Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Birthday Week: Ferseyn and Abu Farwa

This week we celebrate the birthdays of two of the twentieth century's most important Arabian stallions: Ferseyn (May 21, 1937) and Abu Farwa (May 22, 1940).  Their legacy extends from the real horse world into the model horse realm.  Ferseyn and Abu Farwa were both represented in the 2018-2019 "Miniature Menageries" exhibit at the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library at Cal Poly Pomona, through the art of Maureen Love for Hagen-Renaker.  

Hagen-Renaker B-697 "Ferseyn," first issued Fall 1958.  This figurine is part of the "Miniature Menageries" exhibit on the history and artists of Hagen-Renaker, Inc. at the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library.
The real horse Ferseyn, a gray, was the offspring of the preeminent Arabian sire *Raseyn and the mare *Ferda, both of whom were bred by Lady Wentworth at the Crabbet Arabian Stud in England and imported by W.K. Kellogg for his Arabian ranch in Southern California.  Ferseyn was a prolific sire of more than 250 Arabians and, by all accounts, had an "impish" personality that endeared him to his owner, Herbert H. Reese.

Here's a link to more information on Ferseyn:

The "Ferseyn" mold is probably best known to most collectors as the Breyer Classic Arabian Stallion, issued in many different colors since the 1970s.  Hagen-Renaker leased the mold, designed by Maureen Love, to Breyer.

Left, Breyer Classic Arab Stallion; right, Hagen-Renaker "Ferseyn"

Ferseyn also inspired Maureen Love's design for the Hagen-Renaker "Abdullah" molds, B-635 (first version, 6.25" at the ears), issued Spring 1956-Spring 1957, and B-649 (second version, 6"), issued 1968-Spring 1969.

Smaller version of the HR "Abdullah"

The real Arabian stallion Abu Farwa was chestnut with white markings.  His roots were also planted at the Kellogg Ranch: his sire Rabiyas and dam *Rissletta were owned by W.K. Kellogg when Abu Farwa was foaled.  Abu Farwa grew up to be one of the most important Arabian sires of the twentieth century:

 The B-621 "Abu Farwa" designed by Maureen Love was first issued in Fall 1955.

The B-650 "Arabian, Turning" (with his head up) below was designed at roughly the same time as the B-621 Abu Farwa, the mid-1950s, but not issued until 1968. Examples of this mold sometimes carry an old "Abu Farwa" sticker.

We can infer that the 9" Hagen-Renaker B-656 “Amir” was based on the real Abu Farwa not only from Maureen’s sketches of a prancing chestnut Arabian stallion with a distinctive blaze and on her sketchbook cover notes that name Abu Farwa, Ferseyn, and another Arabian stallion owned by Reese, Alla Amarward, but also from a May 1970 article in Arabian Horse World magazine by Carol Mulder. The magazine issue was a tribute to Abu Farwa, who was one of the most important Arabian sires of the 20th century. In summarizing his life on H.H. Reese’s ranch in the late 1940s and 1950s, Mulder wrote of “Ab” --

“During this period of his life, AB was sculptured by the very talented artist, Maureen Love (now Mrs. Calvert).  The result of her many hours of sitting in AB’s paddock with him is a very true-to-life likeness, which was sold for a short time as well-done, artistic ceramic work.... Imitations formed in some sort of material like plastic seem to be on sale in most drug and/or dime stores.”

Ms. Mulder seems to have been referring to the Breyer Family Arabian Stallion, widely commercially available after the large "Amir" had been retired by HR.  The mold was reissued in the 1980s by HR and is available by special order from the company today.

Left- Hagen-Renaker "Amir;" right, palomino Breyer Family Arab Stallion

Kristina Lucas Francis has blogged eloquently about Ferseyn:

Here's a link to my previous post about the Breyer Family Arab Stallion:

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