My Museum Monday: 2

Ballerinas: a mystery

Two ballerina clocks, author’s collection

My attempts to understand miniaturisation cause me a fair degree of head scratching and beard stroking. Two of the strangest charity shop artefacts in my museum are busty ballerina figurines leaning against giant clocks. This is surely something one is unlikely to see in real life. These figurines beg a number of questions abut the complicated relationships between miniature fantasy and full-sized humans. What prompted the designers to create them? Who bought them and why? What is going through the mind of someone who choses to buy one of these. With their gaudy colours and unconvincing decoration, not to mention the unlikely anatomies of the dancers, they are hardly realistic reproductions of reality.

Ballerina figurine, author’s collection

They feature full-length exposure of long legs. Are they therefore erotic images? If they are intended to be erotic, what does that suggest about our intended reaction to the child ballerina holding a bird?

I suggest that they represent “respectable”, perhaps even unconscious, eroticism.

Despite searching many charity shops, I have yet to come across another ballerina clock. I shall continue my search!

Author: ralphblog

I am a historical archaeologist, writer and editor. I live in Saanich, Victoria, British Columbia.

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