Monday, February 6, 2023

Whiter Shades

That was a surprisingly productive weekend, especially considering it was only 24 hours long for me. Finally finished that one stupid quilt project that refused to be finished, started another, cleaned out some old financial paperwork, and did a bit of prep work on my taxes!

I know I told myself not to buy stuff this year, but (alas) I relented again. My rationale this time: it was cheap and something I wanted!

He’s the later black-eyed version with not a lot of shading, but he’s snowy white and in excellent condition, other than a couple of small stains and hoof edge rubs. And I got him for about the current cost of an off-the-shelf Traditional.

I’ll still need to get the original pink-eyed “Albino” version one of these days, but I suspect I’ll have to cough up a little more cash for that one. They command slightly higher prices not just because they’re earlier pieces, but because they tend to look a little bit fancier, with the pink eyes and extra shading.

I’ve noticed that regardless of the variation – black-eye or pink-eye – the White Five-Gaiters don’t seem to yellow as much as other White/Alabaster/Albino models from the same era. 

Even back then Breyer was aware of Cellulose Acetate’s tendency to yellow or mellow over time, especially when they used a lot of regrind (reground, recycled plastic). I wonder if they purposefully used fresh CA whenever they manufactured the Albino Five-Gaiter because the yellowing would be just that much more noticeable? 

Or was it the fact that he wasn’t as popular as his Palomino or Sorrel siblings? The Albino Five-Gaiter was discontinued by the end of 1966, while the Palomino stuck around through 1971, and the Sorrel until 1986. Fewer models = fewer models that will turn yellow.

Or with him being one of the fancier paint jobs of the era, maybe the majority of them lived the decorative life in a window?

There is also the strong possibility that it is all just a coincidence and I am reading way too much into it. That happens a lot in historical research, especially when so much of the evidence is lost and we have to deduce things from what was left behind: in our case, the models themselves.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...


I've fallen off the Ebay wagon myself, and rounded out my Western Prancer herd- or is it hoard? One is the "charcoal" variation, he's beige from cigarette smoke...he's out on the cold balcony, waiting for the sun.

I'm fascinated at how Alabaster Running Mares seem to glow white, but maybe it's because I'm used to seeing a Bay.