Saturday, August 8, 2009

Silver Filigree

I didn't run out of things to write about: I ran out of time this week to write! I was totally not expecting to get overtime at the part-time job this week. The lack of food, the lack of sleep, being away from home for days: I was starting to get BreyerFest flashbacks at one point. (In a rare spare moment, I even bought some Stablemates because if I was going to suffer a little, I deserved some ponies...)

Anyway, back to the horse business. I'll deal with a few questions that have come up in the past couple of weeks in a long, rambly post later today or tomorrow. Right now, it's something a little more focused: let's talk about the color Silver Filigree.

Silver Filigree is one of the “newer” Decorator colors, first issued on the lovely and highly coveted 1993 BreyerFest Judge's Model Proud Arabian Mare. It wasn't used again until 1999, when The Ginger Horse commissioned a Legionario in that color as a special run for Equitana that year. It had been used sporadically since then, but within the past couple of years it appears that Reeves has decided that Silver Filigree – and hobbyist favorite Gloss Charcoal, to a degree – are their Decorator colors of choice to drive us all crazy.

While other Decorator colors have lost a bit of their luster with recent reissues, the “mystique” of Silver Filigree continues unabated. That's mostly because except for the Legionario “Grane of Gotterdammerung,” who had a healthy 2000 piece run, virtually all of the other Silver Filigrees Reeves has issued have either had extremely low piece counts, restricted distribution, or both:

Proud Arabian Mare: Volunteer Model (30)
Saturday Night Fever (Proud Arabian Stallion): BreyerFest Raffle (26)
Born to Run (Proud Arabian Foal): BreyerFest Raffle (26)
Quicksilver (Clydesdale Foal): BreyerFest Contest Prize (<30)
Silver: Treasure Hunt Surprise (250?)
Silver Snow (Othello): Web Special (200)
Surprise (Quarter Horse Gelding): BreyerFest Gambler's Choice (10)

That's not including tests and auction pieces, which are by nature either unique or close to it. (And I just noticed that five of the eight official releases were BreyerFest-related, too! Interesting.) There may also be a very small run of Running Foals (less than five?) that was associated in some way with the Ginger Horse's promotion of the Grane model, but I've only heard rumors of this little fellow, and no pictures, so I'm a bit reluctant to list it as something official. (Any pics or links would be appreciated!)

It's a smart move, albeit a frustrating one for those of us who absolutely love the color: by associating a certain color with rarity and exclusivity, it makes new releases in that color even more desirable. That's what fueled the online feeding frenzy with the Silver Snow: for a lot of collectors, it was a rare chance to get an example of a rare color, at a reasonable price.

Remember when we used to get the same thrill when they started rereleasing the old Decorator colors on new molds? They still have the power to excite hobbyists – especially when a new or popular mold is involved – but they are no longer as rare and exclusive as they used to be. If you really want a Florentine, Copenhagen, Gold Charm or Wedgewood Blue and you're not extremely picky about your choice of mold, you can get a newer release for a not-scary price (well, maybe not Wedgewood Blue, just yet. Talk about another color that drives collectors crazy!)

The only Silver Filigrees I have so far are the more “common” Grane and Silver Snow – and I was lucky to have a friend help me with the Silver Snow. I'd love any of the others, but I don't have that kind of money or luck right now. Maybe I'll be lucky or rich in the future: I doubt we've seen the last of this color. (Silver Filigree or Charcoal would look mighty fine on the Stretch Morgan, don't you think? It would also probably cause my head to explode.)

No discussion of Silver Filigree is complete without mentioning the fact that we also owe its existence to the power of suggestion. And in this case, it's one of those rare instances where one person was responsible: the late hobbyist Shirley Ketchuck. The Powers That Be at Reeves liked her idea, and started making their own.

1 comment:

Jennie Kaech said...

There was ONE silver filigree running foal. Raffled at Equitana, donated to Ginger Horse by Reeves, for the model show. I won her in the raffle & she remains with me to this date. She has been a NAN Champion twice & Top Ten every other time. She was foal div reserve at BF Live 2011. There are photos on the NAN pages. I'm sure I can find a link and/or send photos from BF. She resides in Lex, KY & has been shown in this area only... KY, IN, OH. ~Jennie Kaech