Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The Charcoal Running Mare

Today definitely a “crawl into my Batcave and hide” day: lots of issues at work, the national news was terrible, it rained all day so my garden was a swampy mess, and I’m still out of sorts to find out that Neal Adams died on my birthday. 

And yes, I am very familiar with that auction lot on eBay with the three probable Chicago-era Test Colors in it. In fact, I saw it a few minutes after it got listed and momentarily panicked as I searched (in vain) for a Buy It Now button!

Heck, I’d be happy buying everything in the lot except the Fighters and the Black Yellow Mount, but that’s not going to happen, so I’m just going to watch it like everyone else and wonder just how high it’s going to go. (Those Black Pinto Western Horses are Matte – kind of a rare variation, and one I’ve been looking for.)

I hadn’t expected it to hit $3000 this early in the game, but the market is insane right now. I wish it wasn’t so, but this is where we are. Lucky for the seller, though! 

Because you asked for it, here’s the Charcoal Running Mare with her now-matching foal:

The Mare is slightly semi-gloss/satin, and the Foal is very matte, but I am quite pleased how well they otherwise match!

Of the Mare, she’s nice but nothing remarkable by today’s standards. She’s also something that I probably overpaid for: I think you can get a comparably nice one today for about the same amount of money.

In my defense, I was a junior high school horse girl and history dork who was very excited at the prospect of getting an old and rare variation of a Breyer that was discontinued years before I even knew Breyers existed. 

Our choices of molds and colors were also significantly more limited than they are now. At that point, the only color I had ever seen the Running Mare in was the #124 Bay. A Charcoal variation of Smoke seemed so exotic!

I also bought her sight unseen. That’s just how we rolled back then. Most of the time things turned out… fine. Or at least not terrible. Live showing wasn’t as big a deal back then, and even models with obvious flaws – and sometimes, broken limbs! – could compete. 

A model in better condition was always better, yes, but finding old models of any sort was difficult enough. You made do with what you could find, and what you could afford. A couple of small rubs and rough seams? Still LSQ!

I can’t recall if I ever did live show her back in the 1980s. Collectability wasn’t its own separate category in the 1980s outside of Collector’s Classes. They were pretty similar to the Collector’s Classes at BreyerFest Open Show now, except that most collectors back in the 1980s worked on presenting a well-rounded collection, rather than organizing it around a theme or concept.  


timaru star ii said...

She is beautiful! A Charcoal Smoke is certainly rare and exotic -- to me anyway! I had a Smoke Belgian growing up, and later a Smoke Running Mare, but I never saw these darker versions 'in the wild.'

Suzanne said...

They are lovely, and a good match! It can be so frustrating, trying to match these guys.

When I was starting my collection, I would drool over the 1980 Collector's Manual...I probably have it memorized! Imagine how stunned I was when I first saw the Gloss Dapple grey Running Mare. The gloss finish, the exquisite shading- she seemed more "solid" than any other horse in my collection, and seemingly impervious to scuffs. She belonged to my new next-door neighbor, who'd inherited her older cousins collection, and oh how envious I was!

That's why that auction bugs me: how could they not put a grey glossy Fighter into production? Two are not enough!!

Cheryl said...

These are dark smoke, not charcoal, yes? Aren't charcoal more brown with pink hooves?