Monday, 16 December 2013

They don't make them like this anymore #2 - Vintage early 20th century Christmas cracker novelties

Even now, in deepest darkest cynical adulthood, when Christmas comes around I find myself irrevocably drawn to the contents of the Christmas cracker.  As a child they were the most excellent bonus to Christmas dinner or Boxing Day tea, and while the hats and jokes felt irrelevant to the festivities, the often intricate and sometimes bizarre plastic toys and gifts provided much glee and entertainment to Christmas mealtimes. It's difficult to find quality crap items in a cracker these days. There is no joy to be found in a "luxury" cracker where the gift might be a packet of golf tees or a lanyard to put your glasses on. Sometimes all you want is a tiny pack of cards or a tiny plastic magnifying glass or a fortune telling fish, and these items are becoming increasingly hard to find. Perhaps the fascination with cracker novelties runs in my genes, as here are 3 great examples that belonged to an old great aunt. She must have saved them as a child back nearly 100 years ago now, they may possibly be of a later date, as she may have saved them as an adult, like I have done with many of my ephemeral items. There are parts missing but it's still possible to recognise the objects for what they are - the Christmas pudding has lost his arms and the clock has lost its pendulum but the little clown, however, is perfectly intact in all his 3 dimensions.

 Coin shows the scale for these perfectly formed Christmas Cracker novelties Circa 1920's

 The clown is moulded metal, possibly lead, with lovely details on front and back, including a great pair of buttocks showing through his satin pantaloons

 The Pudding has lost his arms, but still has his little metal legs coming out of his wooden body.