Sallys Rocking Horses Ltd

Antique Rocking Horses


A Crandall Spring horse.

Frederick is a Crandall design spring horse of unknown provenance. He is almost certainly of some age, the original Crandall design going back to 1861, it seemed to enjoy some popularity before the advent of the Marqua stand in 1880-85, as one of the few viable alternatives to the traditional bow rocker. Examples were made both side of the pond, so "Frederick" could be either at the moment.
Frederick has some history, as indicated by his condition. The paintwork and tack is so indicative of Baby Carriages to suggest he had a restoration by them, if not actually made by them. It's perfectly feasible for a possible restoration to date from before Baby Carriages ceased trading (1959), given that such spring horses were unlikely to have been made in any quantity after the advent of the Marqua stand. The paintwork of course does have some "condition" to suggest an age of at least 50 years for it, the cow hair mane and tail complete the case for a BCL restoration.
The carving is another matter. The long muzzle is very indicative of earlier horses, that slightly wild look is common with Whitney Reed (USA) or American makers generally. The upright forward facing ears also seem common on American horses, though usually in leather.
The spring mechanism is not quite like Crandall horses we have seem before, there does not appear to be a rachett type adjuster. We will be looking into similar mechanisms over the next few months (Autumn 2016). The rocking action is fine, but the original design underwent several iterations before catching on, as overstretched springs gave way, or even snapped off - a common problem with that modern replica, the Raggamuffin, which didn't feature an adjustment mechanism.
Comments or information about this horse are welcome, one indicator we are looking at being the screw threads used - Whitworth was standard in England from the 1830s onwards until after the Second World War. American threads started to be standardised (to different patterns) from 1860 onwards, so we should soom get to find out which side of the pond he came from!

Height 43"

Body Length 27"

Length Overall 60"


Jesse Crandall was a prolific inventor and toy maker based in New York City in the 1850-70s. He made several designs based on coiled flat springs between 1859 and 1870. The design suffers from a few problems - the spring needs to be substantial, hence heavy and can sag or yield if bent too far. Springs can be made stronger if highly tempered, but then they can easily snap. Competing improvements were also made by another New York toy maker, Andrew Christian, as they attempted to address the problems of using springs in this way. They seemed to have ended up contesting their designs in court.
The basic design seems to have been taken up by others, but this must have been an expensive and troublesome horse to make and maintain, so it is highly unlikely it survived the run away success of the Marqua stand in 1880, Raggamuffin excepted of course.

To purchase or find out more about this horse, please contact Sally, either by email or phone on the links on the footer, or better still, visit our showroom in the scenic Shropshire Hills, we would be delighted to see you.
Contact Sally