I bought two horses yesterday. As the weather is forecasted to be miserable today, they are currently stabled. At the back of the hall . . . Needless to say, these are not ones which need passports, worming or shoeing, but rocking horses from another age. Here is the Arab, Cobweb. Isn't he proud? He was apparently a top quality horse in his day, as he has extra muscles carved in, which made him a top of the range. He is possibly made by F H Ayres. Particularly as he has lost his lower jaw - this is apparently common in the Ayres horses, which had finely-chiselled heads. HERE is a facinating link to a rocking horse restorer. She seems such a nice lady AND she loves Arabs!!
He has seen better days, and lost his rocker - whether it was a bow or a safety style rocker I'm not sure. Probably the latter. As you can see, he is in a distressed state . . . he needs total restoration, and I don't think we shall be doing it, as it's a very labour-intensive business, as all the joints need to be secured, missing parts restored, coats and coats of Gesso applied and sanded down, a good paint job (dapple grey for him of course) and then there is the mane and tail and tack and of course the stand . . . I want him to be restored and loved by a new generation.
Here is his friend Tommy, who is earlier (probably mid-Victorian) on a narrow bow rocker and whilst he has lost his bridle, he still has his original saddle and one stirrup. He has not got anything like the quality of Cobweb, who is SO well bred!, but he has character by the bucketful . . . His conformation leaves much to be desired, as he has no length of rein whatsoever, but I expect he was a very comfortable sensible ride. (I am sure the high-couraged Cobweb bucked . . .)
Tommy, bless him, must have been in the starvation paddock with Laminitis as he has lost his crest . . . Any similarity to the Surgeon's photo of the Loch Ness Monster is purely coincidental . . .
Nor was Tommy best-placed in the looks stakes . . . He looks to be a home-made chappy, perhaps made by the carpenter on an estate for the children of the house? Looks apart, I know he has been SO loved. Just to look at him I feel plump little arms clasped around his neck, giving him a BIG hug. He has given hours and hours of pleasure. At some point, he has been reinvented in "grey" - perhaps in the 1960s when anything was considered old-fashioned if it was brown (furniture this is) and perhaps he looked a little shabby so he had a makeover. He has the remains of dark grey stockings and there are trails of brown paint from his joints too. His string tail has been nibbled away to a stump . . .
They cost me an arm and a leg yesterday - in fact I got home before the gut feeling BUY THEM nagged me so much that I had to turn around and go back for them. Now I need to find new homes for them, so a few phone calls will be made today. The real money is in Cobweb (I hope!) and I think Tommy may end up coming to the Fleamarket with us . . . I shall keep you posted.
Meanwhile, I am being eaten to death in here by some midges which came in through the open window yesterday (I know, windows still open in mid-October, amazing) so I am going to go and do some work downstairs, and pat the horses on my way past.
They are so beautiful, I really wanted one as a child. Sadly I don't think I would fit on one now.ReplyDelete
Me neither, but I did have the Real Thing (I saved the best till last, and he was a Crabbet Arab). Cobweb has a similar head, so pretty.ReplyDelete
Well, I nearly fell over when you announced the purchase of two new horses so calmly! Then read on and understood. We have a Victorian Rocking horse that was once a carousel. Ma had him restored last year (we've had him since I was two, which is longer ago than I'm willing to admit). It was costly, but he looks great. They are marvellous things.ReplyDelete
I just love these two BB - even in their 'distressed' state - they are still loveable.ReplyDelete
You have presented these two much loved [and over-worked?] equines in such a spritely way! I trust they will go to homes where they are once again cherished.ReplyDelete
CT - I am so gld to read that you had your Carousel horse restored - they look marvellous once all titivated up again.ReplyDelete
Pat - they have such character and I think either would make a great shop window display (before being restored I would hope).
Sharon - I think they've earned their keep down the years! Tommy has a much-hugged feel about him, and Cobweb says he's seen better days, but will look wonderful again : ) I wish I could afford to keep him and have him restored for any grandchildren who might come along . . .
They really are beautiful - do so hope they go to good homes.You can just imagine some of the history behind them. I was fortunate to have one as a child and it was so loved. Sadly, we couldn't afford to buy my daughter one.ReplyDelete
R. Robin - glad you like them too. I am sure some folk would look at them ind think I was completely mad to pay good money for them, but I hope that my gut feeling was right.ReplyDelete
What lovely finds, they are great and very interesting to read about. I hope you do really well with them, should be a good seller just before Xmas!ReplyDelete
I wanted one as a child too, almost as much as a real one. I never had either so am in love with both of these and can't wait to see what you do with them. xxReplyDelete
Cobweb takes my fancy, problem was they were only for rich kids in their day, safely housed in the nursery but easier to look after than the real thing ;)ReplyDelete