Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Cast iron, paint
37 1/2 × 10 × 16 1/2 in. (95.3 × 25.4 × 41.9 cm)
Hitching posts
Victorian (1837-1901)
Cast-iron lawn jockey hitching post. A man dressed in cap, racing silks, and tall leather boots standing on a pedestal with one arm behind his back, and in the other he holds out a ring hitch. Lawn jockeys were popular for their equestrian themes and generally appeared as a small statue dressed in horse racing gear placed in front of houses or used as marketing for business establishments such as stables and saddle makers.
Label Text:
A hitching post or tethering post was used to tie up a horse, or other animal, to prevent it from wandering away by looping the reigns or leads through a ring attached to a post. These were important in the days before the automobile, as horses were ridden or carriages were driven from one destination to the next, and usually left unattended while their owners attended to other business. Hitching posts were found outside of homes, barns, and public places. The Victorian love of ornament led to many of these posts being adorned with a decorative motif on the post or finial, and designs were often chosen to complement the architecture. Today, hitching posts are sometimes seen in front of buildings or in gardens as nostalgic symbols of the past.
cast iron  Search this
hitching posts  Search this
African Americans  Search this
caricatures  Search this
Garden ornaments and furniture  Search this
jockeys  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens