Friday, September 16, 2016

No Star Halla

So here’s one of the newest beauties I was alluding to – the No-Star variation of the Halla! She wasn’t a high-priority want, but she was still definitely a want! She is not perfect-perfect, but is still pretty darn nice. (The face speckles are house paint.)

And you gotta love those “black to the belly” points and the shaded ventral stripe/windpipe! Just goes to show that some of the weird painting/shading tics we complain about now (like Three-Sock Tobianos) are part of a long history of Breyer painterly weirdness.  

The No-Star Halla was the first/earliest variation of the Halla, and is even featured on the White Picture and Brown Picture boxes. I’m not sure why it was originally omitted: my best guess is that like the El Pastor, whatever references Breyer was using didn’t include detailed head shots.

The primary (perhaps only?) reference that was used to sculpt Halla was a photo featured in M. A. Stoneridge’s Great Horses of Our Time:

It is a near spot-on likeness, too! Other than the front legs – corrected in Hess’s sculpt – and the just barely visible star, which I can easily imagine getting overlooked.

Breyer caught on to the mistake quickly, no doubt corrected by a small tide of letters from nerdy horse girls who knew all about the legendary Halla:

(FYI: The video linked to is in German.)

The No-Star version is fairly uncommon. She was a somewhat sought after piece during my live showing days (pre-BreyerFest), but it wasn’t so much her rarity as her shading and detailing that made her a must-have. The paint job on my new girl here was fairly typical of this variation: if you wanted a “nice” Halla for your showstring, this was the kind you were looking for!

The mold itself has fallen somewhat out of favor in recent years, replaced by more dynamic and/or aesthetically pleasing hunter/jumpers. With the diminishment of her fortunes, the knowledge and interest of this once sought after variation has largely faded, as well.

I was rather surprised how inexpensive my newest darling turned out to be – especially since she came with a similarly rare/weird variation I’ll get to next time.


LostInAn80sFog said...

:is ded from jealous: As beautiful as my semi-glossy red bay Halla from my youth is, the shading on yours is to die for. Great score!

Denise said...

Awesome find! Love the shading/high black stockings on this one! I was able to find a no-star Halla last year at Breyerfest in the Black Horse Ranch room. I had been looking for this variation for years and glad I finally found one, but mine doesn't have this beautiful shading/detail.