Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: For some the heart of Pictorama is in the toys, but for others it is the pictures and we are on a Felix-y photo tear. This was a must have pic once I spied it on eBay as I knew it was unlikely I would see it again. Like yesterday’s photo this one took weeks to make it here from Ipswich, England (others have zipped through from Britain in days – so much for the once great and dependable British post) until I began to worry that it was lost.
However, when I arrived back in Manhattan last night after my extended sojourn in New Jersey (yes, I still have a nasty cold but am much better), it had arrived at our door and was safely awaiting me here at Deitch Studio. (As were Kim and the kitties – Blackie dispensed with his typical several hour moratorium on recognizing me and followed me into the bathroom immediately upon arrival. I was missed!) I was not disappointed with it among a satisfyingly large haul of other future post photos.
Notably today’s is not a photo postcard, but instead a photo, printed on surprisingly thin paper making it potentially a bit fragile. Written on the back is Kite/Felix £25. If that was what the seller paid then they did not turn much of a profit, but perhaps that is just what she had it marked to sell somewhere which would mean it paid for her to auction it.
I assume that this intrepid looking group constructed this brilliant Felix kite and I do wish we could see it flying. There is an air of adventure and expedition about them. The gentleman in the suspenders on the far left, with his sunglasses and hat, really looks a bit like he is off on safari. The other fellow sports a vest and tie no less; both men are mustachioed. It is impossible to be certain, but I think the women are wearing matching dresses and do they have ribbons (like awards?) pinned to them? Everyone wears hats on what appears to be a rare hot sunny British day. Someone more knowledgeable about period clothing could probably date this better but I would guess the late twenties.
Felix has taken to the air in a variety of ways of course – we know of various enormous balloons that his likeness has graced as per a few from my collection below. (Those balloon posts can be found here and here.)
Felix of course is splendid. He stands shoulder high on the smallest of the women, hands on hips. He is reduced to a basic geometric design, but has his signature grin and pointy ears. The kite design is a bit hard to discern, but appears to be a variation on a box kite with wings off each side. He is a pip!
I went through a phase of kite enthusiasm as a child and I would have loved this one. However my father, a child of the city, did not have a well of kite flying or construction experience to draw on. Ever intrepid however as I remember he purchased one or two more fragile models we attempted to construct before bringing home an inflatable one. (We never went for a box model sadly.)
What this kite lacked in romantic visual appeal, it made up for in ace flying ability. Dad attached it to a fishing pole with plenty of line and it went off! I believe we had several splendid runs with it on the beach and in the backyard before one day, flying very far away over the water, it came down and was lost. My kite mania was assuaged however and, likely to my father’s relief, we did not seek to replace it.