The Hagen-Renaker Collectors' Catalog was originally published by Cheryl Abelson in 1980. It was the first text ever to attempt to fully describe H-R's then thirty-year-old line.
Since so much in that text is still relevant today, I sought and received Cheryl's kind permission to republish it here. We are grateful to Susan Renaker Nikas for assenting to its publication. No reproduction of the material here is permitted.
Each page of the text and images will be reproduced here, over time. Please note that the material in blue has been added by me to enhance the readability of the text in the context of the web.
Sources for the Catalog
Almost a full year of intensive research has gone into the making of this first "official" Collector's Handbook. We have tried to gather together photos and all available information on each horse model made by the Hagen-Renaker Company. Due to the fact that early records were not kept very accurately (and sometimes not at all) we have used dated order forms as the basis for our information on dates, colors, and model numbers.
Ambiguities in Source Materials
Occasionally, models show up in colors not listed in this catalog. They are probably "test colors" or decorator's aberrations. Very often models with the date of production actually written on their identification labels will show up in years we have not listed here. We have not given ANY dates or other information without having written evidence first, and for some years dated order forms are just not available.
Once in a while we come across a horse that we KNOW is made by the Hagen-Renaker Company, but it doesn't appear on any order form. Such is the case with the mini chestnut ponies. They appear to be the same mold as the mini Circus Ponies (A-266 and A-267) but they do not appear on any list in the chestnut color. There are a few other mysteries in Hagen-Renaker collecting. If printed evidence can be found to solve any of them, we will print an "up-date page" to be issued in 1981.
Some of the models that DO appear on our order forms are not to be found in any known collection. The "DW" Tom Masterson adult horses, "Samson" and the Wall Plaques fall into this category [editor's note: these items were subsequently located, and included in updates of the Catalog]. Because photos are not available, we have included line drawings copied from the original order forms. It is to be hoped that these sketches will help collectors recognize a rare Hagen-Renaker that would otherwise go unidentified.
Sizing and Colorways
All of the horses in this catalog have been measured at the ear tips regardless of position. This explain why the Designer's Workshop "Mischief" stands only 2 1/2 inches tall; his head is lowered and he's measured at the EARS, not the highest part of the horse.
H-R horses come in two sizes: "Designer's Workshop" or "DWs" and the minis. Without hearing a name or seeing a photo, you can tell which category a model falls into by the MODEL NUMBER. The larger DW horses all have a "B" in the model number and the minis have an "A." This makes it very easy to guess the approximate size of a piece that appears on the order forms, but is not available for measurements or photos.
Concerning the color of these horses, we have shown every color EXCEPT grey and dapple grey. The white with grey shadings is considered WHITE, whereas the "grey" color is a light grey with darker mane and tail The famous "rose-grey" color is a grey horse with pinkish overcasts, creating a soft brown color. All other colors (chestnut, black, pinto, palomino, etc.) are standard.
In an effort to keep the cost of this catalog to an absolute minimum, we've had to place all color photos together on a page, as opposed to placing the photo beside the text. This may make it a little more difficult to find the picture of the horse as you read, but both text and photo have been clearly marked.
Copyright Cheryl Abelson, used with permission by Model Horse Blab. Edited for the web by Elizabeth LaRose.