This is the small gold monkey I gave Giuseppe for his 50th birthday. He doesn’t normally wear gold – he prefers silver – but the monkey comes from the same people (Pomellato) as a similarly minute camel (they’re more or less the size of a thumbnail), given to me by Giuseppe some years ago. Animal symbolism is problematic at the best of times, but Giuseppe does have a mischievous streak and you already know about my camel thing. The alternative was a flamingo because he paints flamingoes, but I love the way the monkey genuinely hangs from the ring, just the way a monkey would.
Pomellato does a whole series of small gold animals in a range they call their Dodo collection; you can just see the silhouette of a dodo on the monkey’s chest. Part of the cost is donated to WWF, so they’re not just pretty, but marginally useful. Well, maybe.
If you believe that the soul weighs 21 grams (and, of course, I don’t, but still), it would take seven monkeys like this to make a soul.