Close

Whoa! You can't favorite your own shop.

Whoa! You can't buy your own item.

Whoa! You can't favorite own item.

Whoa! You can't add your own item to a list.

Add this item to a treasury!

Close
You don't have any treasuries yet. Enter a title below to create one.
Close

This item has been added.

View your treasury.
Mercury the Messenger celluloid charm, 1930s or 1940s, Japanese, vending machine toy, gum ball prize, lucky charm

Sorry, this item sold. You may also like:

Like this item?

Add it to your favorites to revisit it later.

This bright red Japanese celluloid charm depicts a figure with a winged hat and feet, so I am calling him Mercury. In Roman mythology, Mercury is a messenger, a mediator, and a swift god of trade and travel. Ovid wrote that Mercury carried Morpheus' dreams from the valley of Somnus to sleeping humans. And if that's not enough, Mercury is also a god of abundance and commercial success--who can't use a little of that?

Probably from the late 1930s or 1940s and about 1.25 inches tall, this little lucky charm is marked "JAPAN" and has a metal ring attached at the top of his head. A tiny bit of his red (almost fuchsia) paint is worn in a few spots, and I have not cleaned him.

Some people call these Cracker Jack prizes, but I think they were more likely gumball machine toys or advertising premiums. Later plastic would be used, but these early examples are celluloid. I'll be posting more little charms from time to time, so collect a few for a project. They are very cute on a necklace or bracelet, on a bookmark, as part of a framed set in a shadowbox, or my mom used to stitch little pillows and sew charms and ribbons on them to give as gifts.

A clever gift to assure good luck in business or travel!

"O God, O Venus, O Mercury, patron of thieves,
Lend me a little tobacco-shop,
or install me in any profession
Save this damn'd profession of writing,
where one needs one's brains all the time."

--Ezra Pound



This item ships ►FREE◄ when you buy something else from modernpoetry!


► MORE ITEMS FROM THIS SHOP:
The modernpoetry shop is always open! http://modernpoetry.etsy.com

► SHIPPING:
I ship from Michigan, usually by the next business day, USPS first-class with delivery confirmation whenever available. I am happy to ship internationally. Save on postage when you buy several items together from modernpoetry! More shipping details: http://www.etsy.com/shop/modernpoetry/policy?ref=ls_policies

► HOW TO BUY ON ETSY:
http://www.etsy.com/help/article/339

► GET TO KNOW MODPO:
Come along on my adventures as I dig through my mom's vast collections. I'll also let you know what's new in the shop, and my Pinterest board has lots of excellent ideas for using vintage finds in your home.
>> FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/modpo
>> TWITTER: http://twitter.com/ModPoVintage
>> BLOG: http://modpo.tumblr.com
>> PINTEREST: http://pinterest.com/modernpoetry/

Mercury the Messenger celluloid charm, 1930s or 1940s, Japanese, vending machine toy, gum ball prize, lucky charm

Overview

  • Vintage item from the 1930s
  • Materials: celluloid, metal
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 350 reviews
  • Favorited by: 13 people