Just Clowning Around

Because of Betty Lynn's interest in frame drumming, I usually associate the tambourine with graceful angels or beautiful women, but others seem willing to hand the drum off to a variety of other players, including clowns. So far, we have collected three examples of this.


While some see the clown in pancake makeup as a hilarious figure of fun, others see the clown as a sad soul, a melancholic being, longing to be understood on his or her own terms. The central figure, above, seems to fit the latter description.


Betty Lynn found this sweet little figure in April 2013 when we took a drive along a country highway in Indiana which passed through one small community after another, each with its own little second-hand shop.


This sad little clown is in fact a music box, as you can see by the above picture. The remaining two clown figures are more in the tradition of the "any-thing-for-a-laugh" tradition of the circus. The first stands 12.5 inches high, and was probably intended as an ornament for a very upscale nursery. I found it in an Antique Mall called the Manor House, in Indianapolis in October, 2012.


I have no idea why anyone would want to own or display the third piece: the clown clock. If it were placed in a child's bedroom, it could be the stuff of nightmares. I remember when Betty Lynn found this piece in April of 2013 in the Centerville Antique Mall in Centreville, Indiana, I was sort of hoping that she would just set it back on the shelf with a comment such as: "interesting, but we have no place to put it!" But no, she purchased it, and now it is on a self with the other two clowns in this entry.


In writing up this blog, it suddenly struck me that all three of these figures were purchased in Indiana. Is there a message here? Are clowns with frame drums a "thing" around Indianapolis? Just asking.