The German Horse

The happiest adults are those who never buried old toys or abandoned imaginary friends.


A lovely example of 19th century German pony skin pull along horse toy. Skin-covered toys like this horse were the forerunners of the soft toys that emerged commercially in Europe in the late nineteenth century. Compared to timber, metal, or plastic toy animals, those with a furry texture have long appealed to children, not only because of their feel but also because of their convincing portrayal of live animals. They closely resemble living animals yet withstand cuddling and torment without protest.

The earliest recorded toys covered with animal skin were toy horses in the late sixteenth century. In the nineteenth century skin-covered toy animals, particularly horses, were produced in France, Spain and Switzerland. The largest number were made in Germany, and skin-covered horses on rockers, platforms and wheels were exported to America, England, Russia, parts of the Orient and Australia from the 1870s to the 1930s. Just as the German skin horses had fine legs and neat heads, similar attention to detail was applied to harnessing; the harness on this toy horse is a good example. Many were made with removable saddles and bridles to teach children how to put them on. The horse’s stance on its platform gives it the appearance of walking with a realistic asymmetrical gait.

This example is identical to examples that can be found in the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences in Australia. A wonderful decorative object with bags of character ad overall wonderful craftsmanship.

Size in inches: H 31” x W 30” x D 13”

Origin: Germany

Period: 1800 – 1900

Material: Hessian, Pony skin, Wood, cast metal, leather, glass eyes and horsehair.

Item Condition

Completely solid in structure and form, fading and wear across sections of this item, a deep natural patina across the wood and leather sections. Without any breaks and structural damage. And its still works perfectly which is rare for this well used object. Its exceedingly difficult to photograph all the areas in this piece, therefore we strongly suggest reviewing all the photos provided as part of this advert and propose questions where sections are unclear to avoid disappointment.


Please get in touch in advance of a purchase if you based outside of the UK to clarify P&P on this item as this varies dependent upon your global location. Global shipping is possible so please view all shipping details as explained. With items of this fragile and rare nature we always recommend recorded/tracked postage with adequate insurance cover. This may cost a bit more, but at least you are covered from accidents that may take place whilst in transit.


We do our upmost to relay descriptions and the origin of items sold in our store. We also aim to visualise through pictorial reference the items that are for sold as best we can. The disclaimer is for the customer and makes sure assumptions that can sometimes be made are avoided. We always aim to make sure our customers are not disappointed or misinformed about items that are for sale in our store. For this reason, we strongly recommend that relevant questions relating to the item in question are proposed to us directly, additionally all photographs are used as reference and as part of the advertisement.


We aim to ship your purchased item in 2 to 3 working days. The item is packed well and shipped via Parcelforce or Royal mail. Additional to this we used a few carefully selected couriers in the UK to deliver our most fragile or larger item. The courier option is applied at the buyer’s cost, so please get in touch with us directly for further information.

Cancellation / Refunds

We are unable to refund any item which is purchased unless the item is different from what is described in the advert stated. We go to a lot of effect to ensure our customers are happy with their items and purchases. Therefore, we strongly suggest the customer consider the purchase/view all pictures and close ups and propose as many questions via email before a purchase is made. We do no refund our customers if they choose to change their mind about the purchase unfortunately, we will however offer a full refund of the item (excluding postage) if the item once received is not as described, this however can only take place within 48hr of the item being received by the customer. Once an item has been received and if a cancellation has been agreed by The House of Antiques management team, the customer is liable for the cost and insurance of postage if the item needs to be sent back to us in London.

Our Promise

We believe in what we do, deliver what we say we will deliver, and make sure that our unique items are presented and delivered as we would expect them to be presented and delivered to us. Customer service and satisfaction is as important as the item itself and we believe therefore our customers keep coming back for more beautiful and unique item to decorate their lives with.


The photos used to promote this item are property of The House of Antiques LTD. If you would like to use these photos, please email us in advance so not to infringe upon copy right laws put in place by The House of Antiques LTD on our property.

What Our Customers Say

Harry replied to my emails quickly with full and comprehensive details of freight and of the piece I was buying … very helpful and the piece arrived in Australia exactly the date he said it would . I love it and I told him ! Brilliant service and I will definitely purchase off him again.


Private Collector (Australia)

© The House Of Antiques 2016 - 2022
Company No: 1099539 | VAT No: 406788763

© The House Of Antiques 2016 - 2022
Company No: 1099539 | VAT No: 406788763

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