It was, to put it politely, a very productive flea market. (Productive = empty wallet.)
The best stuff wasn’t even the horses, but a box of nine vintage aquarium decorations (aka "aquarium furniture"), including a gorgeous bisque mermaid that was easily worth five times what I paid for the entire box:
It had been nearly two years since I had found a single (affordable) piece, and I was thinking the local supply had been exhausted. If that had been my only find of the day, I would have been completely content, but no…
Well, we’ll cover the actual horses today. They were so plentiful on Sunday I could have easily had a very fine day with the stuff I left behind. This handsome boy was not among the unchosen:
Yep, a fancy old #87 Buckskin Mustang with a partial dorsal, gray points, nubbed hoof and unbelievably, eye pinking. I’ve seen pink shading around the eyes of some Fighting Stallions, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in person on a Traditional Mustang. (It’s there, trust me.) He has a few minor condition flaws, but honestly, he’s one of the nicest Buckskin Mustangs I’ve seen in a long while, and I’d keep him if I didn’t have horses coming out of my ears right now.
His friend will be sticking around, though:
The Charcoal variation of the Western Prancing Horse! Also in beautiful condition, with just a few minor issues. It’s hard to believe, I know, but up until now I had never really had one of these variations in my collection.
It’s not a particularly hard one to find; the majority of older Smoke Western Prancing Horses are actually Charcoals, as is the one pictured in the 1963 Dealer’s Catalog. I just never found one that was the right combination of price and condition.
And he’s such an early guy, too - I don’t doubt he’s from the first year or two of production, especially since his Mustang buddy is of the same vintage (but not among the earliest of his kind, though - remember, the earliest Buckskin Mustangs would have painted eyewhites. But he also came out a year or so before the Western Prancing Horse, so the chronology’s still good.)
I also noticed - comparing him to my many other Prancing Horses - that his saddle is exceptionally dark, compared to later WPH saddles; I have a Black Pinto one whose saddle is of a similar shade. Those of you trying to find saddles for your saddle-free Prancing Horses might want to take note of that, on the extremely remote chance I may judge collectibility someday. (This saddle is not a vintage replacement! No NAN card for you!)
More on the rest of the stuff I found later this week. And about how I had one of my weirdest days ever today. (It's not horse-related, but you'll want to hear about it. Trust me.)