a treasure unfolded

Today our friend Ceridwen came-a-calling at Ty Isaf bearing a small, intriguing package…

wrapped in Welsh cloth… a fragment left over from a jacket she had made twenty years ago… and tied with some threads of dark brown Welsh wool.

Something emerges from the fine stripes…

… red, beautifully wrought from wood, and articulated in the manner of my blue dragon maquette.

(Jack comes to see what’s going on.)

The dragon now stands handsomely on the mantelpiece, mirrored by a charioteer from the ceramic artist Adam Dworski, and book-ended by my mother’s Staffordshire King Charles spaniels.

This lovely toy is from Ceridwen’s family, and she believes it to be over a hundred years old. I’m staggered to be given such a treasure, and feel greatly honoured. Ceridwen has promised to write down the history of the little dragon for me, and when I have that I shall put it here to go with the images. He is incredibly delicately made, the fine markings on him almost calligraphic and the whole so fine and fragile it’s a miracle the little chap has survived so long. Even his tiny ears can be moved.

Thank you Ceridwen Lloyd Morgan for this splendid Welsh beast. I’m beside myself with pleasure.

12 thoughts on “a treasure unfolded

  1. Pingback: the theatre of the mantel-shelf « Clive Hicks-Jenkins' Artlog:

  2. I can’t believe the dragon wasn’t made specifically for you, in homage to your own maquettes, and to your childrens toys. A more spot-on perfect gift could hardly be imagined! He’s even in your colours!

    Ceridwen is a beautiful name, isn’t it?

    • He is the most splendid creation, and I can’t stop myself from slightly adjusting his pose whenever I pass through the sitting-room. (At the moment he’s bowing slightly, the way Jack does to invite a play-fight.) Add to this the fact that his positions change from time to time when a wing slips, or charmingly, his ears slide down by themselves to droop, and he has already exerted quite a force of character on the mantelpiece out of all proportion to his size!

      Yes, the name Ceridwen is beautiful.

      Rebecca, I’m staggered by the delights of your last e-mail, and I am composing a reply. We also went online to look at the estate agent’s online photographs of the house. Simply ravishing.

  3. You have received such meaningful and lovely presents, it almost makes turning that somewhat biggish number seem appealing! Why, you have almost a Hobbit-abundance about your special day this year. What a wonderful little firedrake… and wrapped so Welshily and warmly.

    I would like to do that party again three or four times or so until I managed to talk to everybody there…

    • I too would like to experience the party again so that i could talk to everyone. There were those I missed completely. I also never got to eat one of those pretty pistachio-coloured meringues, nor any of the chocolate-fudge cake. Sigh!

      • That prune chocolate cake! I never would have thought of it, but it was so good. While I was talking to the bike-accident friends, I tasted quite a few! Piglet!

        You know, of all the wonderful presents, I think this one is the most appropriate to your work. It’s just so perfect, so akin to the bradded maquettes.

  4. He’s a fiery little drake, perfect in his new home above the hearth. Your friend Ceridwen clearly has a penchant (familial) for dragons – she wore a beautiful Wyvern about her neck when we met her. This fellow is somewhat more frightful than Idris the dragon in Ivor the Engine but just as magickal.

    • As I live and breath, Ivor the Engine. Oliver Postgate was simply the best! I loved everything he ever did, especially Clangers and Bagpuss!

      How clever of you to remember that Ceridwen wore a Wyvern! You have such a good memory, a deeply attractive quality.

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