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Named after founder, Peter Stone, Stone Horses has carried on a long standing family tradition for crafting the finest model horses in the world. Peter's father, Sam Stone, created his original model horse in 1950, with both Peter and Sam thereafter being instrumental in the crafting highly collectible model horses ever since.
Stone Horses are model horses that are handcrafted from Cellulose Acetate Resin. Resin is well known to provide a resilient foundation that is superior to other materials, which results in extraordinary levels of detail and long lasting quality.
Once the molding process is completed, Stone Horses artisans carefully wash, shape, etch or carve many intricate horse body details that are consistent with the anatomy and characteristics of the selected body posture, or the individual horse breed.
Once crafted, the colors of each model horse can vary depending on the artistic intent. Some model horses are painted based upon images of live horses. In other cases, photographs delivered from our exclusive Portrait Horse System are utilized for inspiration, with photographs used to best replicate the color and markings of living horses. In other cases, model horses are often custom made based upon the vision and artistic intent of private collectors the world over who use our equally exclusive Design-a-Horse System.
Many collectible model horses are also inspired from carefully conceived artistic renderings crafted in decorator inspired color pallets, or in fantasy inspirations, (such as our well known Unicorn model horses). In other cases, Stone Horses often invites world renown equine artists to create highly collectible Artist Editions, while the other artists working within the Stone Horses family concentrate of new releases limited and special edition model horses.
Once a given horse has been handcrafted, carved, etched, washed several times and hand painted, each horse receives a proprietary mix of finishing and infrared baking that not only bring out the colors and details, but also strengthen each horse in such a way they can easily be handed from one generation of family members to the next. As a result, Stone Horses are well known to be the finest of their kind and are highly sought after by collectors from all over the world!
How are Model Horses Created?
The way Stone Horses goes about creating a new model horse is tried and true. Each horse is created from detailed steel casting molds that have an average $30,000 to $50,000 per horse to create, curate and maintain. Following many months of preparation work, each finished model undergoes a series of customization and washing process, to make the horse ready for an artist to undertake custom painting and necessary finishing work.
Stone Horses artists are measured by the detail and quality of their work, as there are no substitutes for the time it takes to render every horse as a work of art.
Model Horse Artists, Artisans and Craftsmen
The crafting of each original model horse begins when an equine artisan begins crafting, etching, sculpting, sanding and washing the model horse foundation. An incredible amount of attention to detail is placed on balancing anatomical correctness, with aesthetically pleasing details intended to both inspire and delight model horse collectors from all over the world.
Model Horse Preparation
Under the guidance of the master craftsmen, each steel mold is cast for an industrial press to inject molten Cellulose Acetate Resin as the foundation material for each model horse. These molds weigh hundreds of pounds each and are carefully crafted to closely replicate the details of original artwork. Great pains are taken to ensure that every model horse meets rigid quality standards prior to further handcrafting by artisans, and then hand painting by skilled fine artists.
Handcrafting Model Horses
There several ways to make model horses, but Stone Horses prefers to make our models the old-fashioned way, by hand. Every model horse we make is lovingly casted, detailed, washed, painted, and finished by hand, as there are many steps involved in creating a finely detailed model horse figurine.
Finely cast and detailed by carving and sanding, each model horse foundation "blank" must first be handcrafted and prepared for artist painting. To accomplish this step, each model horse hand carried through the process of detailing and washing to ensure a highly refined foundation surface. To ensure the highest quality possible, each model horse is washed as many as Eight (8) times!
Once the model horse is properly washed and prepared for custom painting, it is carried to another group of artisans who set and fix the paint design on each horse before any paint is applied. This results in the highly detailed patterns that Stone Horses are so well known for.
Each prepared model horse is then carefully hand painted with both airbrushes or hand paint brushes from basic coloring, right down to details such as eyes, dapples, markings, stripes on the hooves and many other details.
While partially painted, each model horse is then further detailed by artisans who carve, scrape, shape and clean each model horse before a final course of detail painting.
Once this is completed, the artists again take over. Each artist focuses on fine details of every horse by hand painting attributes such as the eyes, chestnuts, ribbons, or even horseshoe nails, all by hand painted brush strokes. This work requires gifted artists who has a keen understanding of horse anatomy and breed characteristics, as well as a steady hand and a more than ample supply of patience. It can take up to eight (8) application steps or more just to paint one eye!
When each artist has completed model horse detailing, the resulting model horse receives one or more finishing coats of either flat matte or shiny gloss coatings. This ensures color fixing that results in the one of finest quality, collectible model horses found anywhere.
Custom Model Horses from Portraits
Owners of a wide variety of horse breeds from the world over send Stone Horses portraits of their live animals. These are then utilized to design lifelike custom design model horse creations that often become like a member of the family, handed down from generation to generation. To have your horse custom modeled, you only have to send one or more portraits of your horse through the Portrait Horse System found on this website.
Once received, Stone Horses will confirm the size, general characteristics and delivered cost of your custom model horse sculpture, and will complete the project over a six to twelve week period prior to delivery.
Custom Design-a-Horse System
Stone Horses has created a state-of-the-art model horse design system known as "Design-aHorse". The Custom Design-a-Horse System empowers model horse collectors to choose from a specific breed, body style, body position, colorings, patterns, markings and finish in order to custom create a one-of-a-kind model horse unlike any other.
There are tens of thousands of possible design combinations that will allow you to custom design your own equine. The three major variants are as follows:
Stone Chips are the smallest of our model horse offerings. Usually of solid construct, they are roughly 1/28th scale and standing approximately about 2 to 3 inches tall, or 5 to 7 1/2 centimeters. Chip Model Horses are incredibly popular among collectors for their ease of display, as well as their ability to be safely stored for travel.
Pebbles are our intermediate scale model horses, each approximately 1/16th scale and stand about 4 to 6 inches tall, or 10 to 15 centimeters. Many of the competitive trophies and awards that we make are Pebbles scale model horses.
Full Scale Model Horses
Our largest model horses are full scale are approximately 1/9th scale and stand up to about 11 inches tall, or 28 centimeters.
If the name or model horse title and/or description of a model horse does not say Stone Chip or Pebbles, the model horse will be crafted as a full scale model horse. Although many collectors refer to this genre of model horse as "standard size", these are also often referred to as "Ideal Stock Horses", each being the same type of full scale model.
Stone Horse Reference and Identification Guide
Stone Horses is focused on providing model horse collectors the means to identify and value model horses held in collectors collections using the Stone Horses reference and Identification Guide. Typically, third party appraisals are used in the context of estate planning, private market sales and for insurance valuation purposes, with appraisers seeking recent market comparable information to establish fair market values.
The Stone Horses identification and Reference Guide also displays hundreds of recent purchases of Artist Edition Horses, One-of-a-Kind ("OOAK") Horses, Designer Edition Horses and 2014 Limited Edition Horses. For those seeking additional current information specific to major breeds of horses collected on a worldwide basis, Stone Horses also provides access to collectors to research current offerings of collectible model horses on the basis major model horse breeds.
Learn More About Stone Horses
You can click here to learn more about Stone Horses long standing tradition and processing of handcrafting and hand painting the finest collectible model horse sculptures and resin horse statues found anywhere in the world.