Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Investigator's Gear

Nick Storm has one of the largest collections of Mythos props extant, and he was kind enough to send over these shots of a few of them in his study.

I love seeing props displayed with period items like the typewriter and Davis-style compass. The purple and silver Cthulhu figurine is one of my wayward children- I did it about fifteen years ago. It took hours of sanding to get to get that smooth finish.

A closer look at the Cthulhu idol, and in the background a beautiful working Yale Eveready hand light. I'm a vintage flashlight junkie, and the Yale models from the 1920s exemplify what would have been carried by Mythos investigators. There's a good chance the one pictured is identical to the one carried by the protagonist of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth".

Update: Mr. Storm left a comment regarding the display that somehow ended up in the Arkham Sanitarium post. I've taken the liberty of copying it here, since it has some interesting information about the items.

"As to the comments about the accoutrements on the table:
And the Mysteries of the Worm Tome -it was indeed an online auction purchase.I am a collector.....

Serial # 453976
This typewriter is unique not only because it folds up, but in that each key is capable of typing lower case, upper case, and a symbol. Yes, that's right THREE different functions for each key.
OK, I know you collectors out there are well aware of this, but I was impressed when I saw it, as well as the fact that the shift key raises the carriage instead of the striking keys. This is really a magnificent example of early 20th century engineering and manufacturing.
According to the serial number, this unit was manufactured in 1922 - This could have been used to type shopping lists for Al Capone, or the peace agreement between Joe Masseria and Umberto Valenti right before Umberto was gunned down in the street. Heck, maybe Calvin Coolidge or Herbert Hoover penned speeches with it, or perhaps Groucho Marx read scripts that were typed on it, or maybe W.C. Fields spilled a drink on it while Mae West serviced him? Of course, it could have also simply belonged to a regular Joe, but who knows?

1924 EVEREADY 2 “D” cell black painted flashlight. Domed fish-eye glass. On / off push button that also slides forward to lock into the always on position. VERY similar design style to the Yale or vice versa."


Anchorhead Books said...

Holy Cow! I am 99.9% certain that is one of my Vermis Mysteris books I made a few years ago. It has a different cover style than what I make now. Wow.

Propnomicon said...

@ Anchorhead Books

That's some beautiful work. I don't know how I missed your Flickr album, but I'll definitely be doing a post on it tomorrow.

CoastConFan said...

Beautiful Cthulhu figure. Could you do just a post of it alone? Also, what material is it made from? It has an eerie aspect not often seen on most figures. Could it be H. R. Geiger inspired?

Alex Kaeda said...

Thats an amazing collection. I'm drooling over the typewriter.

My parents go garage sale-ing pretty regularly, and a 1920's typewriter is on the list of things I've asked them to keep an eye open for.

And I'm with CoastConFan, that Cthulhu Figure has an eerie almost evil, aspect to it.

Propnomicon said...

@ CoastConFan

It was sculpted from a mix of purple and silver polymer clay. It was actually inspired by a painting in my grandmother's house, showing a group of children dancing around an almost identical idol of Pan.

That painting scared the bejeesus out of me when I was a kid.

Raven said...

@ Propnomicon: Fitting that Pan should have frightened you; his name is, after all, the root of the word panic.

CoastConFan said...

A Hellenistic herm of Pan, yes I can see that …. Your subconscious choice was excellent since herms were set up at boundaries and borders for protection.

They were a form of good luck, warding off evil called an apotropaism. Amusingly enough the Wikipedia article on apotropaics says, “Apotropaism is related to the Chonic gods in Greek mythology, representing the mentality of turning away from these gods. The Uranian/Olympic gods were invited into people's lives. The Cthonic gods were still worshipped, but they were appeased from a distance, rather than being directly invited into a life”.

Raven said...

Oh, and this is where Propnomicon previously discussed the making of that purplish Cthulhu figure, with a couple of photos.

CoastConFan said...

Polymer clays are pretty good to work with, especially small items. The big drawback is their low life expectancy over just a few years. They simply don’t stand up the way that traditional fired clay survives. Its sad to think that those fine Chthulhu figures might crumble away long before the Old Ones come back.

Raven said...

@ CoastConFan:

What "archiving" conditions would you recommend for prolonging the life of polymer clay artifacts?

Are there temperature or chemical treatments (e.g. coatings) that would help?

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