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Friday, February 8, 2008

Show & Tell: Cape Town Carvings

Show and Tell

Show and tell Friday is hosted by Kelli at There is No Place Like Home.

As a young girl with an interest in geography in peoples around the world, I always wanted to have a collection of dolls from various countries. One of my maternal uncles worked on a ship that took him to many countries. At one point he brought our family a 90-plus piece set of porcelain dishes from China. This became the special-occasion set used for holidays and other events.

Although I made known to him my desire for international dolls, he never got any for me. But around my 22nd birthday he came for a visit and handed me a paper sack. I took it with one hand, and immediately sank down to the floor under the weight of its contents. Upon opening it I found two carved heads of dark wood.



My uncle indicated that he had purchased them in Cape Town, South Africa. The sculptures were a combination of smooth and rough textures.




When I received them the finish was a dark uniform color. As a part of my living room d├ęcor they were set on a lamp table or sometimes the coffee table. In time sunlight faded the dark finish and revealed a striated wood underneath.


I have always enjoyed the rich elegance of the forms and so have my friends.






Over the years I even had offers to buy them. But I consider them a treasure with special family ties to my favorite uncle.


To visit other Show and Tell posts, please go to Kelli’s. Do come again soon. Please leave a comment. Thank you for coming by.

33 comments:

La Tea Dah said...

Exquisite! What a wonderful treasure your uncle brought home for you. They are lovely!

Do you have pictures of the china set as well?

LaTeaDah

ellen b. said...

Whoa! Those are amazing. What great detail and work they represent...

Barbara H. said...

Those are amazing! Such detail and such smoothness!

Betty said...

What talent to carve something so exquisite.....Betty

Sharon said...

Wow! Those are amazing! The wood is so pretty, I love all the colors. How special to have them from your uncle!

kbbryant said...

I've never seen anything like these. They are wonderful.

Kathy b

Karla said...

How interesting that the wood has aged so beautifully! Thanks for sharing!

Penless Thoughts said...

Very unusual and unique items. Thanks for showing us.
Susan

Hootin' Anni said...

These are so amazing!!!! What a great gift...and super to have them displayed I bet....I like them.

Mine is posted this week, it's a Valentine Wreath that I made this week.

Hope you can drop by sometime.

Constance said...

I love seeing the grain of the woods! What a wonderful gift from your favorite uncle. No wonder they have a special place in your heart and home.

Gattina said...

They are really very beautiful and don't sell them ! I am sure they are quite precious !

Judy said...

Wow, those are beautiful.

Mrs M said...

What amazing treasures your uncle brought home for you!!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

The sculptures are truly a work of art!

Katherine

Mrs. Mordecai said...

These are so unique! I bet your room would feel different without them.

Julieann said...

I have never seen anything like those before--they are Beautiful:)

Julieann

genny said...

Very interesting and cool stuff. mine is up.

cherished*vintage said...

What a great keepsake from your Uncle! They have aged beautifully - the wood grain is gorgeous!
-Karoline

Tara said...

This is a very different piece--don't part with it!
:0)

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

What amazing pieces of art! Are they signed? Do you know anything about the artist? They are just wonderful!
Penny

Anita said...

How wonderful! They are gorgeous...

Cookie said...

This was such an unusual show and tell. They are wonderful! I was interested in what you wrote about how they have changed in color over the years. We have a 9' giraffe that we brought back from Jamaica in 2002. Over the past five years we have watched it change in color. What I've been told is that the wood was not fully cured when it was carved, and that it has been curing over the years. Personally, I enjoy watching the changes.

-Cookie

Anna said...

Those are very pretty, I love the design and what a great thing to have...Thanks for sharing...
Mine is up too:
Scattered Thoughts Of Mine

nannykim said...

I like the different shades in the wood tones--gives a kind of warm feeling.

MammyT said...

A great Show & Tell. Thank you.
Did you get a big doll collection after all?
Nancy

Kelli said...

Wonderful show and tell! The different wood tones are just beautiful, thank you sharing your special treasures with us.
Hugs,
Kelli

Carrie said...

Yes Nancy,
I did start a small international doll collection while in college. I later gave it to my sister's daughter. Then in the past decade, I started collecting Barbie Dolls of the World. I have them representing countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America. I have no place to display them, though. Maybe I'll do a post sometime about that collection.
Carrie

MyJourneyBack said...

Hi Carrie,
Thanks for visiting. Just check my blog each day for a new post with a link to someone else's blog and a photo of their Valentines Day decorating,cooking,crafting etc. I'll have a new post up on Monday. It's a surprise everyday. I'll email you when I post yours. I hope you had a Blessed Weekend. Smiles, Sherry

Alice said...

What a treasure! Your uncle must have cared for you a great deal to have thought of you on his journey around the world.

Eleanor said...

What lovely carvings and a link with beautiful Cape Town, where I grew up! Carvings like these are typical of local carvers and can be found in many open air markets. I think the wood could be kiaat but I will check with friends. Thank you for visiting me again. I love the idea of Show and Tell! Eleanor at Thatchwick

Esther Sunday said...

Those are quite something! What a treasure to have. Don't you wonder who did them and what their story is? Carrie, you always have the most wonderful collections! Love, Esther

Dena ~ swaddlecottage said...

Wow Carrie! Those are just amazing! Very unique and truly lovely.

Hugs,
Dena

Jewelgirl said...

Wonderful details on these and
a nice Uncle! Happy Valentines
Day!