Sock Monkey, Erlander Home new ornaments

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-113459227631576.jpg’, ‘Image provided’, ‘The Erlander Home Rockford Landmark series ornament.’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11345923887980.jpg’, ‘Image provided’, ‘The Sock Monkey Rockford Landmark series ornament.’);

Rockford icon, landmark latest to join Rockford Landmark series of hand-painted ornaments

The Rockford Sock Monkey and Erlander Home Museum have been selected as the new additions to the Rockford Landmark series of hand-painted, collectible ornaments available this year exclusively at J.R. Kortman Center for Design in the downtown River District.

The Sock Monkey ornament is a departure from the landmark buildings; however, it has become a Rockford icon, said Doc Slafkosky, co-owner of J.R. Kortman.

“The sock monkey has historic significance for Rockford, since it is tied to Nelson Knitting Company, a part of our industrial past,” Slafkosky said. “If anything, it’s a landmark in history that is still very much with us today as part of America’s popular culture.”

Three sock monkey images with the monkeys posing “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil” are painted on the ornament. They are available in four background colors: green, blue, orange, and purple.

The Erlander Home Museum, in historic Haight Village near downtown Rockford, was built in 1871 by John and Ingastina Erlander. It was the first brick house built on the east side of Rockford. Today, it is the home of the Swedish Historical Society.

Other ornaments available in the Landmark Collection include “Symbol” sculpture by Alexander Liebermann (the best-selling ornament), “Guardians of the Rock” sculpture by Theresa Agnew, the Beattie Park Gazebo, the Rockford News Tower, the Faust Landmark Building, and the Coronado, N.A.T., and Midway Theater Buildings, Lincoln Middle School, Sinnissippi Bur Oak tree, and Old City Hall.

In addition to the “Erlander Home,” other historic houses in the collection include the newly restored “Wigell-Carlson House” at 1010 N. Second St., the “Limestone Mansion,” home to the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, and the “Cobblestone House,” 2127 Broadway (one of Rockford’s oldest houses), currently occupied by Graham Spencer Advertising.

Two other ornaments were created for Tinker Cottage and Klehm Arboretum and are available at their respective gift shops.

All the Landmark ornament images are individually hand-painted on the inside of a glass sphere, utilizing an ancient Chinese technique originally applied to “snuff” bottles. Each collectible ornament is a miniature work of art. All of the ornaments are priced at $20 each.

Info: contact J.R. Kortman’s at 968-0123.

From the Dec. 14-20, 2005, issue

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