Sunday, September 18, 2011

Seventeen thousand six hundred dollars and ninety nine cents

That was the winning bid for Liz Shaw's amazing Victrix.
It's also the most anyone has ever paid for a model horse, easily surpassing the $13,500 one of a kind palomino Alborozo that sold at the 2008 Breyerfest Auction.  
Predictably, the hobby world is abuzz with talk of the auction.  Reactions range from disbelief ($17, 000?! I could get a real horse/car/house/random expensive item for $17,000!!! ) to disgust (idiotic, ridiculous and delusional) to sheer, unadulterated joy.  Count me among the last group.  That model represents a singular achievement in finishwork.  How wonderful to see an artist justly compensated for producing a piece that transcends and expands the usual hobby standards!

Karen Gerhardt posted these words to her Facebook wall, and I think they sum up my feelings quite nicelyA raised bar floats all our talents higher as her work inspires and we aspire... the creative hobby will be the better for this!

So long live Princess Victrix...
beauty queen enhancements by Ramie
and congratulations and thanks to everyone who had a part in this particular slice of hobby history!


  1. That winning bid is really incredible but I am really happy for LIz!!

    I'm missing the option to enlarge the pictures in your blog.....

  2. Hi Shanti--I am not loving the changes to the photo viewer either. However, I've found that if I left click on the pictures and select "Open in a new window" I can still get the full sized view. I'm not sure if that will work with different browsers. For what it's worth, I'm using Google Chrome.

    Of course, in regards to this post it doesn't really matter. None of the original pictures are big!

  3. I am very happy for Liz as well. It's wonderful that people were able to truly recognize this piece for what it is. This was not a model horse - it was a piece of fine art, created by an incredibly gifted artist!

  4. When I first saw the messages on Haynet, I was stunned, but then I followed the link to the auction and was even more stunned by the beauty of that resin. Congratulations are in order to the artist and also to the buyer - wow! It truly has become a work of art far beyond model horse.

  5. I'm wondering how many hours went into that. As a piece of artwork, it's well worth the price. 17k isn't much in the art world, it's just the perception that models are "toy horses" that makes people so shocked.

    I am a little envious of the winning bidder though. I guess someone isn't suffering from the economy right now!

  6. I just regaled my family at dinner with this news, and they, who know even less than I do about the hobby, were suitably impressed. They agreed that Victrix looks EXACTLY like a real horse. I think she's absolutely wonderful and am full of nothing but congrats for the artist! Hey, if someone is willing to pay that much, why should anybody else care?

    Question: do you think Victrix is going to turn up in shows? I would think maybe the buyer would be a little embarrassed at her price, and just keep her at home under a spotlight in a glass case or something, but I don't know. Maybe she is itching to go out and decimate the competition. And if she's showing Performance, I can think of a tackmaker who's up to her standards... ;-)

  7. I spent the last hour of the auction hanging out in a chat room on the Model Horse Blab site. Liz was there and she did give a few hints about the identity of the buyer. She *is* a shower, and there's reason to believe the model will be shown in the near future. I have to seriously doubt she will ever see the top of a performance table. Honestly, I wouldn't want to see that! As much as I would like to see her in person, a part of me feels like that one needs to be encased in glass!!!

  8. I would assume she'll be insured!

    As for showing... how embarrassing if you don't win. I dunno.

    I really love the paint job, I do, but I personally don't like it on that body. To me the body doesn't suit how *I* like an appaloosa to look (it's all about me ;-). It is just too TB, with too much hair, and that's not how I think of an Appy.

    My "real horse" bias popping up. And I do know there are lots of sport TB/Appy crosses, but most still show a lot more Appy character. I am one of those who doesn't like the trend towards quarter horses or (TBs) with spots in ApHC, and calling them Appies. But it's still a gorgeous piece of artwork.

    The detail of that painting: the hooves, her eyes, the mottling is truly exquisite.

  9. I was at a show when I heard about this auction. I would love to see this model in person some day. It still amazes me to think about it - what an amazing job Liz did on her!

  10. I think this is the most Awesome piece of Model horse History!!
    ~ Fabian