Kitsch and curios

These days, marketing has taken over the image of one of the most charismatic figures of all time, turning him into something that is the opposite of what he was, in order to increase sales through irreverence and humour. And even though it is all proof of our interest and his popularity, we should still apologise to Beethoven!

Of the many trivial, mass-produced, low-cost gadgets created today, the examples we have chosen stand out for their outrageousness and originality, but also for their singularity. A “limp” latex Beethoven with mouth agape that can hold all sorts of objects. A bust of Beethoven smoking and coughing, including ashtray. A (musical) bottle that plays the Fifth Symphony when whisky is poured from it… an incentive either to drink or to listen! A solar-powered Beethoven that waves his conducting baton in sunlight. Beethoven the acrobat, twirling through the air, actuated by an ingenious mechanism. An articulated Beethoven doll, ready to be placed on a cut-out-and-assemble piano stool, before the score of the Sonata Pathétique…

Closing this whacky, strictly US-derived selection is an artistic provocation by Andy Warhol: a hot water bottle that Beethoven would have loved using to soothe his frequent stomach aches!