Odd Find: Jonah & Jake

Here’s another really strange discovery from one of our procuring adventures.

Let’s start with the easy part: it’s a chalkware, um… head, heads, bust, bursts? Okay, not so easy. It’s a double-ended caricature about 6 inches tall and weighs about three pounds. One way up it reads Jonah with a smiley face. Flip it over and we have somber Jake. On the back is engraved: PAT PEND TRADE MARK JONAH AND JAKE. Not much to go on.

What the hell it’s for is beyond me.

It’s obviously been around the block, judging from the chips and scratches. There’s a tiny pinhole below Jonah’s nose, but it doesn’t appear to be intentional. After some late-night tag team googling we came up with an “instruction sheet” for what they called the Twin Stooges:

Jonah and Jake
Your twin stooges
When hexed 25 hours a day with priorities, taxes, OPM, SPAB, ABC, DEF, jinx… and feeling blah… 
Just turn Jonah over… and all’s Jake!

So…. right. That was a great start. I also found these appear to originate in the 1940s and are often related to War Bond promotions. That fits with the my wild guess on vintage. Also note the reference to OPM, in the Army that means Office of Personnel Management. Apparently at one time “Jake” was a term for AOK, or everything’s fine. It’s all Jake with me.

Who knew?

But that’s about all we know. To see more of this curious ceramic and other oddities check out our eBay Store.

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