Friday, 2 January 2015

Elephant No. 91: Small Vintage Elephant

I found this little guy in a junk shop a couple of months ago, and decided I had to have it. It only cost two dollars, so it wasn't a major expense. Terrence thinks it's kind of homely, but I rather like the sway-backed weirdness of it.

From an online search, I discovered exactly . . . nothing about it. There are no markings on it at all, and no corresponding photographs anywhere online that I could find.

From the design, I'd guess it's from the 1940s, and from the glazing and painting style, I'm thinking Occupied Japan. It's in very good shape, with no chips or cracks anywhere.

I'm pretty sure it's a toothpick holder—at least, that's what I'll be using it for—but no matter what it's supposed to be, I really like it, and I'm glad to have rescued it from its dusty shelf.

Elephant Lore of the Day
Oddly enough, there's a plant called Elephant's Toothpick. Orginally discovered in Angola, Sansevieria cylindrica is native to southern Africa, and grows to a height of about 150 cm (60 inches), and a diameter of about 50 cm (20 inches).

Elephant's Toothpick
Photo: Ola Brisa Gardens

Also known as African Spear, Snake Plant, or Mother-in-Law's Tongue, Elephant's Toothpick is a hardy succulent that thrives on neglect. It produces a small, round fruit, and delicate white flowers that open only at night.

Flowers of the Elephant's Toothpick plant.
Photo: Ola Brisa Gardens

I couldn't find any information on whether Elephant's Toothpick is eaten or otherwise used by elephants. Although elephants do eat cactus, given the toxicity of Elephant's Toothpick to humans, it may not be a preferred food among elephants, either.

Elephant preparing to eat cactus.
Photo: Kat's Tails

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