Live greenery indoors is also an element of the growing Maximalism interior decoration style, a style which emphasizes joy, comfort, personal interests, and familiarity. Both houseplants and Merry Mushrooms fit cozily into this reemerging style as they both lend personality, color, and, in some cases, nostalgia, to our homes.
Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, our favorite mushrooms appear on several indoor plant items: three different hanging planters (two mushroom-shaped and one egg-shaped), one planter/saucer, a plant spike/water dispenser, mist sprayer, a sprinkling/watering can, and even a miniature planter and saucer. One could argue the indoor/outdoor thermometer is also plant-related.
It wasn't until early 2020 when researching for the private project which then turned into the book, "A Collector's Guide to Merry Mushrooms," that the true identity of this item was discovered hidden away in an old Sears and Roebuck catalog.
There it is! Number 13 in the 1976 Wish Book, called Plant Tool Kit. It also appeared in the 1977 Spring Summer Catalog. The three tools were original and my weird little item was part of the Merry Mushrooms collection!
The plant tool holder is made out of white hardwood and has a curved top. Three holes are drilled into the top edge of the curved top for holding the tools. On the front is the Merry Mushrooms decal and the back is plain white. The three-piece silver-colored metal tool set includes: shovel, rake, and spade.
The holder without tools stands 3-1/4" tall at the highest point and is 11/16" wide. The base is 3-1/8" long, 1-1/2" wide, and 3/8" high. The height with the tools varies depending on which tools are where. When placed in the order shown below, it stands 5-1/2" to the highest point, the tip of the spade (narrow shovel)
Looking at the bottom for the first time in at least a year, I was pleasantly surprised to find both gold stickers were still there. The larger one reads, "© Sears, Roebuck and Co., 1976," and the smaller "MADE IN JAPAN."
Since the tools are not marked stainless steel and there all have a very minor amount of corrosion/rust, they might be made of a ferrous metal like carbon or alloy steel and coated in nickel. Only the shovel and spade are stamped "JAPAN" on their respective backs; the rake has no marks.
The spade is 4-3/8" long and 11/16" wide. The rake is 3" long and 1-5/8" wide. The shovel is 5" long and 1-9/16" wide.
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