I get many questions at the Golden Oak Stables’ shows asking what a horse is or when it was made. At one point or another you’re going to have a horse that ends up in your collection that isn’t brand new. Sometimes they are gifts from friends or family that may have had a horse or two are some point in their life, or maybe you picked it up at a yard sale. Either way, there are some distinct things that can help you identify the time period your model was made during and from there identify what your model is. Its also interesting to understand a bit of history for the Breyer company and how they have changed over the years.
The Breyer Molding Company was around for many years before they went into the production of model horses, but the first examples of model horses we see from Breyer was sometime around 1950. There were only a few molds that were in production in the 1950’s so these are some of the easiest to identify. The vast majority of the molds used in the 1950’s had a molded on bridle and a detachable saddle. There were also other horse models that did not have tack, but many of them did.
In the 50’s Breyer horses had not received the iconic “Breyer Stamp” yet. Without the stamp they are easily misidentified and looked over. Horses from this time period are made from the same plastic we are used to today. Not many model horses are created from this type of plastic, so being familiar with the “Feel” of Breyer horses will help you identify the plastic.
Breyer’s of this time period were all made in a glossy finish. The paint of this time period is still very similar to other vintage models, but they feature soft shading and delicate details. Models with tack often had hand painted details to the tack or very delicately airbrushed details.
In the 1960’s Breyer was still finding themselves as horse producers. They introduced many new molds during the 60’s and expanded greatly. Many of the iconic Breyer’s that we think of today were released in the 1960’s: the Fighting Stallion, the Five Gaiter, and the Running Mare and Foal.
In the early 1960’s Breyers were often glossy; during the late 1960’s many of the models that were released in glossy were later released in a matte finish. At this point, most Breyers had received the iconic stamp so that will help you identify that you have a genuine Breyer. The last thing to look for in Breyers from this period are details like eyewhites painted in the corner of the eye, and foot pads on the hooves and or tail.
By looking for a few things you can easily identify not only what time period your horses are from but also help you identify the exact model as well as the value.
Next week we’ll go over horses from the 70’s,and 80’s!