Treasure From the Japanese Side of the Pond

Treasure From the Japanese Side of the Pond

Along with being an illustrator who is rekindling his creative energies, I have also been an online bookseller for over a dozen years now. I’ve been to auctions, junk shops, funky bookstores from here to Houlton and have crawled around my share of attics. And when you’re into this line of work (if you can actually refer to it as that) it’s inevitable that you will accumulate other sorts of stuff you either have no knowledge of or, items that just seem to fall in your lap.

So I’m rooting around some storage tubs of leftover mystery merchandise and I come across this hand painted ashtray from Japan. I’m assuming I spent the 25 cents on this due to my interest in art and not for my like of seafood.

It’s a neat little piece of pottery a little over 4 inches square with some gold gilt to dress it up some. And as I look at it I can’t help but wonder who the artist was and if he (or she) had ever actually ever seen a lobster or, if they were working from a photo or a stencil or whatever. This little critter looks pretty accurate to me and, it’s a catchier graphic than what you find on a lot of the souvenier junk you find down on the coast.

And in a manufacturing environment there are production goals and deadlines to be met. So the artist had to be pretty good at making a crate of these that all looked pretty much alike I’m guessing.

I can just imagine a Japanese worker sitting on a rickety and worn wooden stool hunched over a four inch ashtray listening to American rock ‘n roll on one of them new fangled transistor radios that his brother made up the road at the new SONY factory.

I hope that this craftsman might of made it to Maine for a visit, if they had even heard of the place at all, and got to take a look at his competitors lobster art.

I think he would of been proud of his work and hopefully didn’t join his brother up at the SONY factory.


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