Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Muddy Monday: Another Mini Mini Mystery

Collectively, these have a few more legs to stand on than the previous mystery mini mini horses I've shared in this blog. After reading my first post on the subject, collector Dawn Sinkovich was inspired to share her unusually glazed examples of some of the "normal" mini mini family.

Stallion in rare bay, owned by Dawn Sinkovich, photos by author.

As you can see, this isn't the familiar bay mini mini family of the late '70's to early 90's. This color is not the "matte brown" of Fall 1958 (it is undeniably glossy). We have to leave wiggle room for confusion of the terms "brown" and "bay", but there is no confusing glossy and matte. This is the same bay decoration technique as the old Monrovia Miniatures line's #A-360 Turning Mustang, #A-234 Rearing Horse (not the dipped white socks color), and the #A-361-3 Yearlings. (It is also the same bay as the Monrovia DW Brookside Stella.) The bay body has black underglaze shading, and the white stockings have the telltale incomplete airbrushing. Note also the presence of a tiny white star on their faces. No other mini mini horses have been seen with face markings.

Stallion with face star.

Colt with face star, owned by Dawn Sinkovich, photos by author.

Colt in rare bay, owned by Dawn Sinkovich, photos by author.
For an idea of scale, he is leaning against a one-inch thick piece of styrofoam.

I couldn't help but notice that we are also looking at two foal molds, here. Above is the old mold Monrovia Colt, with an elegant arched neck, robust body, more curvy legs, and a bobtail. It has not been knocked off in greenware cleaning. One sees this foal bobtail on all the old matte white and buckskin ones. For immediate comparison, here are all the normal mini mini family colors, and both Colt mold styles, from all HR factory eras.

Photo courtesy Ed Alcorn.
Note that the bays on the left have no shading, no white markings.

Was the early bobtail foal meant to go with the original mystery mini mini bobtail trio? It does look like it!

Note the Colt has a bobtail, even in the order form line art! Fall 1966

Your eyes do not deceive you: for several years, order form space for the usual Stallion and Mare molds are represented by the "bobtail" mystery horses' line art. Fall 1968

The early mini mini family were officially issued in matte brown (see: Roller), matte buckskin, and matte white (gray). Here is a nice example of the early white, with decent detail for its size. This ceramic horse is only one and a quarter inches tall.

Mare in early matte white, owned by Dawn Sinkovich, photo by author.

Colt in early matte white, owned by Dawn Sinkovich, photo by author.

Why and when this odd gloss bay family was made is up for speculation. No doubt, it is from before 1970, due to the old mold Colt. Dawn tells me that these two bays were bought together with these white gray examples from the same Monrovia-era miniatures collection. White gray is recorded, by Gayle Roller's book, as appearing in Fall of 1964.

This glossy shaded bay color appeared on DW Brookside Stella between Fall 1956 - Spring 1958. Spring of 1958 happens to be the season before the Mini Mini family was released. It is the same season that the Turning Mustang and the Yearlings were first offered (albeit, the order form uses the term "brown"). The bay Rearing Horse is harder to pinpoint, as he had more than one bay decoration style. 

The matching bay gloss mini mini Mare has not yet surfaced, to my knowledge. If you know of one, or have a photo proving she exists in this color, I'd be interested to see it. It would be great to hear from collectors who also have this color mini mini, as at this time, these are the only examples known.

"Thank you" to Dawn, for sharing her pieces with us all!


Benuish, Allison, ed. Hagen-Renaker Research Materials: 1949-Present. Salisbury, MD: 1995. Unnumbered pages, Fall 1966 and Fall 1968.

Roller, Gayle. Hagen-Renaker: A Charlton Standard Guide. Third Edition. Pp. 75, 301, 308, 313. The Charlton Press: Palm Harbor, FL, 2003.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the wonderful details. I find it amazing that these mini minis survived so long, and someone kept them even with missing parts. The difference in foal molds is fascinating that HR spent so much time and effort on something so small. This is a classic example of paying attention to details. That bobtail on the foal may be the only easily seen clue to something far more rare.