Crane Mobile by Ting's Gift Shop from 1964, N.O.S.
paper, string, wire
23" x 14" x 5"
Ting’s Gift Shop was founded in 1958 by Tam Ting and continues to operate to this day in its original location in New York City’s Chinatown. Tam Ting became known locally for selling items from all over the world that were both unique and often of limited quantity, many of which were gathered on her travels to Thailand, China, Africa, and Japan, among other places. She would wrap and carry each item back from a given location in her suitcase to be displayed in the eclectic densely populated retail environment, which foregrounded her taste, special properties she saw in each object, and the way she envisioned them living with other things.
In 1964, Tam Ting attended the Worlds Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona, Queens, and encountered a man selling these paper crane mobiles in the park. She purchased all that he had and the item has been a staple item sold in Ting’s ever since. Each crane is made of folded paper, with hand-drawn detailing, and a three dimensional body that is revealed when unfolded. They are all unopened N.O.S. (new old stock). Because of how they were originally packed, the string will require some untangling and also that the mobile wires be straightened. We recommend that the wires be made almost entirely straight to allow the birds to fly most freely.