Date : July 6, 2018
Is Ngaire Brodie Australia’s biggest May Gibbs fan? If you consider the number of May Gibbs collectibles Ngaire has in her possession, you’d have every reason to think she is.
Ngaire was first introduced to Australia’s much-loved children’s author, illustrator, and cartoonist at the age of six or seven. She received the ever-popular book Snugglepot & Cuddlepie as a Christmas gift.
Fast forward a few decades and Ngaire purchased her first May Gibbs collectibles on a visit back home to Australia whilst living overseas.
“I lived overseas for about 5 years when I was in my early twenties and during a visit home, I purchased a few Gumnut Baby items to remind me of home and alleviate a bit of homesickness,” says Ngaire.
When she moved back to Australia permanently, Ngaire discovered more Gumnut Baby items on the market, and thus her obsession for May Gibbs collectibles began.
“Once I’d started collecting I couldn’t stop and then my friends and family started giving me things that they had found so my collection just grew and grew,” explains Ngaire.
Ngaire tells of her pewter figure collection: “The first item I found was a letter opener pewter figure in a gift store in the Dandenongs. Then on a visit to Nutcote, I came across the paperweight, tooth fairy container (the Gumnut Baby sitting in the gumnut lifts off, leaving an empty chamber) and the two babies that sit side by side. The Gumnut Baby in the scooter was a chance find on eBay and was shipped from the USA.”
A year ago, the iconic Melbourne based jewellery designer Erstwilder collaborated with the May Gibbs Foundation and released a range of Gumnut Babies necklaces, brooches and earrings. Ngaire, of course, owns the Erstwilder collection, displayed alongside her other May Gibbs collectibles.
When asked what might be her favourite three May Gibbs collectibles pieces, Ngaire admits; “It is difficult to pick only three favourites because there have been so many lovely things released over the years, but amongst my favourites is the set of six pewter figurines, a set of four oval plaques and a set of ten porcelain figurines.”
Ngaire’s prized collection of May Gibbs Collectibles is mighty, covering every corner of her home. One would assume Ngaire knows a lot more about the Australian author than others might. When asked if she were to have met her idol, the avid fan says:
“I would have enjoyed a general chat about her creative process and the inspiration for her characters and stories. I’d be interested to hear her opinion on the collectibles that have been released and whether she could ever have foreseen that the Gumnut Babies would become such iconic characters for generations of Australian children. I think she would have been a very interesting person to converse with.”
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This contribution is from Eco Erica – Eco Erica is a nature lover, eco blogger and mum. Eco Erica is all about helping little ones embrace a passion for sustainable living and a love of the great outdoors.