Rather more disturbing…

Salvador Dal, Lobster Telephone

Salvador Dalí, Téléphone-Homard, 1936.

You think Dalí’s Lobster Telephone, the Surrealist icon par excellence – a thousand times reproduced, its potential to surprise and unsettle inevitably fading – is boring? You’re absolutely right. Compared to the other telephone versions Dalí envisioned, it’s deadly boring.

Dalí had ideas for other telephones, such as an Aphrodisiac Telephone that would be mounted on the back of a live turtle; the Edgar Allan Poe Telephone would have been rather more disturbing, covered with the black noses of black dogs and, inside the receiver, a dead rat wrapped in black thread and a black stocking – the whole thing drenched in Indian ink; the Böcklin Telephone, to be installed in a cypress tree, would have been decorated with an allegorical depiction of death engraved in silver. A final bizarre proposal was for a sable-covered telephone for the boudoir of a siren, with ermine to protect the nails.

Quoted from Ghislaine Wood (ed.), Surreal Things, catalogue to the Surrealism and Design exhibition at the V&A in London. Hurry – tomorrow is the last opportunity to catch it.

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