Created in a captivating blue
August 26, 2019 9:34 AM   Subscribe

William the Hippo at the Met "In 1917, The Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired a small ancient Egyptian faience hippopotamus. Created in a captivating blue, the little hippo quickly won people's hearts. He received his now-famous nickname, William, in 1931."
posted by readinghippo (14 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
So faience required kiln furniture when it was fired 4000 years ago, just as support material is needed for modern 3d printing overhangs.

Cute hippo, tho.
posted by scruss at 9:44 AM on August 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

William! Conversation between Two Hippos! Neat stuff.
posted by Glinn at 10:07 AM on August 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

William! I love William. Although maybe a little less after reading this though.
posted by PussKillian at 10:11 AM on August 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

That hippo is just irresistibly charming.

They sell pricey replicas of William to sucker tourists in the gift shop. Mine sits in the bathroom watching me shower.
posted by AndrewStephens at 10:15 AM on August 26, 2019 [6 favorites]

They sell pricey replicas of William to sucker tourists in the gift shop.

The reviews of Statuette of a Hippopotamus Sculpture are a fun read.
"the replica is sort of smiling, unlike the original."
"I bought a second one to use in my classroom as I didn't want to bring my personal William to school."
posted by readinghippo at 10:21 AM on August 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

Me and William, we go way back, I knew him before he was famous. Despite all the media, and his fancy digs, when he's around friends, he's still just a hippo from the hood.
posted by HappyHippo at 10:34 AM on August 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Behold, the mascot for the RISD museum (not to be confused with their sports mascot, which I won't name here because I'm at work).
posted by pxe2000 at 11:01 AM on August 26, 2019

Awww, thank you for this. I had a plush William when I was growing up.

My mom's best friend works at the Met and used to give me all kinds of cool Egyptian-themed stuff from the gift shop when I was little. I didn't become a historian or join the art world, but I do have a deep love of blue hippos.
posted by marfa, texas at 11:48 AM on August 26, 2019

That is one cute smol hippo.
posted by xingcat at 12:48 PM on August 26, 2019

Well, now I know all about the RISD sports mascot. Wow.
posted by PussKillian at 12:49 PM on August 26, 2019

Apparently ritually breaking off their legs was a thing - that's why William and the RISD hippo look repaired.
posted by scruss at 2:14 PM on August 26, 2019

I know Egyptians liked cats but that is the worst cat.
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 4:57 PM on August 26, 2019 [5 favorites]

The first thing I ever bought by mail was a William (an infinitely higher quality reproduction than the current version) from a coupon in the back pages of The New Yorker. My mother must have helped me, since I doubt I could have mailed $18 in cash. When it arrived it became my most cherished possession; I lived in tornado country, and William was kept with the other emergency items I would rescue if we had to escape quickly. He is sitting about 3 feet away from me right now.
posted by acrasis at 5:51 PM on August 26, 2019 [9 favorites]

We have a William, and when I was little, we had a book about a boy named William who tours the museum with the hippo.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 11:39 AM on August 27, 2019

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