Shiny, shiny, shiny, shiny, kinda very shiny

Australian souvenir thermometersShiny, shiny, shiny
souvenir thermometers, made in Japan c. 1970s

I agree with you! This post is more kitsch than the most kitschy-kitschness. Never before has so much unnecessary shininess been jammed into one image.*

BUT wait. Those gilt eagles – which seem more appropriate to…oh, I don’t know, AMERICA, contain other hilarious geographic oddities. The eagle on the right has renamed our iconic Sydney Opera House as the “Harbour Bridge Opera House”…and the eagle on the left has the temerity to house a group of kangaroos – it should be a giant kangaroo holding a tiny little eagle [though that would still be wrong.]

At least those thermometers are accurate…why they record -30 to +50 degrees. Mmm, not sure Sydney has ever seen those extremes, but one can’t be too careful. Did I mention that you hang these babies on the wall by a gilt chain?

Okay, so far, so funny. What do I have to say about the swans? I kinda like them. Their thermometer range is from 0 to 40 degrees, which seems much more reasonable. And – they are wearing blue eyeshadow! They are totally glitzy, 70s swans! And they have a place to put your pens and stuff. Totally useful.

This set is for sale…and if that person is you, I salute you!  $AUD60

[*I had to browbeat my photographer to take this image, such were his aesthetic sensitivities misgivings.]

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18 thoughts on “Shiny, shiny, shiny, shiny, kinda very shiny

  1. yes, quite, quite true- it’s as far out on the limb of kitschness that i will go. and again- i love your turn of phrase- ‘choice dreadfulness’. i may have to employ you as my copywriter.

    • This is an approximate translation of a German expression my mother is using for such things (“von ganz besonderer und auserlesener Scheußlichkeit”). The expression might go back to my my grandfather, I don’t know.

      • i am going to berlin in september…to look at urban design, landscape and retro things. i will endeavour to use your mother’s expression- adding it to my school-girl german. (only to discuss hideous deutsche vintage, of course.)

      • In case you are interested in Art Noveau, there is an interesting museum in Berlin ( That is probably older stuff than what you are collecting, but I think it is worth a visit. I have not been there but I have seen an exhibition with things from that museum. Generally, Berlin has loads of museums. Plan some time for that.

  2. My husband, Practical Man, is a golden eagle admirer. I would buy him this lovely specimen except…well, I think this is more a copper hue and depicts the bald eagle. Darn, darn, darn. Saved by the hue. 🙂 – Chris (

    • ha! i think you’re being too kind…i think these are souvenir eagles of no fixed species. and yup…copper rather than gold! but i still like them, in all their tacky glory.

    • laurie, it would seem you’re the only one who likes the shiny, shiny eagles. if they weren’t so huge, i’d send ’em to you. and- really- they are even more shiny and gaudy in real life.

      • LOL!!! Now that’s funny. As I was looking at them, I thought, “now Laurie, how come you are liking the gaudy stuff? You must be careful or your husband will reach his tolerance level. Choose wisely.” I have to lecture myself here and there. One day you shall come to the States and see my home. We will drink together and laugh about our collections.

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