The Origins of a Collection: Ceramic Deer

The Origins of a Collection: Ceramic Deer

Tess Wilson
Sep 15, 2010

One day you wake up, and you're 30, and you take a good long look at your life and think, "How in the world did I end up with so many tiny baby deer? When did this start?"

  • 1982: When I was little, anytime we were on our way to or from my grandma's house or my mom's school, my parents would drive a block or two out of the way so I could see the deer. Not live deer (this being, after all, Chicago), but concrete lawn ornament deer. Thrilling! From age 2-4, I couldn't get enough of those deer, and they would considerately slow down and sometimes even stop so I could gaze & gaze.
  • 2007: The December issue of Martha Stewart Living featured a story entitled "Within a Wooded Glade". I fell head over heels for those tiny plastic & ceramic deer. Ten minutes earlier, if you'd kindly offered me a little deer I probably would have said, "No, thank you", but now I had to have them. I put the word out, and for the last three years the deer have come rolling in. I found one of them myself at an antique mall with my parents, but the rest of the collection has been gifts.
  • 2010: I now have what I would consider to be a lot of tiny deer, and love each and every one of them. They're usually all packed away in a small shoebox, with the exception of whichever one is the current favorite. Most are from Japan, most are ceramic or porcelain, a few are plastic. Some are sweet & naturalistic, and some bear a mysterious resemblance to elk, or whippets, or bunnies.

So, what led to your collections?

ANOTHER ANIMAL COLLECTION: Elephants Abroad: A Dispersed Collection

Images: Personal deer collection photos 1,4 by Tess Wilson, Martha Stewart deer feature 2, 3, produced by Kevin Brainard, via ljcfyi

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