Seats of Honor

Birthday Threads


Play On

Top Drawer

Burning Bright

Seated in Revolution

Something to Crow About

Sister Stitch

Tea Time

Capturing Cherubs

A Link to the Past

Brushes with Fame

Something Borrowed

Supper Is Served

Stately Seats

Heirloom High Chest

Making Beautiful Music

Forged From Fire

For Madame's Trousseau

Let It Out

Heavenly Harmonies

Priceless Pooch

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