How to Trademark a Face
January 3, 2018 12:44 PM   Subscribe

A charming method for clowns to register their uniquely painted faces. The practice seems to be dying out because of digital photos. However, the convention is still that clowns don't copy each other's "faces."

I'm also appending an older (2014) article about the history of clowns, which seems fairly comprehensive and is nicely illustrated. The Last Laugh
posted by MovableBookLady (12 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
This was a key plot point in a terry pratchett book, the name of which escapes me.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:51 PM on January 3, 2018 [5 favorites]

I knew about this because of the Discworld novels :-)
posted by Pendragon at 12:51 PM on January 3, 2018 [5 favorites]

I think the eggs with faces show up in Men at Arms.
posted by Pendragon at 12:55 PM on January 3, 2018 [7 favorites]

Yes, Men at Arms. "The Sam Vimes" arc in full swing.
posted by mikelieman at 1:05 PM on January 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

Luke Stephenson's book, The Clown Egg Register, seems to be the source of the photos. Interview with Stephenson and co-author Helen Champion.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:06 PM on January 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

In case you are considering the merits of costuming yourself as a clown, please take note of Pick My Nose! You're welcome.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:12 PM on January 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Interesting but still creepy...
posted by jim in austin at 1:27 PM on January 3, 2018

It is heartwarming to see that most of these clowns can still smile after having their arms and legs removed.
posted by blakewest at 2:48 PM on January 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

What happens when they hatch?
posted by lagomorphius at 6:35 PM on January 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

I cannot swear to this, because I did a lot of drugs in the 80s, but I am almost positive that Ringling has a massive collection of clown eggs too. I did a summer camp thing at the clown college in Florida, and vividly remember seeing a wall of these. I suppose it could just be part of the nightmares though. (Clowns. Why did it have to be clowns?)
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:17 PM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

These are fascinating and interesting.
It’s also a little bit sad that the practice of painting eggs (chicken or ceramic) already assumes a default skin color / race (light-skinned / white) for each clown.
posted by suedehead at 10:28 PM on January 3, 2018

Clown eggs are kept at only a handful of locations around the world. In the UK, there are two collections—one located at Wookey Hole in Somerset, and the other located at the Holy Trinity Church in Dalston. Wookey Hole contains the bulk of the collection—some 200 in number—including 40 of the original eggs painted by Stan Bult. Both collections are open to public.

Wookey Hole.

Also the site of the infamous 2006 mangling of Elvis Presley’s teddy bear by a guard dog.

True story.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:12 AM on January 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

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