My maternal grandfather, Harold Lloyd, made rocking horses. Each was unique, with real horsehair manes and tails, and real leather reins and saddles. He made the horses from wood, along with a wood and metal swing safety stand. Nana Mabel did the finishing on the horses, including the eyelashes, bells, and other trimmings. She would also sometimes write poetic descriptions of the horses, sometimes incorporating the name of the child who was going to be the recipient – I did have an example of this somewhere in all the papers, so I’ll try and dig it out.
The scans below are of a notebook kept by Nana, describing the horses and the people that bought them from 1974 to 1986. Each page links to a transcription of the page, any photos we have, and some notes on what may have happened to each one.
Maybe I’ll try and track some of the horses down. That would be a major undertaking, with me in San Francisco, but it would be interesting.
I was two years old when Grandad started making the horses. The last one was completed when I was 14. There was a final horse, which was unfinished until after Grandad’s death in 1991. A family friend then took it and completed it, and now it lives with my brother.
Click below for details about each of the horses.
(link to Flickr)
|Year||Name of horse (link to details page)|
|1974||Title and address|
|1974||Introduction & Smokey|
|1975||Black Beauty 1|
|1976||Black Beauty 2|
|1986||Jupiter Frederick Pinchbeck|
|…||The end of the Horse Book. Rocking Horse resources. Page of links etc.|
|The Final Horse||19??||The last unfinished horse.|
|The Process||…||Some photos showing the process of making a horse.|