Dappled rabbit

Photograph of Jaeger toy rabbit and shadows across a wall

The heat is on. For me, there aren’t many redeeming qualities to the summer. But as I’m in a minority, I tend to keep it to myself. Well, mostly.

But tonight as the sun was going down I got some fabulous shadows on my bedroom wall from the trees outside. And my felt Jaeger toy rabbit, who sits on his lonesome on my fire mantelpiece, suddenly got an impressive shadow friend (his Harvey?). It was almost enough to make me like a hot evening.

The rabbit was an early eBay find and he has been sat in a box in bubble wrap for a few years – whilst I got around to decorating and found somewhere to put him. Jaeger, now known purely for their adult fashion, did a nice line of children’s clothes and toys in the 1930s.

The toys, from what I found whilst researching a dissertation on shop display in the inter-war years (as you do) were mainly animals. Fat felt animals. I only found them featured in trade journals and shop photographs, never pictured in advertisements.

Jaeger have hit their 125th birthday this year, with a nice wee exhibition at London College of Fashion and a swanky book, that I’ve yet to justify buying. The company had a fabulous history of display and use of illustration in their advertising. They used one of the best inter-war advertising agencies – Colman Prentis and Varley and great architects, interior designers and display people. Despite a recent re-launch of the brand, though, they have struggled to match that peak of creativity of the pre-war years.

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