Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Here is my very-nearly-absolute-favorite blanket ever, the beautiful Horsewarm!!
A minor further miracle: one of the 5 pieces was this mesh blanket. It's none other than Breyer's No. 3951 Fly Sheet, issued from 1995 to 1999. I'd always wanted some of Breyer's meshes, and this was my first. Of the three I'm aware of that Breyer released, this is the finest, the most 'sheer' and see-through.
Didi Hornberger is a longtime collector, shower and hostess of the great Intermediaire/INTERSPORT model shows held in October in Harrisburg (PA). She is also a wonderful friend. Although it took her more than a year, she made me a gift blanket. I got to choose the fabric ("Seasplash" -- goes well with a horse named Riverfront Property!) and the design. The finished product arrived fall of 2016. This may look like a simple machine job, but the entire piece is stitched by hand(!). The professional t-hook latches are smaller than the ones Breyer uses.
Remember my struggles to find blankets for my CollectAs? Breyer's StableMate (SM) blankets turn out to be perfect for CollectA foals! The SM blankets could qualify for a post themselves, but for now I'll settle for a reminder from my very first Blankets post. The SM blanket shown on left was my first. Thanks again Carrie for breaking the set for me - it came with a 10-horse display box, part of the 2010 WEG releases.
The SM Foal blanket surely qualifies as Breyer's weensiest blanket. Shown here on a CollectA foal, it was part of Breyer No. 5413, Stablemates Horspital, first issued in 2014. Thanks to Margaret L. for helping me get these. This veterinary-themed set has been released several times over the years, but this was the first time it included such a tiny scrap of a blanket! And can you believe it, the girth fastens with the double rings!!
I suppose sewing on velcro bits would've been too much.
(Editor's Note. Later releases of the Stablemates Horspital, and/or something called New Arrivals, included something even weensier, a pure red felt foal blanket.)
(Collector's Note. I'm willing to pay rather prettily for the Graceland blue/white SM blanket...!)
By far the most popular, most famous, most numerous and surely the most played-with blankets Breyer ever made were the green felt Clydesdale Mare and Foal Gift Set ones. It is with some shame I admit I did not grow up with them. This seminal Gift Set was first released in 1971 and carried until 1992, an amazing 22 years. You can find these on eBay with no trouble. I finally got my act together in November 2016, and bought some. I've seen these in every condition: faded, new, beat up, shrunk or well cared for. My pair pretty much qualifies as 'shrunk.'
Neatly bridging 2016 and 2017 was my Crystal Christmas blanket, purchased in December and arriving in January. By now Breyer has released three sets of matching mares & foals with matching blankets for the holidays. (They know how to get us by the short hairs...) For 2016, the third set, the molds chosen were the Grazing Mare and Foal, in a delicious hand-dappled grey for the mare, Crystal, and a darker grey for the foal Crispin. Blanketwise, there was a clear change in pattern. You can see how the neck opening is larger, the chest fastening dropped down to accomodate that lowered neck, and how the back seam is longer. Once again the Breyer tag is on the Off side, apparently standard with these mares!
The Horsewarm blanket opened my eyes to other manufacturers of model horse blankets. Even so I was delightfully surpised when I spotted this gem on eBay in December of 2016.
In January, my friend Margaret, mentioned earlier, visited me in person, and I got this blanket of neon stripes. It's one of the four versions of the Colorful Blanket Assortment by Breyer, No. 2053. These were first released in 2014, clearly a good year for new blankets! The Colorfuls are all characterized by metallicism in some part, usually the binding. Neon and bling are apparently still in fashion, albeit ground down and mashed together by mass production. The fabric is polyester, smoothly silky-feeling, reasonably heavy and lined in white. There are 4 velcro fastening bands, giving a lot of adjustability. Of 4 eye-popping colors the stripes were the coolest for me.
Something unusual about these blankets is the 'rise' or extra scootch of material on the sides of the neck -- yet another new Breyer blanket pattern.
It's good to have a friend who is a dealer. Thanks, Margaret.
A fitting ending to this post is the very special Vintage Club offering of the Clydesdale Mare and Foal Gift Set, Blossom and Belle. They were released early in 2017 in glossy medicine hat pinto, and glory be, they had blankets. Not the old green ones!! Beautiful dark blue felts! The moment I saw them I wanted those blankets, and wouldn't you know it, somebody on eBay was willing to sell. In February my treasures arrived.
There will be future Blanket posts, but give me a while to accumulate more material. Pun intended. You can never have too many blankets.
Previous Blanket posts:
Three Strands at Once
My Blanket Collection
Blanket Collection Part 3
Blanket Collection 4
Felts for Foals: Blankets 5
Blanket Collection 6