Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Horse is A Horse, of Course, of Course…

Sunday,October 26, 2014
Partly sunny, cold,with a chance of rain

A Horse is a Horse, 
of Course, of Course…

  If you just though that the title of today's post was familiar to you , it was! It's the theme song from the American TV program from the 1960's called Mr Ed. The twist to this half-hour comedy was that Mr. Ed, the horse in the program talked to his owner Wilber. So this equine,  wasn't just any  ordinary horse, of course! The program was very funny because Mr. Ed naturally almost never talked to anyone but Wilber. Occasionally, Mr. Ed would blurt out embarrassing words or sentences, and poor Wilber would get into trouble!

   When I presented Mr. Doug Van Middlesworth's fine pull toy yesterday, I asked everyone if they could help me identify it.  When Doug had asked me to try and identify his very fine "horse platform pull toy", I thought it would be easy. Another lessen learned! Never assume that a toy you've thought  you've seen many times will be easy to identify. Doug's toy measures at least 12" ( 305 mm) long, which appears to be rarer than I thought.

   Then when I started to check for a similar horse, all of the horse drawn pull toys all looked too similar for my untrained equine horse identification! I had to slow down and take a serious look at these toys. Moreover, search engines are not written well by programmers when more that 2-3 words are used. If you start to search for a Hull & Stafford horse platform pull toy, you will definitely have trouble! Six words are too much for any search engine including Google to handle. So I tried horse platform pull toy, figuring that would be easier - just a "mere" 4 words. Nooooooooo! There were metal wood, large-sized, very large-sized, small,miniature, penny toys,pull toys, wind-up toys and every other horse toy you could almost think of!

   So I tried 3 words - horse pull toy. I got results, but still some toys were not in the exclusive result for  the horse drawn pull toys. And worst of all, they still looked too similar to me. My apologies to all my equine readers and my niece Carly who used to rise horses and even owned one! Moreover, when you see the search results, the results on let's say most sites have photos or composite photos that are of uniform size. So looking at a whole page of horse platform pull toys is like looking at a table of 1000 white eggs, and trying to find the single goose egg among the others that are all chicken eggs. The goose egg is slightly larger, but among 100, it blends in quite week.

  What's also interesting is that most of the toys of that era (1880's-1920's) were platform pull toys made from tin. THe design and shape of the horses were quite similar, and you begin to have a keener eye to differentiate one horse from another. It's like trying to see the differences in the 2 illustrations in the newspaper that have 6 subtle differences between the 2 of them. SOmetimes it's easy, and sometimes, it take me a long time!

The first two toys are quite similar and not.
One is larger than the other and the platforms are different.

This horse's front left foot is bent much more than the previous two.
Also the reins are painted in a different pattern.

I  didnblt mention that Doug's pull toy had a standing stable boy or standing rider.
Below we have a lady sitting in what I believe is called the "British Style" or 
"Side Saddle" of riding.

The lady's horse is an a very "eloquent" stride, and the platform is different form the others.
I names the horse pose as a stride, but not being equip gate,or a stride.

Just when I was learning the names of horse-drawn vehicles, I now need to learn the differences in the pacing of horse movements!

I was fortunate to find this fine large-sized horse platform pull toy. It's being offered in the exceptional collection of Mr. Max Berry that I have been writing about. This toy is quite beautiful,and of presents well with the lady rider above.

It's quite large for platform horse drawn pull toys, just like the one that I presented yesterday.

I also decided to add Doug's photos (below) that I whitened up.
Perhaps, presenting Doug's fine "steed" and stable toy in two posts will get more viewers to look for the brand of toy that it is.

I liked how Doug photographed his toy above with that harsh shadow that I increased in contrast and exaggerated. Notice the tapered and narrowed ankles in the shadow. It's a small detail, but perhaps a "clue" as to who might have made this toy. The shadow helped to illustrate this toy feature as the direct lighting to the toy itself was flat, hence reducing the shape of the toy.

I hope everyone will be out there searching for the maker of Doug's toy!

Thanks for dropping by,
and as always,
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,

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