Monday, January 23, 2012

Red Flags

Reeves finally got around to crediting former JAH subscribers for the remainder of their subscriptions - online store credit codes, as I expected. I’ll save mine up for either the next Web Special I win, or for BreyerFest tickets, whatever comes up first.

I wanted to write about the Valentine’s Day SR, but since Reeves hasn’t "officially" released the body shots to the public yet (as of this posting), I’ll have to put off my commentary until next time.

That’s okay, it’ll give me time to polish it into something other than me complaining about other people complaining. Been there, done that. Repeatedly.

Instead, let’s complain about something else today - like that second dubious Red Pegasus that sold on eBay for an undeserving amount of money. There’s something I can get good and righteous about!

Sigh. There are some models that just set me off. You know about the Black Adios, and I’ve (so far) spared you the ugly details about why I don’t own an SR Buckskin Adios. I’ve already done a post about my annoyance over people claiming they have Kansas City Shams, and someday soon you’ll know why I feel the same way about the "Trakehner Society" Trakehners.

This week, the Red Pegasus has entered that hallowed canon.

I’ve written before about my frustration about giving advice to people about the authenticity of rare or questionable models. All too often, it’s merely a formality: what the owner is seeking is validation of their purchase. Tell them that you have serious doubts about a model's authenticity, and some of them will either (a) tell you you don’t know what you’re talking about, or (b) go find someone else that will tell them it’s authentic.

Not a lot, mind you, but enough to give me pause.

So anyway, in spite of the fact that the seller’s story was extremely dubious to begin with - and some details later proven demonstrably false, on Blab - the second one still sold for almost $400.

What I fear most is not that it will encourage this seller - and others of similar moral caliber - to mysteriously "discover" more Red Pegasi in the attic. That’s a given. No, it’s that these auctions will be used as proof of the authenticity of future auctions to come. "Gosh, two other ones just like it sold on eBay for mucho bucks, so it’s gotta be real! Collectors must know something I don’t know!"

Ah, if only that were so. I won’t point out anyone in particular, or name any names, but there are some profoundly uninformed hobbyists out there. The kind that buy first, and ask questions later. (A philosophy that I have recommended in the past - but only in smaller, more affordable doses.)

As far as I know, there’s only one Red Pegasus that I - and most other model horse historians - would consider above reproach. All we have is one model, and some theories. No ephemera, no other corroborating evidence of any kind.

This is not the kind of evidence to bet big money on.

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