Brazilian Find! Hunchback "Corcunda" Gnome Marigold Toothpick Holder

Brazilian Find! Hunchback "Corcunda" Gnome Marigold Toothpick Holder


My friend, Claudio Deveikis, from Brazil, gifted this lovely keepsake to me in January of 2018. He texted and said he sent me a package and it was a surprise, that I would just have to wait. Weeks later it arrived in New Hampshire and by now I was completely baffled as to what it could be. It was a small box, and as I unwrapped what was inside, the item became smaller and smaller as I unraveled the bubble wrap it was carefully wrapped in. "What it could be?". I wondered. Then finally the last layer revealed something that was like an old friend, something that was synonymous with my friend Claudio. It was something that had meant quite a lot to him and I remember he had written about it on his blog on the internet. 

It was a Carnival glass toothpick or egg holder, only 3 1/2 inches tall, of a gnome carrying a large acorn-shaped basket on his back, resting on one knee, as if tired from the load, or perhaps he was stopping to pick up more of what he was gathering. Claudio thinks he is picking up gold nuggets from the mound beneath his feet. This figurine is chock full of old world charm. Its whimsical nature is reminiscent of the mountains in Europe and the many of legends of their tiny woodland folks.

It was Claudio's friend, Alvaro Aguiar, who first owned this piece. Alvaro could not help but notice how the company, Vallerysthal & Portieux, had a similar shaped item in their 1933 catalog. but it was not the same. Alvaro named it "Hunchback Toothpick" and Claudio wrote about it with that new name. So far, but not conclusive, Claudio feels Brazil is the country of origin of this wonderful novelty. Claudio must think a lot of me to part with it, and to be humble, I can only say I am happy to have something so sweet that reminds me of my good friend Claudio. Thank you my friend~~

In response to my letter of gratitude to Claudio, he writes, "Hello Christina! It was in 2016, January, when I was talking about pressed glass with my internet friend, Álvaro Aguiar, and he showed me a photo of his little Hunchback collection.

There were three Carnival and one crystal clear Hunchbacks. At the time I saw them, I became crazy about it, and asked him if he could sell one of then to me. I thought that this was not going to happen because he told me that his wife, Márcia, loved these little pieces and had a special place for then in one of her cabinets. So, he needed to ask her. Just my luck, she said that it was okay. He could sell one of them to me!

When the Hunchback was delivered to me, it became my favorite piece, side by side with my Eye of the Queen pieces, of course. Do not ask me why he named it "Hunchback", I really do not know and we can see clearly that it is a gnome! Dave Doty refers to it on his website as "Gnome Shot Glass".  All I know is that in Brazil, it is known as the "Hunchback Toothpick Holder".

In December, 2017, I found another Hunchback in an auction and the first thing that I thought was that if I could buy the piece in the auction, that my first Hunchback, the one that I bought from Álvaro & Márcia, was going to be a present for my friend, Christina Katsikas.

I think that I thought this because when I published a photo of this toothpick on Facebook, Christina said that this piece was my mark, and also said some other beautiful words about me and the piece. I think it is because of this. And everybody must know that I am tremendously jealous with my carnival glass! I hoped that you would like the piece, and I think that this Hunchback is in good hands. It was a gift from the heart!"

I asked Claudio if he had compared the Hunchback he gave me with the one he just purchased and he said his was taller than mine but there were no other differences. This tells me it may have been swung a tad bit. It has a spot inside the dome foot where a punty rod was attached so it could be held while it was being made. It's possible it was swung, by hand like a pendulum using the rod, before it was snapped off and finished. See the last four photos Claudio sent me when he compared the heights.

The pretty iridescence is blue, gold and pink. The lovely photos are all courtesy Claudio Deveikis from his blog where you can come visit him here at Gurana Cork Time and read all about his fabulous Carnival glass discoveries in South America and other parts unknown.

The Christina Katsikas Collection