Thursday, September 23, 2010

Antique German Garden Gnomes

I love gnomes, and they comprise a major category of the "other stuff" I collect. The oldest gnomes in my collection are these miniature terracotta versions, made in Germany in the 1920s-30s.

They're an expressive bunch of little guys, measuring 6 inches tall.

 One of my favorites in this set is the smoking gnome. He reminds me of that photo of J.R.R. Tolkien that's on most of his books. He's holding his pipe in just the same way, and looks like he's about to say something both jovial and profound.

And then there's this gnome, lying about in a leisurely fashion, with rather a "come-hither" look on his face. His friend in the background is even more obviously "on the make": check out the open shirt and wanton expression. (He's also the only gnome I've ever seen with muttonchop sideburns instead of the traditional long gnome beard.)


Hard-working garden gnomes, these are not.


  1. you have gnomes too??!! its too much!! i love it ('specially ol muttonchops)

  2. Yep. And mushroom houses are coming next. :)

  3. Tracy, I am a third year Graphic Design student at Chelsea College of Arts. I am doing a project at the moment that involves gnomes. I need to get some really good studio photographs, I really wanted to buy one exactly the same as your front reclining gnome but can't find one anywhere. Would you be willing to sell just that one or could I arrange to borrow it to photograph one day?Thanks!

  4. Wow: the gnomes and I are very flattered at your interest in them for your project! I really wish I could help you, but it looks like we live quite far away from each other, so I can't really lend him, and I couldn't bear to sell him. Sorry! But: have you looked at the Kimmel Gnomes web store? They sell beautiful reproductions of antique gnomes, and they have a similar one for sale, here:

    Good luck!