Introduction to Breyer Model Horses:
Breyer are one of the most widely available model or miniature horse collectibles. The moderate entry price range of $15-$30 for some series along with the very active model horse show circuit and photography competitions, have made modifying and showing your model horses a popular hobby. Breyer produced an award wining magazine Just About Horses from 1975 to the fall of 2011 which had articles on remaking models for different poses as well as information on breeds of horses for those wishing to create model horses for show purposes. A reference list of issues and their contents can be found at Identify Your Breyers
The Breyer Molding Company made their first horse in 1950 to accompany a clock. Their first horses were made for Western Stores and the C.W. Woolworth Co. Breyer Animal Creations was created to develop the model horse concept further, and has been a division of Reeves International since 1984.
Starting a Collection:
Breyer horses are available in a variety of size ranges. Collectors should first determine what type of a collection they want, and then determine if Breyer horses meet their criteria. Breyer horses are available in the following main ranges made of celluose acetate, as well as special Gallery editions, which are available in resin, porcelain and bronze. The Breyer main site includes a lot of background information on the particular horses in the Gallery and Traditional ranges which are often painted or modeled to resemble famous horses.
Scale Size Ranges of Breyer Model Horses:
- Traditional: 1:9 scale (approx. 12 x 9 in.) The largest, most popular series. Many new releases and special tack are available only in this scale.
- Classics: 1:12, dollhouse scale. (approx. 9x6 in.) Tack and accessories are available in this scale but not as widely as for the traditional range.
- Paddock Pals: 1:24 scale (approx 6 x 5 in.) Single horses, play sets with riders and removable tack are available.
- Stablemates: 1:32 scale (approx. 4 x3 in.) Stablemates include horse and rider sets, horse and foal sets, and play sets.
- Mini Whinnies: 1:64 scale (approx. 1 ½ x 1 ½ in.) (s railway scale) in a variety of sets.
Identifying Marks on Breyer Model Horses:
In 1960 Breyer introduced molded marks to identify their models. Models produced after this date will have a raised Breyer mark on the inside flank of the back leg. Most marks include a year, the country of manufacture (USA, sometimes China or Mexico), and a C for copyright. It will also usually contain some form of company identification depending on when the model was made. These company marks include BMC, B, Breyer, Breyer Molding Co. or Reeves.
Models created before 1960 were identified with stickers or hang tags which may not have survived.
Identifying A Particular Breyer Model:
Breyer horses are molded from cellulose acetate, and in the traditional range, handpainted. To identify your particular horse, first check which size range your model falls under (see above) then check collectors sites (see links below) for mold lists for your size range. Within the particular mold list for your model (arabian, standardbred etc.) there will be further information about particular paint ranges.
Modified Breyer Horses:
Remakers and Repainters may remove the original Breyer marks in their refinishing process. Altered horses will generally come with a Certificate of Authenticity from the artist who remakes or repaints them.
Identifying Points on Older Breyer Models:
- Eyewhites are a special detailing of the whites of the eyes found on some older Breyer models, which may increase the model's worth.
- Blue ribbon stickers Breyer has been using blue ribbon stickers on the shoulder of their animals since 1961. Today they are hard to find intact on the older models.
- Special collections Breyer made a Presentation Collection of regular line models mounted on a wood base with a nameplate from 1971 – 1973. The 11 different models sold in this way are rare today.
Rearing Stallions with hoof and tail pads to protect table surfaces were sold in the 1960's, advertised as bookends.