Monday, September 16, 2013


I found this before I knew about this and got all sad.

Frogs have a long history of symbolism, but my personal favorite is their role as avatar for fidelity and faithfulness.  A lot of animals have that honor, of course, but frogs have always exerted a peculiar charm on humanity.  For over twenty or so years now, I’ve had little silver frogs of one sort or another; the very cute tiny marcasite pin, the shiny, polished articulated tree frog who would sit politely or open his little mouth wide.  That little fellow was stolen, and I still miss him.  The sterling ring I still have, which my younger niece used to kiss whenever I saw her (she gave it a smooch when we were together again as a family this spring – clearly a child with her finger on the pulse of what faithfulness to affectionate traditions mean).  The newer articulated frog pin I hardly ever wear because, though I squee’d out loud when I saw it, it’s still not ... quite ... just like the original little guy.

A good friend of mine, who was a nanny for a while when he still lived around here (yes, he), had the care of a towheaded tot he always called “tree frog” – I honestly can’t even remember the boy’s name, he was just Friend’s Tree Frog.  Aww.

The 17th-century purses linked first above fascinate me – not only as one of the many proofs that ‘fads’ were popular well before the twentieth century, and aside from tulips – but as evidence of the care we put into those things which seem to have the most meaning in a certain place and time.  Silk thread and meticulous wire limbs; these little carriers, whether as purses or for holding needles or sweetmeats, are amazingly realistic and finely made.  Even the striated coloration on the belly of one shows the care with which these were made, and an importance we may have lost, even if the charm remains for us.

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