Lots of current pictures are on the TSII FaceBook page. This post has mostly historical pictures. At the end there is one current shot.
TSII #401 was ordered by Susan Rudnicki (today Hurst) in April of 1996. It was finished almost exactly a year later, having been started in February, and it was shipped April 24th, 1997. (All my records back then were handwritten.) The page in the Yellow Scrapbook for Koi & Water Lilies looks like this:
I had never tried fish-scale stamping before. I had never tried fish before; previous prism tape animals were horses, a peacock and a buffalo. (Prism tape = holographic film)
The design sheet also tells me this is the 77th Silver Parade Saddle the TSII has ever built. We are currently working on the 104th. The count started in 1979 with TSII #06... that's another story. :)
This page (below) must've been near the beginning of the design stage. I'm not even sure it is all my work. Susan Hurst requested the fish; she had gotten into koi ponds in a big way for her own home. She provided me with references in books and magazines about koi.
Susan sent me one of her resincasts, "Wall Street Trader," to make the Koi set with. While this was expensive it also was not rare. When you invest this much in a custom saddle you can afford it; and I cannot work to measurements -- there must be a body. The level of detail of a TSII saddle at this point meant I really did need a body.
Another close up of the original #401:
In the interval between 1997 and 2010, this saddle was sometimes generously lent to other showers in the region. I am including this shot, kindly permitted by Barb DiAnnabella - many thanks! Note how the shorter back of this horse necessitates leaving off the hip drops -- but it still looks fantastic.
|Bogucki's Dozen Roses under TSII #401, photo by B DiAnnabella|
The saddle immediately before #401 was Rainbow Brilliance, which I kept for my own:
Another saddle to come out of 1997 was Eleanor Harvey's Ripple Wave silver-border. It was quite a year.
|Xanadu by Bouras wearing #401|
I documented the result with just one photo.
|Rammas Ichor / Ramses by Carol Howard wearing TSII #401|
|C Williams 'Victrix' finished by S Hurst. Photo by S Hurst|
Fast forward to nine years later, today. In May of 2019 Sue Peet asked me to offer the set at BreyerFest. Her health had reached the point of no return... and her dear husband Bill had passed away only weeks before. Peet had collected some of my best pieces -- she had had the NAN Auction Braided Bridle & Breastcollar of 2009, my best bridle to that point. I said yes. The box arrived today. The saddle sits on the horse Sue Peet had chosen to display it with:
You can find me in room 610 of the CHIN. The lion's share will go to Sue Peet.
Update as of Thursday morn June 27th: I should have known. I'm choosing to auction this one too. High bids will be posted here. Closing Friday the 12th at 8pm EST.
Bidder 1: $950.00
Bidder 2: $1100.00
1907.12 Congratulations to C Robertson for her winning bid!