So, funny story…..I was hanging one of a hundred fish for Mel when one fell, shattered and stabbed me in the leg while on the ladder. I fell off the ladder and crawled to the nearest first aid kit and put a tourniquet on. I texted Mel while I was bleeding out and advised her that one of her fish had mortally wounded me. Her concerned response was “which fish broke?”.
The first time Mel saw a ceramic fish it was at a thrift store. At that very moment she fell in love with those little ceramic pieces of joy! From this point on Mel has spent every waking moment searching on Ebay and antique stores for the little critters. She must have almost 100 of these sea creatures by now. She decided to use our large wall space in the bathroom as her canvas to express herself. It is really hard to find ceramic fish that are not busted and glued because so many of them have fallen and ended up destroyed. Ceramic fish can run between $15-$300+ depending on the rarity of the fish. A word of advice to anyone thinking of hanging these little guys, when nailing them to the wall make sure you also use wall putty to adhere them to the surface. Mel’s favorite maker is Deforest but she also likes Freeman, Lefton, Bradley and Ceramicraft. We both agree that the chalkware fish are not as well detailed or as nice.
Ceramic fish were really big in the 40’s & 50’s for those folks who wanted to accessorize their bathrooms with something unique. Mel has a really great book that shows a lot of different kinds of ceramic fish and also different makers. It gives you pricing and also ideas on how to stage your fish (Ceramic Fish, Mermaids & Seahorses: Bathroom Decorations of the 1940s & 1950s). It is really amazing how many of the people we run into in the antique shops collect these. I am not sure when enough will be enough but if wall space is any indicator then we have a long road ahead of us.
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She’s up to nearly a hundred now?!?! Omigosh! She’s been busy since I last saw you! The bathroom must look SO gorgeous! And, I guess I might be putting her over 100 when I go pick up that 4 piece set at 10 a.m. :- )
Can’t help it – I’m still laughing here with the “visual” of you & those fragile fish (& HER response when you told her!) I can really picture it. Well my friend, methinks you may have made a BIG mistake sending me your link! I am absolutely loving your site & can barely wait to see what you’ve got each day. Great job!
It’s ok, this is Mel’s one vice so I cant really complain.
Your comments and support have been great. You are such a great enthusiast of things from this era and it is truly a pleasure sharing with you.
Now that I can see the pictures I can see what a beautiful job you’ve done arranging such a big collection – and of course, since you have a knack for such things, it’s looks gorgeous. Great job! Simply adorable.
BTW – what the heck is that round thing? Thermometer?
Actually its an AM radio made by Toshiba. I listen to talk radio on it.
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Hello! I’m wondering if you ever found out what company made to wall pocket fish that you’re unsure of the maker/company that made it. They have a wide open mouth. You hung one in a shadow box on the nursery post. Any knowledge would be helpful. I have a set from my great grandmother, two have broken and all the bubbles are missing. I’m hoping to complete my set.
Yes, they’re by Nameth. There are a couple sets on eBay right now. Search for big mouth vintage wall fish.