Saturday, November 21, 2009

Side Stander Clocks

Let’s continue with the theme of "whatever happens to be on or near my desk" with this not-so-little beauty, a Palomino Side Stander Clock:


Unlike the "Horse Over" Clock (now considered largely a Hartland-molded product) there’s little dispute over the "Side Stander’s" origins: the horse Breyer-molded. The base probably is, too - there’s no identifying mark to speak of, but the plastic has the same texture, weight and consistency as the horse, and the molded-in swirly color is similar to the color seen on my square tortoiseshell clock with the early Breyer mold mark.

The clock itself is painted metal, with a "Ceramic Clock Co." label on the back. It is generally assumed that the Ceramic Clock Company was a subsidiary of MasterCrafters: some labels show that they shared the same street address. What the exact relationship is not known to me; I haven’t followed up on that topic, not for a lack of interest, but because of the paucity of the paper trail.

The exact chronology of the two clocks is unknown; it’s believed that the Side Stander Clocks came after the Horse Over Clocks, but when exactly - and how long - I don’t know. I don’t think I have any documentation in my archives that even shows a true Side Stander clock for sale, either. A page from the Fall-Winter 1951 Sears Roebuck Catalog does show the non-Breyer, pot-metal version of this clock: I don’t know who was copying whom, though.

Wherever the truth lies, the horses found on the Side Stander Clocks represent some of the earliest Breyer model horses known, if not the earliest. Both White and Palomino versions have been found; White ones seem to be slightly more common than the Palomino, but that could be a sampling error on my part.

And did you happen to notice this clock is a variation, too? He has two socks, not the standard four! It’s definitely not very common: I’ve only seen two others like this, and both were Clock Horses as well. Four-sock versions of this clock exist, too, so I don't know if this means that the two-sock version was the first version of the Palomino Western Horse, or just an early variation.

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