Catrina is usually very wary when it comes to getting me insect-related Christmas presents. It’s not that I’m overly picky. I don’t turn my nose up at tawdry insect-themed nicknacks. I’m happy to wear ladybird-patterned bow-ties or beetle-infested socks. And it’s not as though I have a complete entomological library and reject anything unless it’s over 150 years old and comes in an antique gilt leather binding. No, it is just that she is usually reluctant to feed my insatiable addiction.
So I was very surprised, pleased, but surprised, when this arrived.
It is, without doubt, the most obscure entomological item I have ever been given. It’s about the size of a yoyo, made of bakelite, and is hollow.
It is a vintage mothball holder. Brilliant.
Embossed on one side is says:
GUARDIAN ANTI-MOTH CASKET BRITISH MADE
and on the other:
TO RE-FILL WITH CAMPHOR — UNSCREW
I’m guessing it’s from the 1950s or 60s. It’s sculpted to take mothballs, and has a hole in the centre so it can be strung up in the wardrobe. At the moment it’s hanging as an additional bauble on the Christmas tree.
What is even more intriguing, is how she found it. The Interweb is a wonderful place, but Catrina does not spend all her time searching out odd insect-related stuff for me. She was actually looking for a retro bakelite wool holder. Something like this maybe.
When it popped up on eBay she hesitated for all of 1 second.
I have promised not to start collecting them.