Offering fans the chance to enjoy Tove Jansson’s original illustrations in as many new forms as possible, the Moomin Museum has joined forces with the Arabia design company to produce the world’s first Moominvalley art mug. The classic Arabia Teema mug features a near-exact copy of Jansson’s original illustration for Finn Family Moomintroll. The original gouache (dimensions 12.2 cm x 42.4 cm) is preserved in the collections of the Tampere Art Museum.
The illustration first appeared in 1968 on the cover of Moumine le Troll, the French version of Finn Family Moomintroll, which was first published in Swedish in 1948 under the title Trollkarlens hatt (The Magician’s Hat), followed by the English translation in 1950. The story relates how Moomintroll, Sniff and Snufkin discover a hat that magically transforms everything placed inside it – including the main protagonist, Moomintroll – setting off a chain of mystifying events in Moominvalley. The book also introduces the characters Thimgumy and Bob, the alter-egos of Jansson and her then lover, Vivica Bandler. The pair is chased by the fearsome Groke, who covets the precious ruby in their suitcase, a symbol of their forbidden love. The enchanting wonderland portrayed in the painting is packed with many characters familiar from later Moomin novels, but the colourful panorama is also a veiled symbolic portrayal of key events in Jansson’s life up to that point.
The Moominvalley art mug will be available for presale exclusively at the Tampere Hall Shop for one week from 9 May, after which it will be sold through authorized Arabia retailers.