This sixth chapter will also take a look at pieces that are not exactly blankets. In the process of collecting stable blankets I've acquired adjuncts: coolers, dress sheets, duplications, non-Breyer pieces and race tack sets are some of them. In particular, Breyer's No. 2492, Race Tack Set, will be featured.
Let's begin where Blankets 5 left off, with my collecting in January of 2016. I had noticed, in my haunting of eBay and MH$P, something that becomes familiar to every collector of Breyer: Factory Variations! Here's the 1995-through-1999 Breyer Catalog picture for No. 3952, the Plaid Dress Sheet:
|from 1995 -1999 Breyer Catalog|
What was its texture? How thick and/or flexible? What did it look like underneath?
And more interestingly: Why were there two kinds of 3952s??
In March I acquired a 3952 that matched the catalog:
But the other mystery was the Dress Sheet I'd picked up in February:
Underneath this blanket is the same darkest-blue surface. But the fabric is a little softer, smoother and more flexible than the other. Not a whole lot... but there is a detectable difference. This sheet is lighter and more bendy. Five years is a fair long time for a Breyer blanket to run... I'm guessing they simply ran out of one material and substituted another. Less likely is the thought that Breyer detected how poorly one was selling. This remains in the realm of speculation.
For my own records I'm calling it the Yellow Stripe version, or 3952y.
In a blanket lot deal I acquired a No. 3953, the Dark Green/Black Dress Sheet:
In 2014 Breyer had the bit between its teeth on company branded blankets, and came up with this jewel, the Dover Saddlery blanket.
Green Trio: left to right: "Vixen" Christmas 2014; Dover Saddlery 2014; and Green WeatherBeeta, unknown but assuming 2014.
In June 2016, trying (and succeeding) to get a Green WeatherBeeta for a friend, I landed a multi-blanket lot that included these:
|from 2004 - 2008 Breyer Catalog|
It's an attractive shot. But I couldn't get the hood to fit my Lonesome Glories.
I tried and tried. The back stuck up and the white leather (it is real leather) eye-rims blocked vision.
Two more blankets for Chapter 6. Breyer was issuing Limited Edition stable blankets as early as 1996, as we know from my Tseminole Wind blanket (see Blanket Collection 3). Here are the 1999 BreyerFest 10th Anniversary blankets, much fancier, in two colors and (apparently) in a much larger piece count. That year the Celebration horse was Molokai. (According to ID Your Breyer, 4200 Molokais were released, so that is my only clue as to how many blankets.) He was then a recently introduced mold (Big Ben 1996) and my index card box has a curious card in it recording a "Molokai Blanket" as part of my bonus for participating in the Hobby Round Tables that year!! Unfortunately I could find no such thing! (I may have been confusing it with the Tseminole Wind blanket.) Today, what I was seeing on eBay and other places was this:
|Halter by Jaapi|
Incredibly, these two blankets seem to be the first manifestations of what would later appear as the Show Blanket Collection in 2000, 2004 and 2008 -- blankets which would set the standard of what a Breyer blanket is, in cut and pattern, up unto the present day. Back in 1999 it was truly cutting edge, all the rage. They have a double binding, allowing two colors, so that each blanket uses three colors in all. The material is heavy, thick and smooth, a polyester type fabric which lends itself beautifully to the embroidery and logos. Later, with the Show Blanket Collection, Breyer would add fancy rump darts. These early ones had merely a self-color slanted dart. The pattern fit many models well, although the fairly narrow neck opening would be troublesome and the long back would wrinkle up on some. The front is entirely velcro closure - an extravagance of velcro, very easy to use - and there is a belly ribbon, non-adjustable, of velcro.
It took me some time to find these 2 blankets; they are quite rare by now, especially the blue version. My white one arrived in Feb of 2016 and it had a large purplish stain on the back. I spent a morning getting rid of the stain. Rubbing alcohol and patience finally did the trick. Bizarre as it sounds, I am convinced the stain was caused by grape candy. : )
In future posts I hope to catch up on the Blankets, showcase other tack artists and recently acquired saddles, tell curious model horse tales and share more tackmaking. As ever, thanks for your patience. Enjoy!