Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mystery Objects No.1, Revealed.

Unlike life's other great mysteries, this one can be cleared up now (well, except for one). I'm speaking of course of the first Mystery Objects post last week. THANKS to all of you for putting such brow-furrowed intensity (not to mention hilarious flights of fancy) into your study of these objects.

Here are the answers to the pictorial puzzles.

#1: This may be one of my favorite found objects in all my years of collecting, which is why it was first in the line-up. Congrats to Jo for guessing this almost exactly: it is a baby's plastic rattle, picked off of a chipboard floor after a fire. It has an unbelievably organic, hide-like appearance, until you pick it up and it weighs practically nothing, and still rattles. Excellent that it inspired a dream, Laura.

#2: This one eluded everyone. It's so beautiful, it's hard to imagine it's as mundane an object as it is. I picked this up off the street as I was crossing at a light one day. if you turn your orientation - that is, tilt your head to the left, it will be easier to read as the plastic handle off a paper shopping bag, with one side separated from the cardboard stapled inner support. The Asian quality to this object makes its real identity harder to parse. I adore this thing.

#3: Some of you got close, but no-one pegged it exactly. It is indeed a gasket of sorts. But it came off of a very old 1920's vacuum-cleaner bag. I've saved this for years hoping it would work its way into some eyewear.

#4: This one remains a total mystery to me. I bought it at an antique store here in Sydney about 6 months ago, and it was sold by a dealer who specialised in old childrens' toys. The long vertical slotted bit is loose but doesn't lift or swing too much. I just can't work this out - the closest I can guess is it's part of a handmade scale model of a catapult. I hope someone can prove me wrong….!

#5: Part of the inner carriage of a very old typewriter - it mounted somewhere behind the array of key arms.

#6: Most of you got this one - a rubber foot pedal cover from an old car - likely the emergency brake. I love what a graphically strong object it is when removed from its context. Can't wait to utilise this.

#7: Congrats go to Priscilla Moore for nailing this one. She emailed her guess to me, and even included a picture as backup - nice! It's a cattle tag, as shown.

I'll put up my next grouping tomorrow, so check back then.

And keep emailing me your own mystery objects - there are some real beauties - stiff competition!



  1. Thanks for getting my brain cells to once again click over .
    I think I guessed the cow tag as well
    Keep up the metal Torture LOL I love it

  2. No matter that I missed nearly every one. This was fabulously fun!!! Thanks again Keith!

  3. Keith this is such a cool idea. And of course...I love seeing these unique and specials objects. More please.