Mechanical rocking horse by Swallow Toys circa 1950.
This is a mechanical rocking horse whereby the head and tail move as the horse rocks. It is in full working order for light use and original apart from being over painted in part. Unfortunately there has been some woodworm (treated and filled), which has weakened parts, principally the front cross piece on the stand. As the value of this toy horse is it's rarity and originality (despite the over painting), the affected parts are deemed robust enough for light use.
The horse is basically a box construction with the head cut from shaped board and rotated about an axis in the top of the box. A similar arrangement moves the tail, also made from shaped wooden board.
Fixed leather stirrups, probably original, also the padded canvas seat. The reins are replacement. The mane was probably wool attached to a canvas strip.
All in full working order apart from the provisio about the woodworm damage outlined above.
Swallow Toys was the trading name used by G Woodrow and Co, formed in 1931 from remanant elements of the old Lines company, the main part of which was taken over by Lines Bros/Triang. They continued trading until 1963, producing some rocking horses with a passing resemblance to Lines.
The mechanical horse was patented (Patent No 624723) in 1949, it may have been made before this date and almost certainly in the following years.