Its no secret that there are some Breyer horses out there worth a significant amount of money. Some Breyer models can be worth $1,000 while some are only worth $1. Its hard to tell rare models when you see them, but looking out for a few simple things can help distinguish them from the others. Its good to remember that these are not always true and there are exceptions to the rule. Your best resource is going to be a Breyer guide. Collecitbility and rarity is very difficult to explain, as many of you have asked at Golden Oak Stables event, but hopefully this will give you a better idea of what makes a rare horse rare.
Vintage models can be difficult to both identify and place value to. Condition is always the most important thing to look for. Breaks, chips, yellowing, and major rubs will render nearly any model worthless. In vintage models, the finish is a good indicator or value. Models with a glossy finish tend to be rarer than matte ones. The glossy finish places the age of the horses as older than 1970 in most cases. Another positive to the glossy finish is that it helps to protect the models from rubs.
Vintage models can also have a finish called “Chalky”. Chalky models were produced during the oil crisis of the early 1970’s and are distinguished by their coat of white primer under their regular paint job. Normally Breyers are painted directly on raw plastic, but in the early 1970’s recycled plastic needed to be used, creating plastic of various colors. To combat that a coat of white primer was used. Models that are chalky are hard to distinguish, but they have a few features to look for including thick paint around the hooves and under them and a little “pooling” of paint on the belly. Chalky models have very delicate finishes and are very difficult to find. Many models also appear to be chalky when they are not. An experienced collector is really the only way to tell one from a normal horse.
Finally, one last thing to look for is models with “Decorator” paint jobs. Decorators are models of colors that aren’t regular horse colors. Woodgrain, charcoal, Dapple Blue (Copenhagen) , Dappled Gold (Florentine) , Solid Blue (Wedgewood) and Solid Gold (Gold Charm) are some of the more common Breyer decorator colors. Typically any model with one of these finishes can be very collectible, but there are some very common Woodgrains and Charcoal models, so be sure to research what you are buying. Nearly any vintage gold or blue model is very very rare.
Next week we’ll go over what makes current models hard to find and collectible!