Monday, April 6, 2015

So Many Horses

Since I’ve been dealing with a lot of weirdness and paperwork for the past two weeks (hobby and nonhobby), I’m a bit late to the party when it comes to the Black Horse Ranch collection listings on eBay. (Under the seller ID: thehorseyouwantcalif)

But not too late - we are talking about a collection of 9500 pieces, and I only missed about a week’s worth. For those of you unfamiliar with the scope or significance of this collection, here’s a page that gives you a few hints of its glories:

I also have some of Marney’s photographs of Karen’s collection (from the late 1980s?), and I’ll get around to scanning and posting more of them later this year, after I finish upgrading the computer hardware and software.

(Click to enlarge.)

They are not a better or more intimate look at her collection: the pictures are mostly panoramic shots that focus on capturing quantity rather than detail. They will not add much value to most of the pieces in the Collection in terms of either provenance or monetary value, since it'll be difficult to single out any but the most distinctive pieces.

But it is fascinating to compare these photos to later photos to see how even the largest (and arguably one of the most complete of all) collections evolve over time.

I’ve been around long enough that I bought models directly from Karen Grimm - as in actual hobbyist-to-hobbyist transactions, and not just the Special Runs and Regular Runs she sold as a dealer. The allure of buying "certified" pieces from the BHR Collection isn’t going to be as strong to me as it will probably to be with other hobbyists who may have heard of her only as part of hobby legend.

The prices for the first couple batches certainly seem to say so. No room in my budget for this quarter, alas.

I do hold out hope that perhaps, a few hundred (or thousand) pieces down the line, I might find a suitable something or two from her personal collection to add to my own.

(For the record, I have no involvement in this dispersal, other than a signal boost.)


Peggy said...

I had not heard of the listings until now. Do you know if they are going to do a complete herd dispersal of her collection?

I was so hoping that the collection could be turned into a museum.

I met Karen in the early 90's and bought a lot of my early collection from her when she was still in Shadow Hills, California. By then she had a lot of it packed up and moved to Nevada but what she did have there was amazing!!!

I also have several of her BHR collection models. Love her Clydesdales.

LostInAn80sFog said...

Thanks for the signal boost. I will watch the dispersal/thinning/whatever of this collection with fascination and no small measure of sadness. Her collection was already legendary when I started in the hobby in the late 70s, and I can only imagine where it was by the time she passed. She was such a fixture of the hobby that although I spoke to her only once or twice, it always felt like I knew her.

I remember my excitement in the mid-2000s when she purchased a couple of Freeman-McFarlin pieces from me because she didn't have them in her private collection. I was stunned at the idea I could possibly own anything she didn't have already.

Anonymous said...

This is going to sound dumb.....but when it says in the eBay ads to check out "The Horse You Want" on social media, where exactly do I go?

I've tried Googling "The Horse You Want" "BHR collection," etc, and have had no luck finding it. To be honest, I'm not even sure what they mean by "social media." Is that Facebook or ???

Corky said...

I too had dealt with Karen Grimm directly at one point. Does anyone know *why* the collection is being dispersed?

plastiqueponi said...

According to some posts on some of the other boards, the collection is being dispersed to pay for the lifetime care of some of her real horses.

Anonymous said...