Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Burden of History

Update on the BHR situation - they are now also accepting offers for some pieces via MH$P:

Interesting. Glad that they’re going to spread the wealth in multiple ways. Hope there are some direct (no bid) sales in the pipeline too.

As for the absence of the promised social media presence, we may still be in the "soft opening" phase here - a low-key launch made prior to a bigger announcement, presumably to test the market and work out any potential issues.

On the issue of the museum … that’s a complicated one. At some point in their hobbyist "careers",  I believe most hobbyists fantasize about the notion of starting, having, or at the very least donating their little beloveds to a museum.

Most of us abandon the idea rather quickly: we don’t have the time, the money, or the enthusiasm to follow through on the task. Even if we do, other things get in the way, like work, family, or the sheer amount of storage space required before it ever gets to the actual working museum phase.

The history of past efforts is not encouraging, either; it gotten to the point that whenever I hear rumor of someone else taking up the task, I involuntarily start make painful-looking faces. "Oh, this has a high probability of not ending well."

Small museums dedicated to idiosyncratic hobbies have a difficult time making a go of it, especially after the founder’s passing. Even if a building and a curator (full, or part-time) are secured without much money or fuss, it’s the funding needs that accrue over time that become the bigger issue. Things like general building maintenance, marketing, utilities, and finding someone who knows how to dust correctly. (A bit of an issue on my end, but let’s not go there. Sigh.)

Unless you are independently wealthy and/or manage to set up a healthy endowment fund, you’ll find yourself competing with hundreds of other small museums for a relatively small pot of grant money. Money that’s more likely to go to a local Civil War history museum than to a collection of horse-shaped objects.

In the end, the needs of today often end up outweighing the needs of the yesterday.

Even if the collection itself disperses, though, the legend of it still lives in the provenances of the pieces that disperse. That’s not a bad thing.

Ooh boy, that feels like a bit of a downer. To lighten the mood a bit, here’s a little speculation about the latest BreyerFest Special Run clue on their web site blog:
A wise woman once said "Fashion changes, but style endures." Our next horse is stylish and timeless too.
Like many others, I think this reference to Coco Chanel refers to a vintage (for me, pre-1985) mold. Personally, I’d like to see it be an Old Timer: we haven’t had a widely available Old Timer release since 2004’s Starman and Noddy.

We have had the Vintage Club "Gus" in 2012 and the Reissues of #935 McDuff (the Blue Roan Appaloosa) and #1260 Noddy (the Gloss Palomino) but none of those releases were readily available to the general public or low-involvement hobbyists.

After the Western Horses and Family Arabians, the Old Timer mold is probably the most recognizable model to the general public. And they love him: I have never had an issue selling Old Timers of any color, of any vintage, in any selling forum.

I think it’d be both funny and appropriate if it were the Family Arabian Stallion. Not only does clue "fit", it also segues rather neatly into the "Four Arabs from Four Eras" theory I floated earlier.

The only problem there would be color: he’s come in just about every color, outside of some Decorator ones, and another Decorator in the Tent lineup seems unlikely. Unless it’s a Translucent.

A Translucent Family Arabian Stallion would be several levels of awesome.

We’ll find out soon, if not already.


Janice Cox said...

You're right, I'm sure many of us have daydreamed about starting a model horse museum. I know I have, and that thought was inspired in part by Karen's and Sheryl Leisure's collections. Since most of us never had a chance to see Karen's museum in person I guess this is one last way to see her wonderful collection before it goes out into the world.

Heather said...

The promised social media is indeed Facebook. I can't very well tell folks on eBay to go to Facebook, therefor it's 'social media'!! Type in the search bar, The Horse You Want, a closed group. Closed so I don't spam everyone's feed with talk of model horses. I started this group in December 2014, it is now 400+ members strong, no soft-opening phase, no low-key launch, just a board for those collectors interested in the Black Horse Ranch Model Horse Collection. There you will find the information of what is selling this year (2015)...Breyers, why there are models on auction fund the expenses of taking the Collection of Breyers to KY, and why.....The re-homing of the Collection ensures the forever 'real' horses at BHR have a long, easy retirement home, which by the way was at seventy-five horses at the time of Karen's passing to about twenty-two now. Including Night Deck and Night Vision, SR's produced by Breyer! See you at BreyerFest..... ~Heather Wells, Yucaipa, CA