Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A very curious egg

With Easter almost upon us, I thought it appropriate to mention a very curious egg by way of introduction to our new theme of ‘immortality’. For those who aren’t religious, there’s always the chance of an afterlife, simply by becoming the stuff of legend. Legendary figures such as dragons certainly seem to live forever.

Our latest curiosity is a genuine - okay, original vintage ceramic, dragon’s egg. This characterful little fellow comes courtesy of Chessell Pottery: a small concern, started in 1978, in a converted barn in the Isle of Wight, by John and Sheila Francis. Formerly lecturers in ceramics at the Commonwealth Universities of East and West Africa, the duo's designs are largely based on observations from nature. The hatching dragon was especially introduced for the 2000 Millennium year. (Incidentally, the next Year of the Dragon will be in 2012).

This quirky ornamental piece is guaranteed a very long shelf life. From dragons mentioned in Babylonian and Assyrian texts dating as far back as the 2nd Millennium BC, to the legend of St George and the Dragon – and even modern day computer games, let alone The Dragons’ Den - the legend of the dragon most definitely lives on, and on, and on...

Dragons have been treated in literature and popular culture with a mixture of fear and amusement. Written by Lewis Carroll in the late 19th century, Jabberwocky (below) from 'Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There', describes one of the most curious dragons of all time. As Alice says of the poem, “Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas - only I don't exactly know what they are!”

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Take a peek at this curiously camp, though somewhat scary, clip from Alice in Wonderland c.1983. I’d like to know what's lurking inside that carefully gift-wrapped box. I suspect it may be a very unusual little egg from ShopCurious, that's just about to hatch...


worm said...

ahh the jabberwock! one of the poems I had to learn at school, and still know word-perfect to this day! It's especially good because it sounds even better the more you ham up the delivery

Jan said...

Actually was quite scary when the dragon first popped out !


Easter coming already?!
my...time sure does fly!
So does a dragon right?


Style Porn said...

I read some book about dragons as a kid and became absolutely obsessed with them. I even tried to write my own short story about dragons and their bizarre nuanced behaviors (imagined) but I think I gave up after about 2 pages.

atelier said...

mm.. I haven't seen this before!

Profoundly Superficial said...

Baby dragons are just too cute. Want one!