The title of this post indicates three previous posts or chapters. I'm a bit ashamed the first one is so hidden; you have to scroll down to the bottom of Three-strands-at-once in order to find it. The second chapter is much more standard: My Blanket Collection posted December 2014. Two months later came the third installment: Blanket Collection Part 3. Clearly we are off and running on a sustainable path!! And how much I've learned...
I want to start with Breyer's great Canvas blankets, the first finished blankets ever carried. (Breyer's felt kits, issued in 1971-1974, were unassembled.) The initial Canvas offerings were #3915 Blue and #3935 Red, from 1977 through 1979, three years. In 1980 two new numbers were issued: the Red was given #2380 and a Brown was given #2360. The Red was carried for one more year, 1981, and then blankets were dropped, until 9 years later. (One wonders whether they were good sellers.) However I can attest that while Breyer's Canvas blankets are rare on the secondary market, recently there have been more available. Thanks to this groundswell of population I have been able to amass all three colors of these grand old pieces, in various conditions!
In my Blanket Collection post I mentioned my Brown Canvas blanket. Here it is, with a second piece to compare:
The degree of fading, so noticeable in these shots, has (believe it or not) nothing to do with the blanket's age. Try exposure to sun over 30 years! It's sheer coincidence that one of each of my colors of Canvases is faded.
Given that the Brown was produced for only one year (1980), I was a bit surprised at how easy they were to acquire on the secondary market... and how hard it was to find a Blue. (Maybe people didn't like Brown.) I was obsessing on Blues. I had seen several go by on eBay and missed them for one reason or another. Worse, I had a mystery to solve. What color were they, really? Were they a deep dark navy blue, almost black?
|photo taken from eBay|
|photo by grusman off eBay|
My eyes popped with the second Blue: the binding wasn't white at all, but a slightly different blue. This was a poser! It wasn't something someone had done after market... it was a true Original Finish.
We know Breyer sometimes substitutes products, releases things not in the catalog, makes changes and alterations and just generally drives collectors crazy trying to figure out what happened. I could only conclude that this Blue was the earliest of all Canvas blankets, when Breyer was still exploring production options. They must have tried it out and made enough to sell, but not enough to carry for the full 3 years ('77-'78-'79). Both these Blues have the square buckles.
Speaking of obsessing on blues, my next catch was of a pair of blue pieces that took my breath away. One was a third Blue Turnout Rug. Setting all 3 Turnouts together shows how truly different the colors can be:
And my second piece? Of all things, a Breyer Quarter Sheet from 2000-2003!
|Photo taken from 2002 catalog|
I had totally not realized how big this piece was. Even on the biggest Trad I've got, the huge Cleveland Bay, it appears large. (Probably because I'm not positioning it right -- I'm Western!) This particular example has a small tail strap snap, almost certainly added by the owner: it has careful sewing, and one isn't shown in the catalog. EDITOR'S NOTE: Later evidence from eBay shows that this strap is in fact Original Finish. Catalogs ain't perfect! The underside is a gridded rubbery material.
We can't leave the blue blanket category without one last example which is now in my hands. Don't think I have all four colors of Quilted-with-Hoods; I only have the first and last. Here's their numbers and years:
#2803 2000-2003 Dark navy green with blue binding
#2808 2004-2009 Deep rich purple with black binding
#2040 2010-2014? Turquoise with deep pink binding
#2080 2015-? Light Blue Plaid with blue binding
It's embarrassing to admit I'm not sure when the turquoise one was discontinued; and even more to admit I don't have solid evidence on the Plaid. The material matches the Going to the Horse Show set currently (2016) being offered, but this lovely light Quilted Blanket with Hood, with its thin white puffed-plastic lining, is not on Breyer's website at the moment.
Breyer may have dropped some blankets recently, but they've issued quite a few more. The most beautiful and collectible without doubt are the Christmas specials. Naughty Breyer! As if we didn't have enough already!! In 2014 came the first of these sets, Vixen and Blixen, on a mare and foal. These lovely blankets feature metal t-hooks, a high quality hardware, and are fuzzy white inside. You'd think they'd read my mind!
And here is the 2015 Christmas Special blanket, Eve's. Tiny horseheads!! Christmas colors!! White and fuzzy on the inside...
Because of a set-splitting decision by a seller, I find myself in need of Claus the Foal's blanket, sans foal. I'm willing to go rather high, so, anybody out there want to deal...??
I have even more blankets after this (!), but I think I'll save them for later. Thanks for reading,
May your horses be covered in soft fuzzy, warm and clean!