Share your favorites on Show & Tell


In Mid-Century Modern > Show & Tell and Figurines > Show & Tell.
Mid-Century Modern1955 of 2683B&B - SWEDEN Cleo Hartwig "Dove" Sculpture - Foundry Stone - Very Heavy!
Love it
Like it

miKKoChristmas11miKKoChristmas11 loves this.
clay.ladyclay.lady loves this.
Nordicman32Nordicman32 loves this.
tom61375tom61375 loves this.
sarahoffsarahoff loves this.
aghcollectaghcollect loves this.
BudekBudek loves this.
inkyinky loves this.
JustanoviceJustanovice loves this.
peteypetey loves this.
fhrjr2fhrjr2 loves this.
geo26egeo26e loves this.
gargoylecollectorgargoylecollector loves this.
BootsonBootson loves this.
nldionnenldionne loves this.
toracattoracat loves this.
mikelv85mikelv85 loves this.
walksoftlywalksoftly loves this.
DrFluffyDrFluffy loves this.
SEAN68SEAN68 loves this.
kerry10456kerry10456 loves this.
Moonstonelover21Moonstonelover21 loves this.
AmberRoseAmberRose loves this.
pickrknowspickrknows loves this.
ManikinManikin loves this.
See 24 more
Add to collection

Please create an account, or Log in here

If you don't have an account, create one here.

Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

Posted 4 years ago


(675 items)

A week ago I found a little boy in a billy-cart and at the same shop a little Pessimist. The scruffy haired lad was on a shelf hidden away but the look in his eyes grabbed my attention. I couldn’t do anything but take him away from all of that rubbish. He needed rescuing. There was hope!

He was a vintage example as you can see by the condition of the rope arms. The rope arms are flexible and can be changed in position by taking his head off and on. I have decided to keep him in this position rather than disturbing the posture and the feel of the piece.

I have been aware of these little sculptures for years but have never come across a Pessimist by Hans Bølling before. The ticket price was $2 and the deal was made.

There are re-editions being made these day. Therein lies a problem for me. This little guy does not have an impressed mark. His eyes are painted on. The new ones are inlaid with ebony and maple.

Is he original or is he a copy?
Perhaps I have become the pessimist?

Is there someone out there who can give me more information?

The Optimist and the Pessimist were designed in 1963.
They were originally made by Torben Ørskov & Co.

Both are slightly different. The optimist has a slash of a smile cut into his face. The pessimist has those pursed lips …. or is he whistling?

He and his missing friend were inspired by the personalities of two colleagues.

“When one looks at the pair however, it is through subtle differences in facial expression and posture that they their personalities.
Both the Optimist and Pessimist can express much more positivity or negativity. The Pessimist slumps with sad eyes, while the Optimist has a big smile on his face. At the same time, however, both have flexible arms that can be placed above their heads in exclamation of happiness or surprise.


Hans Bølling was born in Braband in 1931. He established his own workshop in 1955 and was later educated at the School of Architecture at Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Since then, Bølling has enjoyed great success as an architect and he has designed everything from small dolls to villas, apartment complexes and town halls.

The Optimist and Pessimist are handmade in teak wood and their hair is made out of rabbit fur. Their arms are made out of thinly spun cotton with copper wires inside. Their eyes are made out of maple wood and ebony.

Height: 13cm"

Ørskov & Co.
"In 1953 Torben Ørskov established the company of Ørskov & Co. and opened the first of a total of 5 retail outlets. From the very beginning the philosophy was clear, namely to design and produce functional and aesthetic articles at a reasonable price. The ideas of the post-war period were to prepare the way for an interest in buying articles to brighten up the homes. Ørskov & Co. have always cooperated with most of the well established designers in Denmark. Over the years a vast number of exciting and at times pioneer designs have been made, which have continued to be a source of inspiration for many. The articles have also become very popular abroad and the result has been contacts and cooperation with design shops and design museums worldwide."

Unsolved Mystery

Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.


  1. AmberRose AmberRose, 4 years ago
    V, what is so funny is that I found the Japanese version this week. I ran and got it just to compare. Interesting. I will try to do a quickie post, right after I put the kiddos to bed.
  2. Moonstonelover21 Moonstonelover21, 4 years ago
    Amber, he reminds me of an Ex.....very cool piece!!!
  3. SEAN68 SEAN68, 4 years ago
    Just stunning:) hes very cute! how are you today Kevin?
  4. DrFluffy DrFluffy, 4 years ago
    He is SO Cute...
  5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Manu thanks everyone for the LOVES and COMMENTS: walksoftly, Nadia & DrFluffy, SEAN, kerry10456, Moonstonelover21, AmberRose, pickrknows and Manikin too!
  6. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks MIKELV & DON too!
  7. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks nlDIONNE!
  8. nldionne nldionne, 4 years ago
    You are welcome Vetraio
  9. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks CZECHMAN!
  10. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks BOOTSON, GARGOYLE, GEO. & PHIL!
  11. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 4 years ago
    I have to give this a love...........I call that a mother in law nose.
  12. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks FHRJR2!
  13. Justanovice Justanovice, 4 years ago
    Never seen this little guy before or know anything about him. So again, an education for me from you vetraio! I love the way you go all out with as much information as you can muster!! Thank you!!:)
  14. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks PETEY & JUSTANOVICE for your kind comments too.
  15. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks INKY!
  16. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks LEAH!
  17. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks TONINO!
  18. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks JAYHOW!
  19. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks AGHCOLLECT!
  20. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks SARAHHOFF!
  21. artislove artislove, 4 years ago
    it is easyer to recognize the architects work than the person self, by the way somewhere between comments i read you quit cw? before you do must thank you again and will struggle finding a guru that measures up!!! together with the question;why?.... sob sob
  22. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Me! Blind! Guffaw Macaw! Artislove who is leaving CW?
  23. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks TOM3675!
  24. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
  25. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks NORDICMAN!
  26. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks CLAY.LADY!
  27. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Thanks MIkkO!

Want to post a comment?

Create an account or login in order to post a comment.