I found this picture a couple of weeks ago when I was looking for something else entirely (a photo of a certain well-known hobbyist at one of their very first live shows, looking both awkward and adorable). It’s my entire collection at the very beginning of my “hobby career”:
Most of the Traditionals and Classics were gifts – Christmas, Birthday, Easter, etc. – and most of the Stablemates were ones I purchased myself with my allowance money. I still have most of these models, though I did lose a couple shortly afterwards when I discovered the awesome but mostly terrible power of nail polish remover.
The Stablemates were the early ones and a couple of these models (Man o’ War and the Western Prancing Horse) were Chalkies, but for the most part most of these models were then (and are now) pretty average in terms of rarity and/or value.
My collection then was a good representation of what was available to a suburban, working-class kid in the Midwest in the 1970s. Okay, I probably had slightly more chances and places to buy Breyers: we were right on the edge of what was considered “the country”, so feed stores were a part of my personal horse-buying equation, too.
(Flea markets came much, much later.)
I buy and sell collections of this size, composition and vintage on a somewhat regular basis now; in my more pensive moments I’ll wonder what other passion – or lack thereof – made the person who amassed that collection stop.
And wonder what I could do to lure them back.