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Peter Smith - Impossimals

Arctic Cordillera Mountains, 1880

Limited Edition Canvas on Board of 95
Image Size 21" x 26"
Framed £595.00

In 1791, Charles journeyed to the Arctic Cordillera mountains to find the fabled Unicone – a cross between a French Fancy Filly and a Four Legged Frump. His journey was successful when, emerging from his tent after a particularly harsh storm, spotted many creatures dancing on the highest peaks of the mountain.

They were the most charming beasts Charles had ever seen. A cross between a French Fancy Filly and a Four Legged Frump, they had a purple tail, dinky flowers around their back legs an intricate spiralled horn and piercing eyes.

Charles witnessed the Unicones placing their crystal tipped horn into a sweet looking pool to create a cone-shaped object which they used to scoop up the multitudes of ice cream that dotted the mountain.

Once back in London, Charles contacted his friend, Italo Marchiony. Italo was an ice-cream vendor who had always struggled with the traditional glass containers in which he sold his ice-cream because of breakages, theft and having to keep them clean.

When Charles showed him to painting he had created to document what he had seen up in the cold mountains of the Arctic, Italo was overjoyed; the Unicone’s solution to eating ice-cream was just what he had been looking for.

It took many years of experimentation (with some very memorable disasters) until a breakthrough that allowed edible cups with flat bottoms and tapered sides to be produced. By this time though, Italo had left London and moved to New York. By 1896 Italo Marchiony had 40 push cart vendors selling ice cream in his edible containers; in 1903 he obtained a patent for a machine to make the containers.


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