May 23, 2010 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Vitamin’s Urban Creature Gnomes, standing just under 8.5 inches, don’t wear the pointy hats of their ancestor figurines, those who hailed from 19th century Germany, where they became known as Gartenzwerg or ”garden dwarf,” then in the 1930s became known as garden “gnomes” in English.
Typically said to be small, humanoid creatures that lived underground, gnomes were originally considered as guards of mines and precious underground treasures. We generally associate the garden gnome with the kitchy plastic characters that sometimes graced (or blemished) the lawns of suburban houses in the fifties.
Although these little modern bone china urban garden ornaments won’t offer any form of protection, they will add a healthy dose of kitch flavored with urban style–if that’s your thing. They can hang out in the garden or on a bookshelf, up to you and your digs.
Urban Vandal Gnome: one side vandalizes, the other side cleans up
If you don’t envision yourself a gnome collector, you can do what our friends used to do with the numerous Hummel figurines they received as wedding gifts: you can bring them along when you visit friends, then anonymously and discretely deposit them in their homes. Gnome is where the heart is after all.
For those in the UK or Europe, you can shop online. For the rest of us, visit the Vitamin site for retailers.