Saturday, December 06, 2008

Frogger

I'm not really a collector. Yes, I have a very small stash of poodle stuff, which can't be avoided when you have a poodle.

And I have a lot of books, but I collect them just to read, mostly. I tried to be a Haruki Murakami completist, but he keeps publishing short stories all over the place and I can't keep up. I did get one book from Japan and one from England and paid too much for them.

Another thing that I collect is also useful: flower frogs. There's a metal kind with spikes, like the ones at right, and glass ones with holes, above. I like the latter. They look pretty on a windowsill, and come in handy when you want to arrange a few stems and have them stay put in a wide-mouthed vase.

There are ceramic and metal figurines with holes in them that are also flower frogs. Too cute for me.

Glass flower frogs are on my very short mental list of things I allow myself to look for and buy if I happen to be antique shopping. But I won't spend more than $15 for one. And most of these were under $5.

If you knit, they're the equivalent of sock yarn.

9 comments:

  1. I love love love Haruki Murakami (and I can't get all of his short stories either. *sigh*). Which story/stories are your favorite??? :D

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  2. Beautiful pictures, as always. The first photo, especially, just transported me many decades back in time to a great-aunt's house.

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  3. I have several of the glass frogs too. They are wonderful

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  4. This set me to wondering why these things are called "frogs." The Oxford English Dictionary doesn't have this meaning for the word, although it's an old word in the language (going back to Old English and before) and there's a remarkable variety of uses and meanings cited. For example, "3.a. A term of abuse for a man or a woman. Also, a Dutchman." And for the more familiar use for a French person: "1914 R. BROOKE Let. Could we go on Friday to the Frog-Art show at Grosvenor House? From the First Frog to C├ęzanne."

    There's one citation for an odd use in brickmaking which seems vaguely related: "1876 SIR E. BECKETT Bk. Build. 162 Making bricks with a hollow in one or both faces which I have heard absurdly called a frog."

    But there are several uses indicating a spotted or blobby appearance, which might more likely be the connection. Just a guess, though.

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  5. Kasey, I'd have to read through them again to say which short is a favorite, but of his books, "Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" tops my list. The hardcover is also one of the best book designs I've seen (Chip Kidd).

    Thanks, Pam. I take it she was enamored of frogs, too?

    Peggy, aren't they fun? Do you have colored ones? (Those are rare.)

    Ha, nbm, that's too funny that you get sucked into an etymology search. I do that all the time, head off on some crazy tangent.

    There's a Flower Frogs Gazette for collectors, and it too mentions that the etymology of the usage is unknown. Thanks for making a stab at it. Fascinating stuff.

    If you collect something, anything, there will be a group out there devoted to it.

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  6. I collect frogs too! My favorites are old metal ones - I think they are made of zinc. I have them lined up on an antique shelf in the powder room. They have sort of a contemporary, abstract look to them, even though they are old.

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  7. I've never seen glass frogs, of if I did, I didn't know what they were. I'll be watching for them now.

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  8. I last saw the wire model at my grandmother's house over thirty years ago, and there was no shortage of them. Thanks for the memories.

    Rick in VT

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  9. Hi Dee Dee. Are they really heavy? They are probably made of lead. They do look pretty cool. I was looking for pictures of them online and they are hard to find. I ended up just taking a picture of the ones I had instead.

    Betts, I suspect you will run across one soon, because that's the way it works.

    Rick, they don't seem to be used much anymore. I'm not sure why. Maybe people just don't do their own flower arranging? (Though I do.)

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