Thursday, April 18, 2013


My late husband's post doc (in chemistry) gave him a plastic flamingo as a joke in 1977.  I think it had something to do with the Queen of Hearts playing croquet in "Alice in Wonderland."  As it is made of plastic, the flamingo has weathered well in my garden for the past 36 years.  It is so tacky, that I love it. As I always seem to focus on transferware, I wondered if I could find a flamingo printed on a piece of 19th century English pottery.

I didn't find anything from the early 19th century, but I did discover a jug in the Transferware Collectors Club Pattern and Source Print Database with a lovely Aesthetic transferware pattern made by Burgess & Leigh (1851-1999) named "Flamingo."  It features two flamingos in a natural bamboo setting (I am not sure that bamboo and flamingos go together).  Aesthetic patterns are all about nature.  This one was made around 1888.

Flamingos are very popular at zoos.  I love the flamingo enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo (one of my favorite zoos).  Below are two of my grandsons, Alex and Ben, enjoying the flamingos.  My granddaughter loves them too, but she loves anything pink!

For your own amusement, you might want to take a look at a link to the Smithsonian's history of the plastic pink flamingo.

Plastic pink flamingo in my garden

"Flamingo" pattern by Burgess & Leigh, c. 1888

Alex and Ben admiring real flamingos at the San Francisco Zoo

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