This carved wooden toy is rendered with the simplification of form, almost to the point of abstraction, that made folk art so appealing in the 1920s and 1930s to contemporary artists and collectors. Indeed, this horse could almost be taken for a work by Elie Nadelman, who was himself a collector of folk art. Lugs carved under the hooves suggest that it was mounted on a base, presumably with wheels, so that it could be towed.

RELATED EXAMPLES: A larger one from the Dorothy C. Miller (Mrs. Holger Cahill) Collection was exhibited in the 'American Folk Sculpture” show, Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey, 1931-32 (Jeffers 1995, p. 333, pi. XIII).

Book excerpt: Warren, David B., Michael K. Brown, Elizabeth Ann Coleman, and Emily Ballew Neff. American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection. Houston: Princeton Univ. Press, 1998.

Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Toy Horse
c. 1850–1900
Spruce and flax
(With base): 13 1/2 × 13 1/2 × 4 in. (34.3 × 34.3 × 10.2 cm) (Without base): 12 × 12 3/4 × 3 1/8 in. (30.5 × 32.4 × 7.9 cm)
Credit Line

The Bayou Bend Collection, gift of Miss Ima Hogg

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
Dolls, Toys & Games

Acquired by Miss Hogg from the American Folk Art Gallery, New York, NY, March 10, 1955