Aesop's Fables > Aesop's Artifacts > Toys & Games > Small Sculptures and Knickknacks

Small Sculptures and Knickknacks

Click on any of these images to see an enlargement.

1950? Painted wood nodder.  1" in diameter around the base and 5" high.  $11 from Auction, Plantation, FL, through Ebay, August, '00.

The crow is balanced on a slender twig.  He thus moves with any movement of the base, and so he appears ready to drop the cheese as he displays his prowess in singing.  Might this little piece be either German or oriental?

1970? Ceramic knick-knack of a sleeping hare. 2" x 1" x 2" high.  Unknown source.

I cannot remember where or when I found this little fellow.  One can only presume, I think, that a sleeping hare comes from TH.  The pose here is excellent: the hare leans on one arm with his body slanted diagonally.

1970? Rubber keychain figure of jogging tortoise.  1" x 1" x 2" high.  Unknown source.

I cannot remember where or when I found this keychain figure.  He is perhaps unusual for such figurines in that he stands up well. 

1980? Porcelain figurine of a young girl reading Aesop's Fables to a dog and a bird.  4" x 1" x 6" high. Napco C2075.  $4.99 from Linda Seminatore, Hudson, NH, through Ebay, Oct., '01.

Is this an imitation Hummel figurine?  There is no apostrophe in "Aesops" here, as is sometimes the case with real books.  A fence connects the girl and the  animals. The tail of the bird is broken off.  The animals seem to sit still for the stories.  


1980? East German wood carving of FG.  3" high. Two exemplars, gifts of Margaret Carlson Lytton and David Daly.

This is an exquisite composite of carved elements.  The delicate leaves set off the grapes and especially the fox well.  The fox looks straight up attentive to the grapes.

1985 Bespectacled turtle reading book with "Slow and steady wins the race." 2" high. Pat Lane Diaz, Wausau, WI. West Allis Craft Fair.  Gift of Lois Carlson.

My mother and I met this artist and asked her if she ever fashioned fable characters.  She asked us to return to the next craft fair with a book of fables from which she could work.  At each fair over the next several years, she kept bringing for us a new one-of-a-kind character.  Here the tortoise has the fable-book open to the moral.

1986 Lion and mouse. 3" high. Pat Lane Diaz, Wausau, WI. West Allis Craft Fair. Gift of Lois Carlson.

Here the artist shows a clever way of integrating a second character into a one-mass medium.  The physical fit with each other suggests something nice about their mutual need.

1986 Fox holding grapes. 3" high. Pat Lane Diaz, Wausau, WI. West Allis Craft Fair.  Gift of Lois Carlson.

Here is a little mastepiece!  This is perhaps the only time that I have seen the fox holding the grapes.  Did he perhaps go out and buy them?

1987 Lois Carlson's scenes in baked clay of exploding frog. 3" high. Gift of Lois Carlson.

This is the final scene in a series of about five or six scenes to depict OF.  What an ingenious way to show an explosion!

1987 Dog holding master's lunch pail. 2" high. Pat Lane Diaz, Wausau, WI. West Allis Craft Fair.  Gift of Lois Carlson.

Diaz here gives the dog a very winning personality.  It is not hard to believe that this dog had the good sense to set his master's lunch down when the alternative was to fight a pack of dogs while struggling to protect the basket from them.

1988 Racing plastic turtle.  2" high.  Funrise Company. $3 from Frances Thompson, Fremont, CA, through Ebay, July, '00.

Frances writes that Funrise put out a line of storybook characters from fairy tales and fables.  This little fellow with #18 on his chest has a great smile!


1990? Bone carving of the wolf and stork.  4" x 1 3/8" x 5" high.  $10.50 from Brenda Lyttle, Orange, TX, through Ebay, June, '00.

The texture and color of each of the figures are different.  The stork is a lighter in color and almost translucent, while the wolf is a darker hue.  Several inserted pieces of lighter-colored material suggest his teeth well. 

1992 Mexican ceramic tortoise with a moving head. A scene of the hare running is painted on his back. 8" x 5" x 4" high.  Purchased on Olivera Street in LA. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Christmas, '93.

The head of the tortoise bobs laboriously whenever he is touched.  What a happy thought to paint the hare right onto the back of the tortoise!

1995?  East German whittling of FC.  4" high.  DEM 15 in Dresden, July, '01.

The same attentive fox is back from the earlier (1985?) wooden presentation of FG.  Now he looks up at a crow with a slice of swiss cheese in his mouth.  The crow is perched on top of a elaborately shaved tree.  

1997 Figures of walking tortoise (#7) and sleeping hare (#13) with runners' numbers. The former is 2" long, while the latter is 3" long. $5 each from Fredda Ecker of Rainbow Miniatures at NY flea market, April, '97.

On a Sunday in Chelsea, I wondered if I might find something.  Here is my find!

1998? Crystal Fruit Tree. 3" in diameter at its base and 3" high. Made in China. FineGift. $2.95 from Buyers & Sellers, Fairchild, WI, through Ebay, July, '00.

Two little foxes with golden ears, noses, and tails read up toward the purplish grapes, which are surrounded by green leaves hanging from tendril-heavy vines. The mirrored base is beveled.

2000 Statuette of FG.  2" x 3" x 4" high.  Made in China.  Dundee, MI: Young's Inc.  $5.50 from David Fulk, Mt. Airy, NC, Jan., '01.

How nice to see that people keep on making things reminiscent of fables!  The box even tells the fable on two of its sides.