Sad Stuffed Animals and Plush of the Dead

Ernie, Sans Bert © Asher's Toy Box
Ernie, Sans Bert © Asher’s Toy Box

I don’t know about you, but the sight of sad stuffed animals left outside to weather the elements on their own produces in me a very specific sense of melancholy. I wonder what became of the child to whom the toy belonged, and sometimes I pause to casually document them. A proper photographer, Asher, has created a body of work that speaks to this. Toy Box is a collection of “the softer things left upon the graves of the young.”

G is for Grave © Asher's Toy Box
G is for Grave © Asher’s Toy Box

Ash tells my friends at Atlas Obscura:

We often overlook the small things. About 2 years ago I began to focus on rather small memento mori that were left to decay on the graves of children. A rare thing, I find a stuffed toy or doll on one grave in approximately every five graveyards. These exotic and delicate bits of moldy innocence tell a lifetime’s worth of stories in one simple moment.

It’s true. Many an artist tries his/her hand at re-creating the effects of decay, but moisture-filled beady eye socket for moisture-filled beady eye socket, Mother Nature still does it best.

Disney Dreaming © Asher's Toy Box
Disney Dreaming © Asher’s Toy Box

There are much, much sadder, decaying-er images here. Most of the photos are available as prints (16″ x 9″ for $40 and 23″ x 13″ for $60). You can also buy a set of 5 postcards from the series for $5. (“Wish you were here…?”) Check out Asher’s shop for availability.

[UPDATE! Ernie’s missing Bert found by SupahCute!]

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