Close Quarters



Pip Chair, not in my collection


Pam’s Pictorama Post: For those of you who have visited our home, or follow us via Facebook and otherwise online, it is not news that we live in one and a half room apartment in Manhattan. By Manhattan standards it is small, but not shockingly so, although perhaps a bit bizarre maybe if you don’t live here or in Tokyo. It is the fact that Kim also works (producing piles of art no less) in this space and that, as this blog has made clear, we remain veteran collectors, which makes our chock-a-block 600 square feet a bit unusual. While discussion and documentation of this might be of interest, I raise the issue today because there is an area of collecting that I have had to long recognize is difficult, if not entirely eliminated, for me and that is furniture. Of course we have furniture, arguably more than two people, two cats and the odd visitor actually, technically in fact require. Bookcases – lots of those, filled with both books and toys – and chairs. We have a fair number of chairs – three rockers which is a bit unusual in such a small space. (My parents collect them – we have a favorite, grand Windsor and two Shaker rockers. Yes, collecting is a genetic disease.)

I illustrate my point today with the chair above, recently for sale on eBay as I write. It is a child’s chair from a set of furniture made around the Pip, Squeak and Wilfred comic characters – I love it! Oh lucky child who had this! I have written about this British strip before – Pip Squeak and Wilfred Perform – and frankly I have yet to stir great interest in them. (For better or not, I assure you there will be more forthcoming about it.) I love the gentle strip which is available in numerous Annuals still obtainable and perfectly splendid toys were made in conjunction with its many year run. Kim is somewhat mystified, but always supportive of my interest. Still, in a space like ours even small furniture purchases are a negotiation, as well as a bit of a jigsaw puzzle at best. Given this, and the seller’s refusal to help engage a shipping company, I will not be the owner of this chair. It did bring to mind, however, other furniture potentially loved but walked away from.

For Kim there was a chair decorated by fellow cartoonist Jay Lynch. (Kim describes it as oddly curious and he would have happily scooped it up.) Most memorable for me was a wooden table, kitchen sized, with black cats painted on the top to be had at the Elephant’s Trunk flea market years ago. (That one is still painful to think about.) Also, many years ago was an amazing floor lamp at a street fair on Third Avenue which appeared to be from the ’30’s, with a transparent world globe suspended for a shade, but also had a long sweeping base that would have taken up five or six feet this apartment does not have. The list goes on – a great couch or chair here, a darling cabinet there. If there was space my toys would live in those great glass front cabinets from an early store, or at least glass medical cabinets. Alas, as long as we reside here, these remain aspirational purchases. However, it is well known between us that should a large cat or elephant stuffed toy on wheels become available, all bets are off.

One thought on “Close Quarters

  1. Pingback: A Pip of a Pip | Pam's Pictorama

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