Whether you have 5 or 500 Breyer horses, its a good idea to start keeping track of them at some point in time. Without organization your collection can become very overwhelming and you just might end up buying two of something you already have or causing damage due to poor storage. Having your collection organized and cataloged can also help if something should ever happen to you, or if a model goes missing.
Most of you that have attended an event at Golden Oak Stables have heard me speak about the size of my collection, but for those of you that haven’t, I have a collection that I’ve lost track of at 1300. On top of that, my models are split between here and a collection in Ohio, so one of my goals for my collection where I currently am is to keep it organized so that I do know what I have andcan take good care of it. Hopefully by sharing what I’ve learned can help you to keep organized too!
The first step to keeping track of your collection is to photograph everything. Digital cameras are readily available now and really the best to use for your collection. By photographing your collection you will have a visual database that you can easily draw from. Set up a small photo booth using a flat surface against a wall. Hang a solid color sheet so that it drapes down the wall and onto the flat surface. Dust or wash your models and one by one take clear photographs of your horses. Try to keep your horse in a good view. Pick the side of the horse that either the head is turned to or the mane is on. Continue until you have photographed your entire collection. This will take a very long time to do. Once it is done though, you will only have to go and add in new horses that you get! Save your photos not only on your computer, but also on a CD so that you have a hard copy should something happen to your computer.
Another thing you can do is to make an spreadsheet of your horses. If you have already photographed your models, start a spreadsheet on the computer with categories such as “Name”, “Year Produced”, “Mold”, “Amount I paid”, “Where I got this model from”,”Model Number”, “Value” and “Condition”. You may not have all of this information, but a good place to find this info is in the current Breyer Value Guide. Starting and saving a current spreadsheet will help you if something goes missing or if you ever want to sell. Most people can’t display their entire collections, so having a spreadsheet can also help you identify what you own when you can’t see.
Lastly, and probably the most important thing when cataloging your collection is to store your horses well packed. Breyer horses need to be packed with care if they are going to be stored for a long period of time, and before you do any of that, its a good idea to either photograph them or to put the info into a spread sheet. After that is done, choose sturdy boxes for your horses, or Rubbermaid storage totes. Rubbermaid totes are really the best, not only because they are sturdy, but also because they are waterproof. You’ll want to wrap your models either in bubble wrap or in clean dry cotton cloth, tee shirts work well too. Make sure that your horses are completely wrapped and there aren’t any legs or ears hanging out. Put them in the box with the largest horses on the bottom and put smaller horses on top of that. Don’t over stuff your boxes because this will cause damage, sometimes even breaks to your models. Be sure to mark the box on the outside with what is in the box so that you can find it easily.
Using a few simple organizational steps your collection can be kept not only orderly, but safe too! Take good care of your collection of Breyer horses, you took the time to collect them, you wouldn’t want a little carelessness to ruin them!