F Roebuck

Australia’s Largest Rocking Horse Maker.

1830 – 1972

Click here to see our  fully restored 1960’s Roebuck for sale

Peter Roebuck horse

We have just released a book called the “Roebuck Legacy” which covers Roebuck Rocking Horses from around 1830 till 1972 when the business closed.

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The Roebuck name is one steeped in Rocking Horse history. It is one of the oldest and longest running family Rocking Horse businesses in the Commonwealth. Spanning over 140 years, 3 Countries and 4 generations.

Around 1830 John Roebuck started his career of making Rocking Horses in London along side Paul Leach; another well respected British Rocking Horse maker.

Family evidence indicates that some time around 1850; Queen Victoria stopped her carriage outside John Roebuck’s Euston Rd London Toy Shop and personally commissioned him to make her a life size horse in the likeness of her Royal Greys.

In 1865 John Roebuck and most of his family migrated to New Zealand to make a new life in the colony and do missionary work with his church.

The Father of Australian Rocking Horses                                                                 John’s youngest son Frederick; who was trained by John in the craft of Rocking Horse making back in London; migrated to Australia from New Zealand around 1880. He set up his Rocking Horse business in Alice St Newtown in a shed in the back yard of his residence. After a slow start; his business started to grow.

He later moved his business to George St Sydney, then James St Leichhardt, then eventually to Norton St Leichhardt; where the business eventually flourished and the Roebuck Rocking Horse became the largest Rocking Horse manufacturer in Australia.

The Roebuck family not only made Rocking Horses; they made and operated Carousels; Percy Roebuck operated the Manly Carousel from the late 1890’s till the early 1920’s.

They also made a wide range of children’s toys and Horse-o-Plane rides.

Sadly; there is no known Roebuck Carousels still in operation today; if you know of one, please contact us.

The Roebucks eventually closed their doors in 1972 due to the influx of plastic toys which made competing very difficult. Sadly, the family tradition of Rocking Horse making was not passed down to the next generation to keep such a long family tradition alive.