An Amusing Stylised Mid-20thC Painted Papier-Mache Model of a Fly Agaric Toadstool


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Object Description

The wonderfully fun highly stylised and over-sized hand crafted and painted papier-mâché model of a fly agaric mushroom (Amanita muscaria), in the distinctive scarlet red and white colourway with white spots, freestanding, survives from the middle section of the twentieth century.

Object History


Object Literature

The distinctive red and white fly agaric is said to have inspired both Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Caroll’s hookah-smoking caterpillar and also, the colours of Santa’s suit. Fly agaric is toxic and was traditionally mixed with milk and left out in bowls to kill flies, which is where it gets its name and the ‘spots’ we see are actually remnants of a white veil of tissue that encloses the young mushroom, and can sometimes be washed off by the rain. This iconic mushroom was commonly found on Christmas cards in Victorian and Edwardian times as a symbol of good luck

This is everything but toxic; a real bit of fun in a dark world.

Object Condition

Remaining in relatively good overall condition, the piece stands soundly, and in one piece, and there is some attractive wear to the paintwork. There are a couple of dents and small holes and the stem is slightly loose to the cap but nothing of major concern.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)1767 640995
+44 (0)7729 213013

Dealer Location

The Onion Barn
Shoe Cottage
15 High Street
MK44 3NL

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