My vast pre-Victorian Staffordshire figure photo archive would qualify for the Guinness Book of Records?)...yet it has but one example of a pre-Victorian earthenware Staffordshire figure of Robinson Crusoe. This makes the Robinson Crusoe shown below a very rare figure.
Pearlware figure portraying Robinson Crusoe, circa 1820. H: 6-1/4". From the current stock of Martyn Edgell Antiques, www.edgell.me.uk
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, published in 1719, is one of the candidates for the title of First Novel. In this fictional autobiography, Crusoe spends 28 years as a castaway on a tropical island. The book remained popular for centuries and was dramatized on the English stage from the eighteenth century onwards. Figures of Robinson Crusoe—and the figure shown here is the earliest form of a Staffordshire figure that was to remain popular into the Victorian era—exhibit the distinctive garb and signature hat that Crusoe wore in the print in the 1719 edition of the book (and probably in staged productions too).
From "The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner." 5th ed. London : Printed for W. Taylor, 1720
Family Factoid. The Schkolne photo archive will never make it into the Guinness Book of Records, but the Schkolne name is already there. This is a story that could only happen in America...or should I say only in LA? My son is an engineer and was frustrated by tangled ethernet cables. For reasons that esape me, he got his friends together to see who could untangle wires fastest. There was a complex set of rules. I think the wires were put in the tumble dryer to ensure a true knotty mess. Before you knew it, the media (yes, even the European media fell for this!) a new 'sport' had been born!
According to its web site 'Speedcabling is performed with short, medium, and long cables. In the United States, where the sport originated, these cables are of length 7, 14, and 21 feet. International speedcabling competitions utilize 2, 3, and 7 meter cables.' I guess someone with nothing better to do with his/her time now holds the record, and the Guinness Book of Records refers to speed cabling as a "sport," invented by IT developer Steven Schkolne. As I said, only in America.....
I clicked this tangle of live wires from my rickshaw in Old Delhi this February. A real need for speed cabling here!