In a workshop in southeast England a restorer carefully removes the saddle of an old rocking horse, preparing it for repair.
The rocking horses are among dozens being worked on or on display at Stevenson Brothers, a British business dedicated to the handcraft of the traditional toy it has sold to royal households in Europe and the Middle East.
Twins Marc and Tony Stevenson have been making the bespoke replicas for 37 years, including models for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, a longtime horse and racing enthusiast.
“We’re very lucky that all our work is appreciated by royal families all over the world,” co-owner Marc Stevenson said.
“We’ve got horses out in the Middle East, in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and Qatar… and some of the European royal families as well, and we were lucky enough to have a few in our own royal family here (in Britain).”
These include several presented to the British monarch: a replica of her favourite coloured horse “Tinkerbell”, a dapple grey for her 2002 Golden Jubilee and a black oak horse for her 2012 Diamond Jubilee.
Based in the village of Bethersden in Kent, the firm makes about 170-180 rocking horses a year, with prices starting at $1,314 for a miniature model.