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Vintage Rubber Ducks (Read 6649 times)
Vintage Rubber Ducks    posted on Jun 18th, 2008, 11:27pm
Abbey Hendrickson of New York describes herself as obsessed with art (http://www.flickr.com/people/hownowdesign/).  She collects lots of things, but most notably she has a lovely, small collection of vintage rubber ducks pictured above. This gives us the perfect segue into talking about vintage rubber ducks.
Vintage rubber ducks tend to be under-appreciated because their aesthetics belong to another time, but this is exactly their appeal for some. For those with an interest in history, art or design, vintage rubber ducks provide a playful window into other eras and locales. Displaying ducks from similar or contrasting eras can provide great visual appeal. The Duckplanet collection once had part of a shelf dedicated to rubber ducks that were from "occupied Japan" --those words actually printed on many of the rubber ducks--and visitors were very pleased with the results. Most of the ducks were standers, but some were floaters as well.
Vintage rubber ducks can be more work, however. They often require careful cleaning upon purchase in order to restore their luster. Some may be in need of minor repairs. Most ducks made in the mid 50s and later (such as those in Abbey's collection) are made of vinyl and simply require a good, careful scrubbing with brushes and mild detergents. Use a toothbrush to clean fine details such as feathering or curlicues. Internal mildew, if any, can sometimes be removed by rinsing the duck inside with diluted bleach several times and then taking care to empty the duck of water completely.
The oldest ducks, made in the 30s through early 50s, are often made of natural rubber which becomes fragile and brittle over time. They requiring careful handling and mounting. They cannot be washed.  
The collector of vintage rubber ducks is rewarded with a collection of greater diversity and historical interest. Plus, it can be great fun to reacquaint oldsters and not-so-oldsters with a cherished old toy they never thought they'd see again! Vintage rubber ducks can be found in antique and collectible malls, larger swap meets/flea markets, and online. Happy hunting!
Re: Vintage Rubber Ducks    posted on Jun 19th, 2008, 2:20am
I saw these ducks on flickr! Cool collection! The older ones semm to have lots of details in them.
Re: Vintage Rubber Ducks    posted on Aug 11th, 2008, 1:25am
Great collection Abbey!  I love the old ones, too.  I have never seen the one with the blue hat?  Do you have a history on him?
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