Early horse toys - Steiff
Whilst rummaging around in the Gammages' Christmas catalogue for 1913, I came across these splendid creatures:
Gammages generally went more for the value than the prestige end of the market, but on his travels to find new stock, Arthur Gammage soon realised the magnetic attraction the Steiff output had for children (and their parents), and the 1913 catalogue contains 4 pages of them. "We have again secured the largest possible variety of STEIFF'S TOYS, anticipating a greater demand than ever," said the catalogue.
If you bought a creature over 17 inches tall, it came with an automatic "animal" voice. I heard one on the Antiques Roadshow a while back, though I think the animal was a bear rather than a horse. The voice sounded more like a strangulated mouse squeak than a bear, but then when I am nearly 100 years old I don't suppose I shall sound particularly robust either. Both these toys, I think, are glorious, and are considerably better than Butterscotch the robot pony, which is plain spooky, an opinion obviously shared by at least some of the police force in Florida.