Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Equus quagga, zebra

photo, Diane Carnevale (taken in Venice, Italy)

Haven't we all been a little enchanted by the zebra since we were little kids? As you can tell by my blog banner I certainly am. The playful red zebra background is wallpaper that is produced by ScalamandrĂ©, and comes in several different colors—love it in the Zanzibar gold!

In red the wallpaper once adorned the walls at an well known Italian restaurant in New York city called Gino's. According to the New York Times, “Mr. [Gino] Circiello was a hunter without the means to pay for an African safari, but he reasoned that he could at least afford zebras on his wallpaper. So he commissioned a friend [Flora ScalamandrĂ©] to design wallpaper depicting leaping zebras pursued by arrows.” How could you not have fun dining next to such delightful walls, even if it is, um, a hunting scene? Sadly Gino's has since closed its doors after 60 decades, but in its day the restaurant was a popular eating spot with visits from notable names such as Frank Sinatra, Ed Sullivan, Marilyn Monroe, Gregory Peck, Jackie O, and Ralph Lauren to name a few.

So what is it about zebra's stripes that make them seem so unusual and otherworldly? Are they white with black stripes, or black with white stripes? (Anamalia experts claim the latter.) I think they are just fun. I snapped the photo of the top zebra, a poster in Venice, last fall, and below are are some more images.

Illustration, Lodolphus

photo, unknown

photo, Tim Lyman

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