Friday, 11 May 2012


Leopold our terracotta gnome or pixie

Recently we found this fabulous guy whose seller thought he was a Gnome, or a Pixie. We're not sure either.  He was advertised as a rare Art Deco Czechoslavakia large terracotta garden fairy or pixie figure, measuring 14 inches tall. My husband immediately christened him 'Leopold' but maybe he should have a more mysterious name. I'm sure that he does and just has not revealed it to us yet.

Having done some investigation we are more baffled than ever. He has no beard, and he has wings.  Gnomes don't have wings do they? 

Gnomes, a 1979 release from Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet

I can find no other like him and will continue to find out exactly what he is, and when he was made. His painted surface is peeling and many layers can be seen, but we have no plans to give him a new coat. I love all the colours coming through. We've no plans to sell him either, he's a keeper.

His wings and peeling paint

What I like best about him is the way he is sitting with his legs crossed. Don't you love his pointy-toed Pixie boots? 

cross legged
Although he seems benign he has slightly scary eyes and this gives him a spooky edge. Maybe he will guard our garden if we are nice to him and give him a good home under our staddle stone mushroom.

Leopold's dramatic makeup and his scary eyes!

would Leopold be happy under one of these?

Our cottage is on a small estate of workers cottages built in Victorian times. There is a communal bakehouse, outside loos and a well, which is in what is now our back garden. It is long since capped, by an old stone mushroom and he would certainly look at home underneath that. But we think he is pretty old, has seen lots of duty and that perhaps he would now like to retire indoors. He's living in the fireplace at the moment and might go outside for special occasions when better weather arrives.


  1. Pixie or elf, he is a beauty. I think he's an elf, from what I remember from fairy tales and my years as a Brownie :)

    1. I love that .... your years as a Brownie were obviously well spent! x

  2. Minerva, he is enchanting! I wouldn't sell him either! I think he might be a garden sprite....didn't they have wings ? Whatever "gender" Leopold is, he is adorable, with a slightly devilish look!! N.xo

    1. Sprite, I had not thought of that. I will continue to research him. Hope all well with you Nella. x

  3. Hello lovely!
    Good to see you back from Fairyland, I mean Devon!
    I love Leopold, I'm glad he found you and a good home by the fire.
    He is precious and his wings are pretty. They are still very beautiful even with the peeling paint... Interesting you found Leopold because I found a Froud fairy which is a small sculpture in storage today. I forgot I had her safely stored away in a box. I thought about you!
    Also, I have a copy of the Gnome book and it's wonderful.
    Thank you for your lovely email. I will reply soon with a few things to tell you! ;-)
    Have a great weekend and speak soon.
    Jo. xx

    1. Jo, Glad you like Leopold, you will meet him soon. Your Froud Fairy sounds special! Speak to you soon. x

  4. He's a cute little guy' with an impish smile....will bee some thing to talk about in your garden! hehe x Maria x

  5. hi! thank you for leaving a comment for me. i enjoyed reading about leopold. he does have scary eyes (lol) but is a very cool and interesting piece.

    happy may


  6. Hello, thank you for your comment on my blog. Love to read....!
    You have also a beautiful one.

    Have a nice day, Sylvia


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