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Gothic Ornaments & Figurines (Nemesis Now)

Ornaments and figurines aren't just the rosy-cheeked, pastel-coloured porcelain statues you see on the Antiques Roadshow. There are plenty of modern decorative items which would suit a dark home perfectly. Nemesis Now has a huge range to choose from.

Nemesis Now is a UK-based wholesaler of fantasy and gothic items, established in 2003. They sell internationally to retailers rather than individuals, and their products are stocked by many other businesses. Their range includes statues, drinking vessels, homeware and giftware. They have developed licensed brand merchandise (e.g. Game of Thrones) and artist collections (e.g. Anne Stokes) as well their own designs. Common subjects are dragons, fairies and skeletons; common themes are medieval, paganism, the supernatural and the occult.

My husband and I have owned a couple of Nemesis Now's Steampunk-themed items for a while. When we got married we bought a chunky multi-barrel gun on a stand. We had a Steampunk style wedding - Steampunk being quirky and close enough to Victorian Gothic aesthetics to keep us happy, but without the inherent darkness that would make our families uncomfortable - and the gun served as a prop on the day. I think we still have it in storage somewhere. More recently, we were thoughtfully gifted a Nemesis Now skeleton figurine; its Steampunk attire resembles my husband's wedding outfit.

I recently bought four Nemesis Now ornaments:

  • Haunting Visage, a shrouded skeletal figure about 30cm tall
  • Darkness Resides, a 23cm seated Reaper figure, designed to overhang a shelf
  • Edgar's Raven Skull, a 21cm raven skull inscribed with cursive text from Poe's famous poem
  • Decadent Death Decanter, a 26cm bottle with a skull design

The first three are cast in resin, with a stone-like appearance, while the bottle is ceramic. The skeletal figure and the Reaper are part of Nemesis Now's budget range - Alator Giftware - and although they lack the weight of the raven skull, they seem like quality figurines to me, and I'm very happy with them. None of the pieces I bought were particularly expensive; the total amount I spent was under £60.

The ornaments I chose don't have the playfulness which characterises many of Nemesis Now's figurines. The shrouded skeletal figure and the Reaper especially have a sepulchral look. They make me think of the magnificent statues that adorn some tombs around the world: sombre, beautiful, disturbing. They evoke a little of the feeling of Rodin's Gates of Hell (as seen at Musée Rodin, Paris, France). The raven skull has its literary and intellectual inspiration which makes it the perfect piece for a study or bookshelf. I prefer the seriousness of these pieces over more jovial ones, but it's entirely a matter of personal taste. Nemesis Now has plenty of ornaments to explore. They make great talking points and they won't cost you a fortune.

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