Sheep Figurines for Easter
Great Sheep Figurines for Easter
What could be more appropriate for Easter than a theme on sheep and newborn lambs. Yes I know there is the whole rabbit/bunny theme as well and also the hen and chicken theme does quite well. But the sheep lends itself to so much more creativity from the mildly sentimental to the downright funny and comical. Plus, as I have always maintained in all my material, with sheep I can add the personal touch of my own collection. And they are so Welsh although people from Australia and New Zealand that maybe in sheer number they have cornered the market on sheep. The photo to the left is my a recent acquisition. So sheep it is !!! Ceramic sheep figurines. Plastic sheep figurines. Or even antique sheep figurines. I will endeavor to touch on as many varieties as I can to give the reader as much choice as possible. I hope that you enjoy them.
All photos are property of the author unless otherwise stated.
Numbering over one billion, the domestic sheep is one of our earliest domesticated animals. The story of the relationship of sheep with man follows the story of man from hunter gatherer to settler and builder of communities. I live in mid Wales which is at the heart of sheep farming in Wales. We see all stages from when the ram is put in the field in October, to when the first lambs are born in early spring where they grow to full size before disappearing off to market in the summer. To some this may appear heartless but it is a process that has been going on for millenia and without the meat trade there could be no justification for so many sheep. It is a strange bargain with evolution, ensuring survival of the species through sacrifice of most of the young. Every hill is dotted with the white specs of individual sheep even at quite high elevations. In the quiet places deep in the mountain country of Cader Idris, the silence is only broken by the occasional bleat of a sheep. It is a peaceful, mournful sound.
Ovis Aires is the most common variety of sheep and there are many many sub species or breeds. Many of these breeds have developed usually because of a need for a certain trait. It may be the wool or the meat, the quality of the hide or even the milk for sheep cheese ! Wool no longer provides sufficient return for sheep farmers in Wales so it is primarily for meat that the lambs are produced.
Being such an important part of the story of modern civilised man, sheep have naturally been represented in art, paintings, sculpture and poetry. Today most shops in Wales have some connection with sheep even down to the postcard, fridge magnet and figurines. When next you visit Wales, check out the souvenirs available and take a sheep home with you!
Plastic Sheep Figurines
Welsh Costume sheep
I found the sheep in Welsh Costume at the Barmouth station which also houses the tourist information centre. They must have been a limited edition as I have not seen them since. Sheep are so intertwined with Welsh culture that one would be disappointed if they weren't seen scattered across the hillside as tiny blobs. Welsh lamb is regarded as some of the finest meat in the world and the wool is currently fetching some of the best prices seen in decades. They are very skittish animals but there are some close to where I live who have become more trusting and allow me to feed them handfuls of grass and even touch the top of their fuzzy heads.
Sheep Figurines on Amazon - Choose from a great selection of Sheep and Lamb Figurines
Welsh Sheep Figurines
A local speciality
Wales is known for its sheep. I live in Wales. Sheep figurines are a common souvenir. These three facts more or less made it inevitable that I would start collecting sheep figurines at some point in my life. It all started in Corris in, of all places, the local narrow gauge railway. They had a rudimentary shop at the time which they used to build funds for the railway. I couldn't find much to buy but then these two sheep were watching me. The eyes had been painted in such a way as they followed me around the room and I figured I would buy one as my contribution to the railway. Since then I keep my eyes open in most souvenir shops and have quite a few from different places. Included is one dressed in traditional Welsh dress referred to above that I found in the Barmouth tourist office that is situated in the Barmouth railway station. The hobby is as much an interest in the locations that I find them as it is the sheep figurines themselves. Dinas Mawddwy is the latest place I have found that stock the right merchandise.
Great Sheep Figurines
Not all are comical
There is a tendency to trivialize sheep and I must admit many of the items I have are quite cute or comical. But one of my favourites is undoubtedly this proud example. And just in case you weren't sure where it was from it has WALES written beneath. Please remember something, this is an inexpensive hobby. Yes you can get expensive cut glass figurines but most are available for a few pounds. What is more, they are readily available and if you are looking for a new hobby then why not try sheep. Please enjoy them as I do, the fun is in finding models in the most unlikely places not spending hundreds of pounds. Eventually you will a lovely collection to sit in a cabinet or on a dresser. As with any hobby, dust is an issue so a good soak in soapy water every once in a while won't go amiss !
Sheep Garden Ornaments
and sheep garden statues!
Sheep figurines are also available on a grand scale but then they are called Sheep Ornaments for the living room or dining room and Sheep Statues for the hall or garden. This level I confess is currently beyond my pocket but you can move into beautiful porcelain figurines if you so choose. They are available for the house and garden and come in ways to suit all tastes.
If you get into this size of figurine then maybe just a few scattered around the garden might be appropriate. But as an alternative to the usual statue of the goddess Venus pouring water, I think it's a great talking point.
A new line of sheep
There is a wonderful craft centre and coffee shop in Dinas Mawddwy Powys Wales that has a great collection of sheep souvenirs for sale. I am a frequent visitor as it is the last (or first) cafe before and after travelling over the mid Wales mountain pass. They don't specialise in figurines but have them as part of a larger display. Recently I noticed a new collection of figurines and was very impressed so I bought one and the photo will be displayed here shortly. This is what is great about any hobby of this nature, there is never a point where you can say 'I've got them all' because someone will always come out with a new one. Happy hunting.