About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Monday, April 17, 2017

E is for Eggtastic Eggstravaganda of Erzatz Easter Eggs

After the conservative nature of stone eggs, we're looking at all sorts in this post, as faux eggs or decorative eggs like other collectable miniature 'favourites'; frogs, bears, rabbits, owls, cats & dogs, barrels, pigs, elephants, turtles & tortoises, hedgehogs, gnomes, and - these days - bloody meerkats (seemples!), they come in all sorts of materials and sizes, and various things can be disguised as 'them'.

So we'll start with the oddest, an egg timer, perhaps not so odd but rather obvious! I bought this in Lidl years ago as a present for my mother (who's just celebrated her 80th!), while I bough myself a cow (to match my - free from Argos with my works van petrol points card - mookie sandwich-maker!), but they had several other designs, once you have a standard mechanism for a decorative but practical item, it's a matter of imagination and its limits as to how many versions you chuck-out . . . note to self; must look out for soldier (probably guardsman) egg-timer! Or robot?

Shot with it is the original 'Faux Egg'; a basic ceramic (in this case bisque) egg, used on the farm to keep a broody-hen sitting until you can get some fertilised eggs under her. This one is hollow, but I've seen solid clay or earthenware ones, and even glazed ceramics.

These wooden ones ('Treen') probably served the same purpose as the ceramic one in the previous shot, but could just as easily be 'apprentice pieces', showing skill with the turning or carving and sanding of wood. I feel that an apprentice piece would probably have a better grain with contrasting colours or some interesting feature or something and these are just for hen's nests?

As they are painted it's hard to tell if these are wood or papier mâché underneath? What is clear however is that three of them follow a trope, in that while they came from different places at different times, and are painted by different artists on slightly different-shaped eggs; they all have a song-bird on one side and a crested hoopoe (or something!!) on the other.

I think they are oriental, and there will be more to them; culturally speaking, some tradition with an attached story or something? The floral/geometric, salmon-pink one is about half the size (bantam egg) in real life, but was cropped to fit!

Equally colourful, but a cheaper technology (who says progress has to mean better? 'Progress' is only inevitable, directional but not necessarily an improvement!), these litho-printed tin ones would have had a small toy or confectionary in them in the same vein as Christmas crackers, and pre-date Kinder by decades!

By my childhood they were being replaced by decorative paper-veneered, 'stock-card' eggs (there's a larger one which would have held a full-size chocolate egg - as a card 'box' - in storage so we will return to these again one day) and now - as we know - have been replaced completely by plastic gift eggs, available all year round.

I think the cat's probably slightly earlier (overall quality) and I like that the rabbit is painting a giant egg, on a tin egg that might have contained mini chocolate or sugar-candy eggs!

These might actually be trying to be acorns, but they were with the other eggs, so I shot them all together! The larger one is for a pot, the smaller one for a single-cup serving and they are charged with tea-leaves and used to infuse the hot water to make tea! Both are plated brass.

Coming back to ceramic for a full circle on this post, we have a stenciled 'Blue & White' pattern china egg sitting in a 'Red & White' pattern china egg-cup which is transfer-printed - the reason model kits have transfers not 'decals' (whatever they are - some Franco-American, Cajun-Quebecois, I wouldn't be surprised to learn!), the water-slide transfer being historically much older than the model-kit!

The china egg may even be from China, but it's a modern one (you can tell by the less defined or fuzzy edges of the colour) and there is an attempt at a crackle glaze - created by flicking damp sawdust at the items while they are in the oven.

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