#MuseumWeek and a mystery object

Last month, as part of TwitterUK’s #MuseumWeek, we posted a photograph of something we pass each day in the house and think little of…

This fish shaped wooden object hanging on the wall in the porch.

As found in the porch, hanging on the wall...

As found in the porch, hanging on the wall…

Any ideas what it is?

For a long time, we’d never really thought about it. As they were hanging in the porch, we thought maybe they’re just a nice decoration. Fish themed to match the ‘luce’ of the Lucy family coat of arms. Perhaps they were for hanging things on, umberella’s or canes.

It wasn’t until Ellen was helping to lock up the house with our House Elves that she had a case of de ja vu. She’d seen these before.

photo (6)

underneathAny ideas?

Ellen had seen these in a shoe museum. The BATA Shoe Museum in Toronto to be precise. The shoes she spotted there were very similar looking and described as Paduka shoes, 20th century and from India, south Bengal. The exhibition tells that fish is a traditional symbol of fertility and plenty in India. As creatures of boundless liberty, fish appear as saviours in Indian myth and as avatars, or incarnations, of the deities Vishnu and Varuna.

You’ll find lots of examples of these sandals on pinterest and perhaps you have a more modern pair in your wardrobe at home?

The very similar shoes spotted in Toronto!

The very similar shoes spotted in Toronto!

And there was us thinking they were for hanging coats and canes on…

Next time you’re visiting, see if you can spot them!

 

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