Mr. Lamb has been collecting "outsider art" made
from bottle caps for many years. The most peculiar
category of this collection is "Nuts and Butts," a
term Mr. Lamb has coined for figurative constructions
that hold an ashtray in their arms and sport what is
assumed to be a bowl for nuts on their heads. From
the thumbnails below, select the images you wish
to see in more detail.
Many theories have surfaced to explain the origin of these
figures. One dealer recalled a fad of their production in the
late '40s after plans were published in a hobby magazine.
The fad fizzled in about six weeks. Another said that they
were souvenirs of Haiti, which would explain the Black
figures. Some are clearly manufactured, since the collection
has a few near duplicates. Bottle caps dating as late as the
'70s have been found on some. The most thorough and
scholarly research available on these figures is on a
website authored by William Swislow.
Following are some common characteristics of the
figures: Color anodized aluminum bowls and ashtrays;
curtain rod rings for ear and nose rings, thumbtacks for
eyes and buttons; wooden base. For more information on
individual pieces, select from the thumbnails below. If
you have any information regarding the history of these
pieces, or disagree with their gender assignments, please
e-mail Mr. Lamb from the home page.