Friday, January 28, 2011

The Rest of the Story

Who would have guessed that “the flamingo” pictured in my previous post, “F” is for…, has a connection to The Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas? ….or does it???

According to, the elegant flamingo figurine was made especially for the opening of The Flamingo Hotel in December of 1946. Supposedly, the figurine was handpicked by Siegel to be given as a gift to all the VIPs and celebrities that attended the hotel opening. The story is further told that maybe only 200 were made and many were left or broken that night leaving only about 100 in existence today. How true this is, I can’t further verify; however, a Will-George flamingo has just been listed on Ebay that is marked Flamingo Hotel on the bottom. Perhaps some of the flamingos were commissioned and stamped specifically for the hotel’s grand opening while others were standard issue. Mine is not marked Flamingo Hotel… hoo!

What I do know is that the flamingo was made by The Will-George Company of Pasadena. Will-George was founded in 1943 by brothers William and George Climes in William’s Los Angeles garage. They manufactured high-quality porcelain artware and in the late 1930s, their work caught the attention of actor Edgar Bergen (Candace Bergen’s father) who was so impressed that he began to finance their business. With this new backing, they moved their business to a larger facility in Pasadena where they produced an extensive line of art pottery and became known for their bird, animal, and human figurines that directly competed with lines made by Royal Doulton.

My flamingo is part of an elegant 4-piece set that includes a “pond” center bowl and two “reed” candleholders.

Will-George also manufactured several coordinating flamingos in other poses. Click here to see pictures....Be sure to scroll down.

So the next time you see a flamingo figurine, check out the mark on the bottom.…you just might be holding a piece of Las Vegas history!

Linda at A La Carte loves flamingos, so I’m going to fly over to Junkin’ Finds Friday.

I'll also be linking to Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground.


  1. Now, how cool is that? I just love it when you find out the rest of the story on something you may have!
    Thanks for the share!
    Hugs- Tete

  2. Looks like it pays to do your homework. Great history to that piece!

    Have a great weekend! I'm ready :) Michelle

  3. It's always so exciting to find out some history behind an item! This flamingo is wonderful! What a treasure! ♥

  4. I love that flamingo! It would be so cool if it was from the opening of the Flamingo hotel! Loved the 'rest of the story'. Thanks for joining JFF this week. Hugs, Linda

  5. That flamingo is simply gorgeous, and how wonderful that you have the 4-piece set.

  6. Oh how I wish I had the rest of the set! Maybe I should have stated that better!!!

  7. What a fabulous piece of history, an amazing story, and a real beauty. Thanks so much for linking up for VIF!

  8. I love your blog. Just found it on Common Ground link. The pink flamingo tidbit is very interesting. I have a gal pal that collects vintage flamingos; I will pass this info on to her....Please visit my blog at Please leave a comment and follow. Have a "Flamingo Kinda Day!"


Your comments make me smile....!!!