Saturday, December 23, 2023

Three of a Kind


The title is a bit misleading since this post is actually about nine enamel pins -- three threes.  Two new quaggas, one new Zigby and one new Runedeer came into my collection just last week, resulting in a bunch of trios, and I am ecstatic.  I'm hooked!  One problem will be presenting pins that I'm posing vertically but photographing horizontally.  I also did a fair bit of PhotoShopping here to clean up the background (down dust!) and set off some pins (stop crowding!).  But in general I'm pretty pleased with how they all came out.  Such talent Mink has!!

First, let's look at the quaggas and the Thanksgiving Zigby, since they came in first.

Sarah Minkiewicz's Cave Pony Quagga is one of the most popular designs of all the Cave Ponies. Technically he might not be a pony at all, but---!!  The original quagga, first sold as a pin July 28, 2022, has appeared since then on merchandise ranging from blankets to earrings, in mug bundles, on a backpack, on an embroidered patch, on the ice cream bowl, and of course as stickers.  I shouldn't've been surprised when, exactly a year later (July 28 '23) two more quaggas were first introduced.   But now I had to decide whether to pursue their new larger versions.  They were offered in both  2.25" and the original 1.5".  For an enamel pin, that's a big difference in size.

I chose to stick with my smaller, first Quagga's size.  Here are my three Quaggas, with the original on the bottom:

That Cinnamon Quagga (center) is really something!   Here they are in relation to their part of my current Mink collection, (the part that isn't Dancing Horses or Runedeer, shall we say): 

A closer look at these beauties.  The color is more true here than the next shot.

The more I look at that Cinnamon Quagga, the more I like what I see!!  The white in the forehand tends to exaggerate that part of the animal, yet here it's minimized and colored down into delicious toffee gold.  I also love the pose of a classic Carousel jumper.  He's very controlled yet clearly the fastest of the three.

You can guess what my second trio is going to be: Zigbys!  Once more, vertical layout:

It's clear to me that Sarah's artistry and creativity has no limit when it comes to these cute little guys.  I don't have the first issue Rainbow Zebra (only 50 were made and I wasn't quick enough to grab one), but these are all the others known at this time.   Here's the latest, copper-bordered Thanksgiving Zigby with his fantastic sparkle heart, symbolizing gratefulness:

He's very solid, and the copper works well.  I like him.  Like the Halloween Zigby, he has 2 prongs on back while the Christmas version has only one.  I hope you'll forgive a sidewise trip to admire my favorite of the Zigbys, the Halloween.  Forgive the greenish appearance; he really is a candy corn white and yellow.  The dim lighting is an attempt to show the sparkles:

There is just something in me that rises to the challenge of photographing that glitter!  This next shot is less glamorous but shows his texture better.  One and a quarter inches across:

You might naturally assume the next trio would be the Windcatchers (Pegasi) since I have three of them.  But no.  It's the deer.  Christmas seems to be a time of deer.  I love them dearly (decades of horse exposure has bred this), and Sarah, as usual, has hit it out of the park with her latest Runedeer pin.
 You are looking at the placemat where I'm writing all my Christmas letters.  Yes, that's a Minkiewicz product.  (I got it last year on Zazzle.)  She is very efficient with her patterns!  It was wonderful to get a Runedeer sticker with the pin, just as it was with the Thanksgiving Zigby.

This is the first time I've received a non-equine sticker from Mink,... (unless you count the Hippicorn (Xanthian)).  At any rate, I'm a fan of Mink deer stickers!  

Oh lard I just made a connection with my deer topical stamp collection,...  something you all haven't seen, nor ever been told about.  This is not the place to go deeply into it,...  I've collected horse stamps for many years in the past, accumulating a large binder, and towards the back there's a lot of deer stamps.  So there are roots to my delight in a deer pin.  Mink's Runedeer just fit right in.  They have layers of meaning for me that are not immediately obvious.

This is a very classy pin.  I was delighted to discover the blue borders are sparkly!

Trying to catch them on film, I use a flashlight and low light, as well as macro settings.  Getting there!

Now, with this closest portrait, I am too close.  Tiny flaws in the glass of the enamel show up.  See his cheek?

Easy to fix with PhotoShop!

I also took the opportunity to clean up errors in the snowflake, although I see they don't show at this magnification.  What a beauty!  

Let's look at all three of Mink's RuneDeer known to exist:

Unlike the Quaggas and Zigbys, each one is quite different.  RuneDeer I, top, was sold in December of 2021, yet pins were still available a year later, December 2022.  We were never told the number made.  He is just 2 inches by one inch in size.  Today they are quite in demand and I feel very lucky to have snagged one at the tail end of availability during the PinUltimate sale of January '23.  He is (of course) very hard to photograph against a black background, so I'm leaving this shot mostly as it came out.  Those legs and antlers are shiny black:

Somewhat naturally, the next two RuneDeer both feature glitter.  The sparkle effect seems to be irresistible.   Long live the artist who puts such sparkle into our lives!

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

A Visit with Kelly Weimer, Part II


This second installment of our visit to Kelly Korber Weimer's collection will start with the side chamber of the basement and then explore the upper formal room (above).

 I first met Kelly in the 1990s when I used to attend Greater Pitt Model Horse Show.  She was part of what we called 'the Pitt crew,' along with Kelly Englesiepen (Keracher), Lucy Kusluch and Jan Wagner and her daughter Rebecca, and later Felicia Browell, who wrote the Breyer Collector Book Guides.  Between them the Kellys could answer nearly any question Felicia put to them.  That was just the beginning of an encyclopaedic knowledge-base of Breyer and Breyer's products. 

When we last saw this chamber, it looked like this (above).  The space has models on three sides, and I had to turn around to see them all.  If you're standing with your back to the cross corridor, this is what you see:  Hartlands!

Moving to the front of this shelf:  More Hartlands!!

 Naturally I asked what that blue foal was.  I learned it was (just as naturally) a digital print out.

Below.  The chestnut pinto Grazing Foal is an early repaint by Laura H. Behning.  It was found in an Ohio antique mall.

Moving to the right (see what I mean about miscellaneous?) these are various non-equines, dogs and cats.  Below, more miscellaneous.

Turning further right, one is hopefully going to be warm in the winter.   This is a more impromptu shot than most, but it shows the shape of the side chamber.  Turning right even more, the relationship of this space with the cross corridor should be clearer.  That's the main hallway behind the right edge of these shelves, below.

You can walk entirely around this part of the collection and come out near the two entryways.

Now it's time to move upstairs and take a look at the Room.  Farewell oh best of basements.  I could've stayed longer but I needed to see the upper collection while I still had ready access memory...!  and it's a good thing I did.   flourish of trumpets

This is the more formal, polished 'upper' edition of the collection.  It includes some very nice chinas (which I did not capture).   Upon entry the most intriguing thing about the room was the mural:

Kelly told me it was there when they bought the house.  No one knows who painted it.

Once again, my shots were not carefully calculated to cover all;  what you see here is post-processing, to roughly pass across the shelves left to right and top to bottom.  I asked about the roan Alborozo, and learned he is a repaint.

I was told the Florentine 5-Gaiter has a broken-off tail.

Both Kelly and myself have been looking for a Copenhagen Running Mare, so far without success.

Now that's a corner unit -- !  The chestnut pinto Mittens, next to the blue Ansel, was painted by Kelly.

Kelly told me she has all of the Stretch Morgans except Bennington (of whom only 3 were made).  I can also report she told me elsewhere she has about 63 Fighting Stallions.  This shelf is a spot I shot twice, just from sheer delight.  (And maybe to see those little Copperfoxes, Winstons, in many colors!)

The Charcoal Fighter at the end of this next shelf is from the Francis Collection.  He has far more brown tones than most charcoals I've seen.

The Running Foals are a particular favorite, not least with those cute Copperfoxes.

 This particular horse, visible in the bottom corner of photo 1 and photo'd here on the carpet, is unique.  He is very heavy, being solidly filled with resin.  Another with the same technology is the blue Rearing Stallion lying down at the end (above).  Their weight makes it impractical for them to stand (the legs bend).  Some of Breyer's ideas just didn't work out...!

After some thought I'm leaving this next shot as it came out, despite cutting off all those legs.  I like how the Kelly turned out.  :)

A impressive conga of Classic-scale Man O' Wars.  Without, should I point out, the solid-gold one of 2023.

And we're back where we started.  Breathless.

What a privilege it has been to aim a lens at this immense collection.  I am inspired and grateful.  Thank you, Kelly, so much.