Object Number 27

Jewellery BoxObject Name: Metal jewellery box
Accessioned: circa 2004
Donor: purchase
De-accessioned: April 2013

Comments: This is the first in a new strand of objects that I have chosen to catalogue and then give away. The box in question is a retrospective entry as I gave it away in April this year when I was preparing to move. I bought it almost a decade ago, I think, in a charity shop in Dublin. At the time I was not making a lot of money, but working in retail I was in and out of the city centre during the day at some of the best times to pick up items in charity and thrift shops. My life was filled with an assortment of second hand clothing, objects and items I bought in work on a discount,

It was a remarkably heavy item and for its size did not hold much, but I have always like miniatures which is what drew me to it. It also is such an over-the-top Regency-esque design it appealed to me on many levels.

Treasures insideOver the years it housed little treasures, as you can see above, mostly jewellery I keep for sentimental reasons. Given that such items could live in a much smaller box the silver boxes extravagant foot print had to go. Hopefully it is living out its days much appreciated and perhaps more highly polished.

Object Number 26

Object Name: Collection of wooden elephants
Accessioned: various
Donor: gift
Notes: three wooden elephants from around the world. Update to Object Number 7.

Comments: Like many people I have a fondness for elephants. They do seem like mythical creatures in many way, their size, their magnificent trunks, the odd elegance they can exhibit and of course their role in military history. My little parade of elephants (no pink ones as of yet) happened by accident rather than design. Like many of the objects I have catalogued here so far, two of these I have known for most of my life – the largest and the smallest, though it is the middle elephant that helped establish this herd. After a trip to India my brother presented me with an Indian elephant, the light coloured one in the middle of the troupe. I was so taken with him that I immediately received the next two. The larger elephant, I am told, was a present brought back from Africa by a relative of my mother along with a carved crocodile. Both animals were regularly played with by all of us when we were small and bear the scars from that. The elephant has been chipped a lot, and both have pen marks – perhaps an attempt to add a little colour to these wooden characters. When it was noticed that I had a little collection emerging the last and smallest elephant emerged from a drawer in my parent’s house, just as previous elephant had from a cupboard. Our littlest elephant was purchased at a jumble sale by my brother when he was still quite young. It is hard to tell what he is made of, given he is almost jet black in colour, but he seems to have white bead eyes inset. Unlike his larger brethren however, this little fellow isn’t moving in step. He has his little legs firmly unmoving, and even though the African elephant is rather abstract his movement makes him seem rather more real than this little fellow. Perhaps he was made by someone unfamiliar with elephants, or due to his size a more static pose is more stable and easier to carve. Nonetheless, his stubborn rigidity only adds to his charm.

Although we don’t know where the third elephant came from originally I like to think of my parade of elephants as representing the three extant species of elephant in descending order in the photograph: the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana), Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and African forest elephant (Loxodonta africana cyclotis or Loxodonta cyclotis).