Let me tell you, I was beyond delighted when I turned from telling My Good Man that I needed to find a gift for a friend, and spotted this little treasure moments later on an op-shop shelf. I snatched it up, cooed a little – okay, a lot – and garbled gleefully to him that I had found the perfect thing…if only I could hold strong to my resolve and actually give it up!
I’ve never had such a struggle before – except, perhaps, the time I nearly kept the vintage Parker fountain pen – so I sent my friend a message saying I’d found a wonderful gift, thus ensuring that my integrity and resolve would remain intact…I hoped!
Anyway, as long as I wasn’t going to keep it for my own, the obvious thing to do once I got it home and shined up was to take photos of the wee beastie. Setting it on the kitchen table didn’t seem to be adequate; then I remembered that I had a 1952 edition of Dewey Decimal Classification & Relative Index, and quickly flipping to 599 (Mammalia) I set the dish upon it and clicked away, before turning to 739 (Metal Sculpture) and clicking some more.
After exhausting Dewey, I recalled an image from The Yellow Fairy Book (Andrew Lang, 1894; depressing as hell, but with wonderful illustrations in the Art Nouveau style by Henry J. Ford) of a little man covered in hair with which he tethered two lions. I was enchanted by the way the handle of the bowl echoed the shapes of the lions’ tails (top left) – not to mention the more obvious liony parts.