Thursday, October 24, 2013


Wow, so much exciting world in the Breyersphere over the past two days: new molds, new releases, new sculptors, significant changes to the Vintage Club…that I’ll get to in my next post. Partly to digest what I’ve seen, and partly to sort out what I can say about it.

In other more personal news, I finished the collection culling. Sort of. Items have been pulled into and out of various boxes. Roughly 50-75 pieces are strewn about the downstairs and are awaiting pricing, photographing, and the editing of their files from my personal collection database.

All of which will take considerably longer and be a lot less fun than the sorting and reacquainting process. Because getting up to speed with old friends is way more pleasant than updating one’s database and sales list.

One pretty fellow I managed to get reacquainted with was my Chalky Sorrel Five-Gaiter:

Alas, he is not one of Those Chalky Five-Gaiters: an Overpainted Decorator. Nope, he has a U.S.A. mark, so he’s a post-1970 model. I suppose I could imagine that he MIGHT be an overpainted Gloss Palomino, since some of the last of that release did come with that mold mark, but I haven’t heard or seen any evidence of that being the case.

Nor do I intend to find out, because he is otherwise awesome. In fact, he was a regular in my liveshow string back in the 1980s. I doubt he’d do all that well in the ring today, because while he may be Special - a Chalky in Nice Condition - he’s not Special Special like an Overpainted Decorator.

Still, I’m totally okay with that, because he came with a unique and fascinating backstory worth a dozen Decorators.

I found him in a funky little antique/junk shop not far from the Wayne State University campus, in Detroit. I was living on campus, and in my off hours I would wander around the nearby neighborhoods, the kinds that you don’t seen on the national news because they don’t fit the narrative of a dead or dying Detroit.

It was a tiny little enclave of late Victorian homes nestled somewhere in between the University campus and the headquarters of the Burroughs Corporation. All the buildings around it were bland, industrial, and/or deliberately non-ornamental: it seemed almost like a mirage.

In the basement of one of those homes was this little shop, and in that shop I happened to find a few Breyers. I can’t recall if the Chalky Five-Gaiter was there on my first visit, or a later one: I made multiple visits to this place because, as much as I loved visiting the DIA and the main branch of the Detroit Public Library, you really couldn’t buy stuff or strike up a conversation there.

(I had a job on campus, so I did have money to spend on such fripperies. Family was not as thrilled to find new horses hidden in my laundry bag…)

It’s been years since I ventured into that neighborhood; whenever I visit that general area, it’s either to the Library, the DIA, or for work, and none of those places are anywhere near where that neighborhood was.

I’m not even sure if it’s there anymore: there’s been a lot of redevelopment in the area since then, and I can easily imagine it gone. Another junk shop that I used to frequent - the one that the art students frequently raided for materials for their more esoteric projects - certainly is. (Esoteric = boxes of glass eyeballs, old sound effect records from the 1940s, ancient issues of Tiger Beat, etc.)

Part of me doesn’t want to know what happened to it - the shop, the neighborhood, or the people in it. I rather like that little neighborhood as it resides in my mind, and in this horse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful 5-Gaiter!
Nice to see another hobbyist else within the southeast Michigan area.