Monday, March 12, 2012

A garden gnome tale


A garden gnome lives in our garden.  He has been passed down through the family, and my husband knows his history, so we know he dates from the 1930s.  He is made from terracotta, but is in a poor way, he is quite badly frost damaged, his arm is hanging loose and is held on with a nail, and most of the back is missing.  At some stage he has been filled with concrete to hold him together.  Originally he held a little wooden hammer but my husband remembers trashing it as a child.  Poor gnome.  But we are very attached to him.  I scrubbed him up for his photo.

A little while ago the local paper did a feature about garden gnomes.  Garden gnomes were introduced to England by Sir Charles Isham in 1847. Isham wanted to liven up his rock garden with a little color and he decided that gnomes, as then made in Germany, were the best way to do so. The only surviving terracotta gnome from Isham's 1847 introduction is now valued at two million pounds and is featured in a museum on the Isham estate in New York.  He died in 1903.

Why are you blogging about garden gnomes? I hear you ask.  Well the interesting twist to the story is that Sir Charles Isham died nearby.  Our house is actually built on the site of the house and garden where he died.  So I like to think that our garden gnome has come home.

I have to add here, I have researched his value and he is not worth 2 million pounds.  If he fetched £5 on a good day I would be surprised.  So please no raids by all the villians in the area, he is not worth anything!

You might now be thinking, what has this to do with knitting?

Well I couldn't resist.




3 comments:

Anna said...

1) oh dear. And 2) I did not know that about your house and the gnomes, that is quite interesting! But also 3) oh dear.

Helen said...

I thought that it might amuse!

Jennifer said...

That is a lovely post, and really interesting!

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