Dark Decorations: Figurines for Lovers of Ravens

by JoHarrington

It's amazing how many raven figurines are out there. Symbolic of its many facets in folklore, or merely cast in appreciation of the wild bird itself.

I would count myself amongst the target audience for this article.

On a mini-altar close to my desk, I have three different raven ornaments. All represent stories that I could tell, but then that is in the nature of this blackest of birds. Unless, of course, its cawing declares 'nevermore'.

I have a tiny raven statue made of coal from the Welsh pit where my ancestors worked. It nestles alongside the porcelain figure of a raven hunched over a human skull - Quoth from the Discworld books, a personal favorite of mine.

Then there is the cold cast resin raven perched upon the Morrighan's shoulder. A gift from a Pagan friend, a witness to an oath I spoke, and kept.

So how about you? Why will you keep a raven figurine in your home, and what memories and truth does it tell, if only in whispers to your mind?

Who Might Like a Gift of a Raven Statue?

It appears to be a strange present to contemplate, until you realise how many forms the raven has taken, and in how many fields.

Image: RavenI was musing on this point as I went about my household chores earlier on. It had struck me quite peculiar that I'd ended up with no less than three raven figurines in my possession, all from different aspects of my life.

It wasn't planned, yet it happened. Testimony enough to the ubiquity of ravens in folklore and legend, literature and art, religion and mythology, history and the natural world.

There will be many more too, but I'm only contemplating where the raven has touched my life. It passed the time, while I did the washing up.

Fans of Edgar Allan Poe would like a raven figurine. I am one and I would. So too would those avid readers of every other cawing crow in fiction. I got Quoth. But these birds turn up in stories so often. There's another in Sandman that would interest me too.

Bookworms are potential recipients for a raven ornament gift.

I once watched a Heathen purchase a pair of matching raven statues to place inside his garden. They were unquestionably named Huginn and Muninn. I didn't have to ask him to know that, in his mind, those ravens referenced the messengers of the AllFather.

I have a Celtic equivalent right here. Other religions have their own ravens, though they all mean much the same thing - memory, truth, the telling of news, and the flip side of life. Nothing so morbid to reflect upon, in that divine context.

Religious people might appreciate the appropriate raven figurine as a present.

Goths too, and anyone with a taste for the darkness. Birdwatchers, and those with a love of the light, all the better to watch nature's vast aviary filling the skies.

Can you think of any more?  My mind is still racing through them, but I'd better get on with what you came here to see - a collection of raven decorations for your home and garden, covering just a few of this iconic bird's myriad aspects.

Life-sized Raven Perch Plaque for your Kitchen

An 18" Design Toscano raven, cast from resin and hand-painted in charcoal black.

This life-sized statue of a raven is mooted as belonging in your kitchen. But you can place it anywhere. Who would dare stop you?

Toscano had in mind the shape-shifting raven of legend, when they sculpted it from resin. They pictured the divine messenger passing between mortals and the gods, cawing prophecy for all with the guts to hear.

There's plenty of detail on the Raven Perch Plaque, making it a life-like bird to hang in your home. Now where are you going to put it?

Mystic Night Raven Statuettes by Design Toscano

Cold cast in resin, these raven figurines each stand 6" high, 4 and a half inches wide.

Toscano seem to have a thing about kitchens. They're trying to recommend that you place this matched pair of raven statues there too.

Perhaps they're trying to hint that their raven paired ornaments belong in the heart of your home. At the hearth of Norse mythology, if you will, because who couldn't view them without thinking of Odin's ravens watching the world, then swooping down to tell him its secrets?

And where else would Huginn and Muginn find Odin, but at Frigga's hearth-fire? Or kitchen to you and me.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just putting too much of a Pagan interpretation on the Mystic Night Ravens. But then again, 'mystic' is a bit of a give away...

Peruvian Spirit Raven Figurines

Both hand-carved from black onyx, you'd be forgiven for thinking that they're exactly the same. But the one on the left is 3" tall, while its neighbor is just an inch and a half.

Made in Peru, these tiny figurines are sold as talismans, or raven charms. They each come with a card explaining their significance in the Shamanic terms.

But I'll give you the preview now. Spirit ravens are all about moving from one place to the next. Not necessarily in geographical terms, but in your own self. They help access the divine. They bring messages that cross realities. They can initiate healing by assisting you at a deep soul level.

Therefore opt for the mini spirit raven statues, if you're looking to transform yourself into someone newly enlightened with self-knowledge. Only suitable for those who dare to face their own truths.

Collectible Resin Ravens for Wild Bird Enthusiasts

Cold cast in resin, this raven sculpture is 6.25" high with a 5" perch.

Just when you thought that every raven ornament was going to hint at dark mythology and mysterious secrets, we get one marketed solely for bird-watchers.

Ornithologists get to revel in the fine detail of the piece, from the crafted feathers down to the lichen on the bench-like bough. It's a very life-like raven decoration for all its smaller size, with a blue-black tinge to the down that's not entirely apparent in the picture.

It looks to me like yet another one by Design Toscano, but it's not listed as such. I'm probably wrong. I'd ask the raven to divulge its origin, but it's not one of the mystical kind. It's for bird-watchers, not witches.

However, after a moment of contemplation, you do wonder what other ravens are in said collection. Then you find them, and muse pointedly on the state of modern ornithology.

It's all gone a bit Edgar Allan Poe. These ravens, perched as they are - not on pleasant natural branches, but on human skulls - look set to quoth 'nevermore' at a moment's notice.

Either that, or they'll turn out to be Morrighan in disguise. The clues are there.

Nevertheless, they are the other pieces in this collection of raven ornaments. Therefore we must assume that they are also for bird-watchers. Let's just note the fact, and silently vow never to creep up on an ornithologist unannounced.

Raven Statues Crafted from Real Animal Materials

I guess it doesn't pay to be too squeamish, when your subject matter is ravens.

But even so, my vegetarian, animal-loving sensibilities shuddered when I surveyed the collection pictured left, then investigated how Furry Wild Life figurines were formed.

It's one step short of taxidermy. In fact, I can't help thinking that it would have been a lot less hassle for the company to simply catch, shoot and stuff real ravens. Except that nobody would buy them, and business comes first.

The Furry Wild Life Animals are fundamentally stuffed like plush toys, but much sturdier than that. They don't say what with.

Their ravens are then covered with dyed chicken feathers to get that realistic look. Each feather being individually fastened into the fabric beneath. (Presumably the chickens didn't need them anymore.)

There's a warning inherent that no two Furry Wild Life raven figurines are alike. As each is individually hand-crafted, it becomes unique by default.

NFL Baltimore Ravens Desktop Statue

Tim Wolfe original sculpture, officially licenced and individually numbered. Alabaster stone and resin, hand-painted with a bronze patina finish, standing 12" tall.

Who said that raven sculptures had to be black?  Or even that they must have some mystical meaning behind their crafting?

Tim Wolfe is famous for his wildlife artistry and he was commissioned by the NFL Baltimore Ravens to make this for sports fans.  Needless to say, it's limited edition. Each piece bears its own number upon the base.

It's naturally exquisite in every detail, unless you happen to not support the Baltimore Ravens. In which case, you must surely recognize art when you see it, even as you cringe at the appropriation of such talent.

Steampunk Raven Sculpture

The Steampunk Raven

It was inevitable that the genre would yield a steampunk raven statue. I'm going to take a wild guess and say that, though not stated, this polyresin beauty was inspired by Poe's poem The Raven.

Steampunk people love Edgar Allan Poe. Don't believe me? Let me prove it. Down below is the trailer for a steampunk animation of The Raven, followed by no less than three steampunk volumes in which Poe either stars or turns up in cameo.

I've barely scratched the surface. This hand-painted steampunk raven is lifted from the world of Edgar Allan Poe. Trust me.

Trailer for the Steampunk Animation The Raven

Crowd funded via Kickstarter, this Big Flood Productions project is chugging full steam ahead. I've been unable to find a release date.

Steampunk Books Featuring Edgar Allan Poe

Put 'steampunk' and 'raven' in the same concept and it has to be Poe. I swear to you. The whole community loves him.
Steampunk: Poe

If you combined clockwork gears, parasols, and air balloons with Edgar Allan Poe, what would you get? Steampunk: Poe! This is the first collection ever of Poe stories illustrate...

View on Amazon

My Clockwork Muse (The Poe Files Mysteries)

A sci-fi/horror/steampunk/mystery mashup. New York City, 1847: A madman is on the loose. Someone is committing murders in the manner of Edgar Allan Poe's t...

View on Amazon

The Map of Time: A Novel

Characters real and imaginary come vividly to life in this whimsical triple play of intertwined plots, in which a skeptical H. G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported i...

View on Amazon

More Articles about Ravens on Wizzley

A conspiracy of ravens is interwoven with the Morrigan mythology like a Celtic knot. But why are these birds so linked with Ireland's darkest deity?
Will Britain fall if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London? Or only the British monarchy? Superstition or not, a captive colony of common ravens live on at the Tower!
Updated: 03/16/2014, JoHarrington
 
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JoHarrington on 03/12/2014

Nelda - Yes! I've seen purchaser pictures where they've done just that. They really would look good like that.

JoHarrington on 03/12/2014

Ember - Awww! That playful raven sounds so cute! I'd love to see the video.

And yay! Your first ravens were really famous ones.

Nelda_Hoxie on 03/12/2014

One of these would be a wonderful part of a sophisticated Halloween display with some primitive witch dolls and forlorn pumpkins.

Ember on 03/12/2014

I actually hadn't paid attention to ravens very much, until I saw this video of a raven playing with a plastic lid on a snow covered slanted roof. It would place the lid down at the top of the slant, hop on the lid, and then sled down the roof. When it got to the bottom, it picked the lid up and took it back to the top to do it again. It was really entertaining to watch, and that's when I was like 'hey, ravens are kind of cool.' XD

The first one, and only, ravens I've seen in person are the one at the Tower of London.

JoHarrington on 03/11/2014

Oh! I meant to include that here, but it slipped my mind. Thank you for the reminder.

frankbeswick on 03/11/2014

Ravens are both beautiful and dangerous. Like all Corvids they are clever and fierce. Also note that in the flood story the first bird released by Noah was the raven. This tale reflects the mysterious status of the raven in mythologies across the world.

JoHarrington on 03/11/2014

I've always thought that ravens were beautiful, until I was at the Tower of London trying to get a picture of one. Then it occurred to me that they're also extremely big and dangerous. :D

So yes, I had the opposite journey to yourself.

Are you going to put your pictures online somewhere? Or upload them into Zazzle?

Mira on 03/11/2014

One winter I photographed lots of ravens and crows on wires. There was snow everywhere, and those birds in the gray sky. Then I spotted a dead raven in the snow. Its feathers looked so amazing in contrast to the white and texture of the snow. It was then that the bird first appeared to me beautiful. I think we've been conditioned to associate black with darker things and death, but there is black in nature, just as there is white and other colors.

JoHarrington on 03/11/2014

They really are gorgeous, aren't they? I have my eye on so many!

younghopes on 03/11/2014

Just Perfect Jo, i have never ever seen such statues before, looks great

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