Trevor Wiffen trained as a woodworker and an artist and went on to work with stained glass at Salisbury cathedral. He made extraordinary rocking horses in the 1970s-1980s, mostly to order but some were sold from a shop in Bath for a while. Some went abroad but there are examples turning up for sale in the UK from time to time.
In her book, Patricia Mullins notes '... his exciting, comtemporary designs remain unparalled. His unique horses, made to commission were often accompanied by carved animals perched at the base of the rockers.'
This horse has a duck and three chicks ( rather than ducklings going by the shape of their beaks ). You either love these horses or not, there is no halfway. I love them obviously. They have expression and presence in abundance.
NB there is a misprint in the Mullins book - Wiffen appears incorrectly as Whiffen. I have his name on one of my horses so I'm sure of this.
43" x 74"
A very large Ayres hide covered horse from the late 1930s with the ivorine H shaped Ayres label. This rare steed is in entirely original condition in this photo, but worn in places.
However I've recently removed the hide as all my visitors over the last few years hated the hide finish and it was gently shedding hair and getting balder. I was surprised to find gesso underneath and a coat of white paint. Also some little modifications to the standard shape to ease the fitting of the hide. And hundreds of tiny pins /small nails to come out.
Eventually I'll probably either dapple it or strip it and
have a wood finish as no one seems to want a new hide coat.
The stand is in good condition and the horse is sound.
53" high, 60" long, body length 30".
Ferdy is a Lines rocking bull and he was bought new in 1937. He is a rare model and sure to make you smile. He's the one with the flower in his mouth ( not dapple grey show pony who already has a home ).
He can be ridden by a small child but is probably best suited to a toy collector.
28" high, 32" long.
An Ayres horse from between 1900 to 1920 with most of his original paint and tack (including one pommel) surviving.
The paint work on this horse has not
been touched up in any way. One ear has been broken and glued on, the other had a damaged tip.
There are a few cracks in the gesso and some small patches of worn surface but he is in fine
condition for his age.
The following items have been newly fitted : one ear tip, mane, tail, reins, stirrup leathers and saddle cloth. The original worn saddle remains but a new one can be fitted if needed for regular riding. The stirrup irons are original and his stand is steady and strong. He is quite useable but because the original surface is in such good condition it would be a great shame to damage it by rough riding so he is only suitable for a very caring child or a collector. A rare chance to have an original F H Ayres horse.
45" x 50"
An ex-display virtually new Haddon horse on a modern spring-swing stand and with my detailed removable tack.
44" x 54".
This F H Ayres horse is in completely original condition and still fit for riding. The horse and stand are sound. One ear has been broken and reglued a long time ago. As a collector's horse, and a good example of a classic Ayres horse ( circa 1900 - 1910 ) it is probably best left exactly as it is. There are cracks in the paint and gesso along some of the joints and other areas where it has been worn by past riders.
If the horse is wanted for riding it would need reins,a saddle cloth, stirrup leathers and irons, a repair to the tear in the saddle and new hair. The paint work could be touched up but this would detract from the long term antique value of the original condition horse.
Size 48" tall, 54" long.
Captain Jack :
A huge Collinson probably made about 1970. Very strong and will carry children of all ages. The paint surface shows the
wear of many years- missing patches of gesso and surface cracks.
He could be restored but the original has plenty of life left if you are happy that the horse
looks his age.
54" X 60"