Mickey Mouse-ing

Pam’s Pictorama Post: Back in February (if we can turn the clock back that far which I grant you is a bit tough as I sit here poised on the cusp of this particular June 1), I made a power birthday buy from my friend Jean-Pol Ventugol at The Antique Toy Shop (his website can be found here) and I threw this plate in for the heck of it. This morning I was wrestling with some items on my work table (which has many photos and toys piled up on it – a remarkable and delightful pile in fact) in order to install a desk lamp retrieved from our basement locker and it rose to the surface, clamoring for attention.

I have written about several comics related mugs made by this company, the Patriot China Company. I started with the rather wonderful Little Orphan Annie mug (as shown below, and that post can be found here) and at the same time I purchased this I acquired the Three Little Pigs mug (which I posted about here) also made by Patriot. Unlike the mugs though, this plate has seen some hard use and is in rough shape.

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Pams-Pictorama.com Collection

 

It is so worn that when I bought it I contemplated adding it to the cupboard and I may still eventually; it is so beat up, but I think it would still be very jolly to be eating off of it. I have in fact barely contained myself from making the Little Orphan Annie mug my daily coffee mug and have primarily been held back by the fact that it is somewhat child-sized, and frankly I drink a heck of a lot of coffee in the morning so I would be running back and forth constantly to the kitchen.

There is something deeply comforting and satisfying about this childish china though and the phenomenal popularity of it has made it all still so widely available that I have times when I consider making a big buy and converting our everyday dishes to these, with mixture of comic figures of days of yore.

This change of china would be notwithstanding the fact that I actually have kitchen plates I am emotionally attached to, which came from my great-grandparent’s bar. (I mentioned these in a post awhile back where I considered an all Felix life which can be found here.) Coincidentally those are sectioned as well and while I never thought about the appeal of neatly sectioned plates there is one. I have grown spoiled by our willow ware plates with their deep reservoirs which are handy in keeping our dumpling’s soy sauce safely from the sauce on our fish du jour.

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Willow plate, our daily china

 

The Mickey Mouse plate, like the mugs, is just a bit down-sized a bit for a child – the sort of three quarter size of what I would think of as a luncheon plate. (A good plate for a diet – it would convince you to take just a little less.) This one must have delighted a child or children for many meals, wearing Mickey and especially Pluto down and fading them considerably. Perhaps there was just the one and they fought over it as I remember doing over certain a certain spoon and other items as a kid. Maybe Kim and I could start fighting over who gets their dinner on this one.

While I somehow doubt that I will purchase an entire set, you might expect to see a few more choice items added. As I come across them I find them irresistible and even while researching this I believe I found a pig mug I must have, therefore we will consider this to be continued.

The First Little Piggy

Pam’s Pictorama Post: It’s a porcine weekend here at Pictorama starting with this Three Little Pigs mug I purchased for my birthday. Much like mice (mostly Mickey) and dogs, pigs seem to make up a sub-genre of the Pictorama collection. I’m fond of the little fellas. I keep a particularly nice plastic one on my desk at work (a post that includes him can be found here) and I purchased a very snappy wind-up version from my same beloved toy vendor in Chelsea a few years back. (Pause to advertise for the Antique Toy Shop New York whose website can be found here.) Like this mug, that wind-up, shown below (the post can be found here) is a marketing tribute to the Disney animated classic of The Three Little Pigs and the juggernaut of toys that came out of that film.

Still pic of pig

Pams-Pictorama.com Collection

 

And of course there was the recent unexpected purchase of my (absolutely splendid) stuffed Wolf recently. He has the honor of sitting on my bedside table and I will say, I like to sleep at eye level with his clever little, hoary paw feet. The Wolf has quickly become a favorite item. (That entire post is here.)

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Pams-Pictorama.com collection

 

When I went to pluck today’s mug off a high bookcase shelf this morning I realized it is virtually identical to the Little Orphan Annie mug I keep up there as well. (China lives on high cat-proof shelves here at Deitch Studio!) I show them together below.  The Little Orphan Annie mug (detailed in a post here) was a Kim find and gift to me. While its markings, Manufactured exclusively for the Wander Co., Chicago, Makers of Ovaltine, fail to identify S.C. Co Patriot China as identified on the Pig mug, it is clearly the same company.

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Pams-Pictorama.com Collection

 

A quick search turns up plenty of Disney related items (I feel a Mickey Mouse version of this mug coming on for me) there was not much history about the company itself easily found. Clearly they had a significant Disney contract as well as the Ovaltine novelty one. As per my post, the Little Orphan Annie mug predates this one by a few years. However, the style and molds are identical.

This Pig mug is pretty raucous. The Piggies are standing atop of a firmly trounced Wolf, looking like a Wolf-rug here, singing their Whose Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf song. (I like this Sing-Along version on Youtube, here.) A look at the lyrics below are a reminder that the story is a bit of Ant and the Grasshopper tale of the pig who works hard to build his house of bricks as opposed to his brethren who slap theirs together out of straw and sticks. Luckily the brick house building pig is charitable and rescues the others and they defeat the Wolf.

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Written by Frank Churchill with additional lyrics by Ann Ronell and featured in the 1933 cartoon, the song had long legs of its own and was recorded by numerous artists. It is one of the most popular to come out of the Disney canon.

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf
The big bad wolf, the big bad wolf
Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf
Tra la la la la
Long ago there were three pigs
Little handsome piggy wigs
For the big, bad the very big, very bad wolf
They did not give three figs
Number one was very gay
And he built his house with hay
With a hey hey toot he blew on his flute
And he played around all day
Now number two was fond of jigs
And so he built his house with twigs
Hey, diddle diddle he played on his fiddle
And danced with lady pigs
Number three said, “Nix on tricks
I shall build my house with bricks”
He had no chance to sing or dance
‘Cause work and play don’t mix
Ha, ha, ha, the two little do little pigs
Just winked and laughed ah, woo
Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf
The big bad wolf,…
More porky pleasure to follow tomorrow!