Sunday, 24 June 2007

Fleas with Shoes

Back in the nineteenth century the King of England wanted to demonstrate the skills of English craftsmen. He had them build a life size model of a flea and sent it to the Czar of Russia. The Czar asked his craftsman to do better and the man returned to the Kremlin with a seemingly identical Flea. "But it's the same flea" exclaimed the Czar. "No, No," protested the craftsman, it has boots on.

Nikita Krushchev Russia's prime minister told this story when he visited England to explain the saying "The Russian craftsman puts on the shoes of the English flea."

Since then, at least two Russian artists have recreated the flea. Nikolai Siadristy from Ukraine showed his at the Warsaw Museum of Technology in 2002 and later in the Museum of the Microminiature in the Lavra Monastery. Anatoly Konenko also created a shod flea and it took him 7 years to do it. Anatoly exhibited his work in Ulyanovsk in 2003.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Great research! This was something I was not aware of (and I am of course a connoisseur of most things flea) I will add it into the miscellany I talk about during my show.