Yard flamingos inspire reproductionsBy

Yard flamingos inspire reproductions

Kitsch historians consider the pink yard flamingo an icon of American taste and culture. In a burst of nostalgia, reproduction importers have capitalized on the growing interest in the 1950s with new variations of the flamingo theme. We thought the two most unusual pieces were these made of carved and painted wood. They are truly without taste or redeeming grace, a fitting tribute to the original.

Plastic-bodied yard flamingos have been in more or less continuous production since the 1950s. The common varieties are still openly available at most garden and home centers for about $15-$18 a pair. Aged originals aren't worth much more. Vintage yard flamingos in other materials, however, are highly sought after. Originals in cast aluminum and concrete can sell for $100-$500 and up. The price usually depends on how gaudy and bizarre they appear. The stranger the appearance and more offbeat the material, the higher the price.


Fig. 1 New 39" carved and painted wood flamingo in pastel 1950s colors; new retail $60.


Fig. 2 New 10" carved and painted wood flamingo. Both items imported from the Pacific Rim.