Artifact Exhibition: Rocking Horse

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Welcome everybody back out here to Somerset
Place! We are up on the third floor of the Collins
family home inside of the playroom for the six sons of Josiah III and Mary. And for this Artifact Exhibition we’re going
to be talking about the rocking horse here next to me. Now their six sons in this playroom, they had
a lot of toys like the ones that you can see here. And we’re not entirely sure if they had a
rocking horse, but they might have, because we do know that all their sons were
trained to ride horses. Horses were very important status symbols
for wealthy slaveholders, and this toy was very much meant to reflect
that point. This is a period piece from the 19th century, although it’s not original to the Collins
family. It’s made out of wood. It’s suspended on some metal
frames here that will allow it to rock back and forth a little bit still today. And rocking horses actually date all the way
back to the 17th century, although the realistic design like the one
you can see here really didn’t come about until the early 1800s. So about the time we start interpreting here
at Somerset Place. And at this time rocking horses were handmade by woodworkers primarily based out of New England. So they would be handcrafting a rocking horse
like this and adding a number of embellishments, including real horse hair and manes, as well
as saddles and bridals. And this piece has a number of those embellishments, actually, most of which have deteriorated, but you can
see a little bit of the remains of the horse hair mane and tail, as well as the leather
saddle, a little bit left of the bridal here, and also of the reigns. There is even a little bit of a washer and
tack eyes left on this horse as well. So if you guys come out and take a guided
tour today, you’ll actually get to climb all the way up on the third floor of the Collins
home, take a peak into the playroom here, and see all of these toys like the ones that the boys
would have had up on this floor. If you like this video, please don’t forget
to subscribe to our channel, comment below with your questions, and we hope to see you
guys out here real soon. Thank you!

 

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