Objectivity: Vintage Kitsch

It’s fair to say that I accidently collected kitsch. It wasn’t instinctive. It grew on me, slowly and quietly like mould, but the good mould that helped to develop penicillin.  A family friend loved it, so I’d look out for it at markets and buy pieces for her. At some point, and I’m not really sure when, I bought a piece for myself. Yes, it is often gaudy but it’s also imaginatively quirky with a bit of practical ingenuity thrown into the mix.

P8230655From left to right (All made in Japan, circa 1930’s to 1950’s)
Dutch-styled people, salt and pepper shakers.
Donkey carrying baskets, hanging wall vase (the flowers can sit in the ‘baskets’).
Duck juicer with seed strainer behind spout.
Stylised anthropomorphised dog egg cup.
Rabbit, lustre-ware napkin ring.
SQUIRREL! toothpick holder.

My distinction between kitsch and vintage-kitsch is probably splitting hairs. I gravitate towards pre 1980’s pieces with the majority from the 1950’s. They vary enormously in quality. The donkey and rabbit are nicely finished whereas the dog is quite crudely detailed. Yet, strangely that does not matter, I still like them for what they are and I can’t explain why.

Like it or hate it? Is there anything you consider kitsch hiding in your collections?

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