May 3, 2012

Collecting Garden Gnomes

April showers bring may flowers and who better to serve and protect those blooming beauties than a delightful garden gnome? 

The Garden Gnome has been gracing us with his (and sometimes her) presence for a few hundred years. Sometime near the end of the 18th century "House Gnomes" had become all the rage. They were mostly porcelain-most likely manufactured in the Thuirngia area of Germany, a thriving ceramics local. World War II had a devastating effect on the production of all ceramics, especially unnecessary pieces; like yard decorations. 

Not only has the Gnome been labeled as kitsch, but has also been the butt of many jokes and the focus of one extremely involved prank. The prank has been called a few things including "The Roaming Gnome," or "The Traveling Gnome." It involves a stolen gnome being photographed next to various "sights" (as if traveling) and then, most times, being returned. One extreme group dedicated to this Gnome trick goes by the name "Garden Gnome Liberationists," and has been in the news since 1998, when it's leader was involved in the theft of 150 gnomes, getting himself in to some serious (french) legal trouble. 

"Gnome Wants To See The World" from Amelie

If you are interested in learning more about Gnomes, I'd suggest this very well written article. Also helpful would be these titles, available on "Garden Gnomes: A History," "Gnomes," or "Gnomeland: An Introduction To The Little People." Also, do not miss this "Real Life Gnome" displaying the largest collection of Gnome memorabilia!

There is no place like Gnome.

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