Monday, June 27, 2016

A Smoke Western Prancer Hoof Variation?

The flea market was better for me yesterday:

Two more bodies, and a pretty decent Zippo Pine Bar. Good enough to consider keeping, but I’ll have the look at the budget in a week or two before I make that decision.

I’m also hedging a bit on the Quarter Horse Gelding, since he’s a “transitional/in-between” body – toned down muscles, but no tummy tuck – and I’ve always wanted to make a Suffolk Punch out of one. (And I just bought a fresh batch of epoxy. Hmm.)

The weekend was productive on a number of fronts. In the process of doing a bit of research on my Sampler, an interesting little something jumped out at me that I hadn’t noticed before. Notice anything unusual in this picture of the Smoke Western Prancing Horse from the 1963 Dealer’s Catalog?

His hooves are black! Typically Smokes have gray hooves. In fact, it’s what distinguishes darker Smokes from Charcoals, which have pink or tan hooves. I can’t recall ever seeing a vintage Smoke Prancer with black hooves.

The color Smoke debuted around this time – 1962/1963 – so it might just be a case of an early Test or Preproduction piece being used for the photo shoot. (Check out the fancy feathering on his mane, too. Sweet!)

It’s also possible that the photographer or graphic designer who put the catalog together might have done a little photo retouching, and assumed that the hooves were supposed to be darker. Or it just did it because they thought it looked better that way anyway.

I had “seen” this photograph before, multiple times, but it was usually a black and white photocopy I was examining. I alway assume that any odd color shifts I see in black and white copies are the result of the copier distorting the image. But as I was examining my color original –  researching another topic entirely – it became obvious that there was no distortion: those hooves really are black.

Yet another example of why it is so important to have access to original source materials, and not just copies.

As I said above, I’ve never seen a Smoke with black hooves – on the WPH or anyone else – so it’s likely just a Test. If one ever did show up, though, I would be all over that….


Yvonne said...

As a rabid collector of QH Geldings and all their wo9nderful variations, please don't remake this lovely fellow! I will gladly take him off your hands!

Anonymous said...

The Prancer is awesome! I would say test- his legs looked like the white was painted on, not the typical bare plastic. Hmmm...

Ruth said...

I like seeing the QH gelding next to the Zippo. I feel like together, they say so much about what has changed both in the (real) quarter horse world and Breyer's efforts to stay current.

Nicole said...

Hello! I actually just found a western prancer in really good condition at the flea market today, I think it is Vigilante! Would you happen to know more about that model? I'd love to know more about it's history.