Restoring antique rocking horses - original paint

Original paint

If you are thinking of restoring an old horse, one of the most important things is to know what it looked like when new. Old horses have usually been repainted so unless you are lucky enough to have an old photo of the horse, this can be a puzzle.
Clues can be found on many horses by finding the original paint.

The top picture shows Pommers' original paint. This was revealed by carefully removing all the white and black overpaint, a slow process. However although this paint is badly damaged, the pattern and detail are clear so he could be repainted in the same style.

The centre picture shows Oliver, again painted mostly white on arrival. Some original paint was found and the head and eye detail recorded.

The last picture shows very faint original dapples on an Ayres horse. This one was disappointing as not much else was found and this does happen quite often. A few hours picking off paint ( sometimes two or three layers ) can be very rewarded or utterly frustrating if nothing of use remains.
The small inset picture shows the lovely original dapples found under Tosca's overpainting.

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