Saturday, May 30, 2009

Curly Eartip Family Arabian Foals

I am bone tired. Things will get better - for the blog, anyway - next week. In the meantime, here's another little quickie: an illustration of what the Family Arabian Foal's curled eartips look like. The curly-eared foal is on your left, and a later version on the right.

There are other eartip versions - the Family Arabian Foal has gone through an insane amount of minor mold changes - but this one illustrates the difference quite nicely, I think.

The curled eartips disappeared rather quickly, and while I wouldn't call them rare, they're not terribly common, either. They were probably gone by late 1961 or early 1962, sometime around or before the introduction of the Palomino and Charcoals. I haven't seen an example of either the Palomino or the Charcoal with the curled eartips, which means they're either very rare, or nonexistent.

I'm not sure why the eartips were changed. My guess would be that they may have created a slight undercut, and caused the molded pieces to snag in the mold. You can just see, in the picture, that the mold lines on the ear don't follow the edge of the ear exactly, but are on the inside of the tips.

Many, but not all of the curly eartipped Foals have the C. Hess signature on the inside right hind leg - I have examples with, and without. Like I said, this mold had a crazy amount of mold changes: the signature probably got buffed out during some mold maintenance and tweaking. (Sorry, no pic of the signature today - my photography skills are just not up to it.)

I have no idea why the Family Arabian Foal - of all molds - went through so many different mold tweaks and alterations. Was there something just inherently wrong with the mold - a consequence of the rush to put it in production because of the Old Mold lawsuit? Or was it just such a popular or high production mold that it required a lot of maintenance - and the routine maintenance is to blame for all the bewildering changes?

I'm thinking more the latter than the former. It is a bit of a headache to keep track of all the subtle changes, but also neat in a way that we may be able to someday (theoretically) date any given Family Foal, to the year.

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