Figurines are human-made statuettes. Some dictionaries describe ‘figurine’ as a diminutive form of ‘figure’.
Archaeologists say that the earliest figurines were likely made by Indus Valley civilizations out of stones. Even though it’s not totally known why early humans made figurines, it’s likely that it represented a move up from cave sketches and paintings as a representation of the artistic expression. It’s also very likely that they were made out of the wonder and awe for supernatural elements of their early existence. These days, home decor and figurines are a more common pairing, as contemporary figurines are more of an art form than anything else. However, specific meanings and uses do vary from one home to the other.
Long before home decor and figurines became a coherent pairing, figurines were used for many different purposes. While many of them were used in the service of certain deities in religious ceremonies, particular figurines depicted special purposes. For example, a woman might be gifted with a pregnant Venus figurine as a means of wishing someone successful fertility. Figurines through the ages have mainly been female characters, so there commonly used as gifts for weddings. Figurines also provided a source of amusement to children who spent hours upon hours playing with them, as they didn’t have that many toys back then. Other figurines even served as jewelry pieces for women.
One huge reason home decor and figurines go so well together these days is how many different materials are used in making them. Rubber, wood, plastic, copper, and even glass are now used for the composition of figurines. Just think of chess boards. While there are always two colors, how many different materials have you seen used for various sets? Every piece in a chess game is a figurine replica based on its real-world models.
Many modern figurines are made out of porcelain and plastic. This is because they are molded much easier than stone is, since they don’t have to carved. Also, glass is popular for making transparent figurines. Glass models, in particular, can draw in and reflect light to really grab visual attention, making them particularly alluring.
The ancient times might not have had that many figurines, but today you can find figurines reflecting all sorts of the subject matter so you can suit or even set the aesthetic of your home. You can put out permanent figurines for year-round decoration, or you can get figurines made for specific occasions, like Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Floral designs and wildlife subject matter are very popular choices for permanent display.
Figuring collectors and enthusiasts have it made these days, thanks to the Internet. Locating particular figurines is easy, and you can usually buy them too. Specialist shops sell pieces, and it’s also possible to buy directly from other collectors through auction sites.
Many collectors prefer cabinets made using glass and wood to showcase their figurines. Having said that, you can display them on tabletops and counters if you like, based on the size of your figurines and your home’s particular decor.
When looking online for your favorite figurines to be a part of your home decor, do what you can to verify the authenticity of an item. High-value pieces should come with a certificate of authenticity from a licensed dealer. Copycat makers flood the market with fakes and duplicates, so always look at sales tags and signature labels. A seller’s feedback from previous customers will tell you a lot.
Always inspect figurines as soon as they arrive. You want to notice any stains, cracks, or other impurities that might compromise the quality of the piece. The sooner you return something defective, the better off you will be.
Don’t assume you only have to buy figurines that match your current home decor. If you love decorating your home, you’ll eventually change things up to reflect new tastes. That will open up the window to displaying new pieces. Also, to be perfectly honest, if you love a piece enough, you’ll find the right spot for it sooner or later.
Always check for particulars about the shipping and handling of any online figurine seller. If you want something to be a permanent part of your home decor, then it needs to show up in great condition. Not only do you want to know what the shipping and handling might cost you on top of the retail price, but you also need to check previous customer feedback to make sure the seller packages their figurines in plenty of supportive material to avoid the figurines getting broken, cracked, or dinged during the shipping process. Many sellers might minimize their packaging in order to keep packages small for cheaper postage, but this might put their items at risk.
In the end, buy the pieces you love and can afford. It’s your collection and home, and you can do with them as you please.