LaGardo Tackett — 1958 ‘egghead’ condom holder is just one witty chapter in an amazing career

LaGardo Tackett Think egghead - furnitureloungeHere’s a wonderful vintage oddity — a woddity — that I learned about yesterday: The witty “egghead” ceramics designed by LaGardo Tackett and marketed by Playboy and Esquire magazines as bedside storage for condoms back in the swinging 60s. A witty woddity: An egg. To hold condoms. Get it? And “Think”, before you… err, leap, I guess. Of course, a vintage find that had me at first giggling, quickly led me on a little journey of exploration: LaGardo Tackett was a talented and influential designer, and I was able to find an AMAZING article about his life.

lagardo tackett egghead bottom

Many thanks to Scott of furniturelounge on ebay for permission to use his photos

This “Think” egghead design — which looks to be the wittiest of the series of egghead designs — showed up in my ebay search yesterday morning. By the time I cleared my screen and went back to research it, it had sold — almost immediately — for the Buy It Now prices of $425. I called seller Scott of furniturelounge in St. Joseph, Illinois, to find out more and to get permission to use his photos. He said he found this Tackett Think egghead at an antique store. I forgot to ask him if he wished he’d set the price higher — I bet he does!

LaGardo Tackett 1958 egg shaped condom canister "Think"

On my big monitor, this is pretty much actual size -- 9" tall

LaGardo Tackett biographical story

I am in love with this story in Connecticut Explored about LaGardo and Virginia Tackett and their life - click photo to get to full story

Tackett — who was known as “Tack” — and his wife Virginia — who was a very involved partner in his work — spent the last 20+ years of their life in Connecticut. It’s in a recent issue of Connecticut Explored magazine that I found this wonderful story describing his and work by F. Peter Swanson, M.D.

Tackett was born in Henderson, Kentucky, in 1911. His first career was at May Co. in New York, and just before World War II, he headed out to their California offices. He did not begin studying and creating ceramics until around 1946 — by then he was well into his 30s. He had an eye for the field, and for the time, it seems, because his work took off quickly. He was an early discovery of the couple that created the firm Architectural Pottery. His works were used to accessorize the famous Case Study houses, and showcased at the Museum of Modern Art in 1951. Interestingly, Tackett was especially fond of the evolution of cooking and eating utensils. This led to a plethora of designs for food preparation and serving, including gorgeous coffee sets. When you’re on ebay (below), be sure to look at his cookie jars! Me want coooookie jar.

LaGardo Tackett on ebay — be sure to check Completed Searches, too, to see other eggheads:


As part of the Tacketts’ entrepreneurial journey, they also spent several years living in Japan. Tack shifted even more solidly to focus on design (rather than doing his own firing) and also on porcelain, rather than ceramics. Tackett’s designs for Architectural Pottery are so enduring that you can still buy many of them today from Vessel USA — more Made in America products in production since the 1950s — woot!

Seriously, though… I am barely skimming the surface. Please read Dr. Swanson’s story (links above)– it’s really quite informative, uplifting even. I really would love to have met Tack and Virginia LaGardo.

Thank you, Scotty / furniturelounge, for sharing the egghead photos
Check out Scott’s finds from in and around St. Joseph, Illinois, below.

Be-Safe-graphic2.3

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Comments

  1. Ann says

    Funny you should mention this now. There are a number of LaGardo Tackett items up for auction soon at LA Modern Auctions next month. I think this link will take you to those items: http://lamodern.auctionserver.net/view-auctions/catalog/id/7/?page=1&key=tackett&cat=&xclosed=no

    I have no affiliation with the auction house, but did attend their last auction which was a really interesting and fun experience. Right now they are taking advantage of the Pacific Standard Time coordinated exhibitions to sell California Modern items. Some of the items we recently saw at the exhibit at LACMA will be in the auction (I don’t know if they are the exact same items, but maybe another copy of the items.) Anyway, the whole catalog is blast to browse.

  2. says

    Those egg heads have been hot for a while. The buyer got a good price. I spy the last one on a Gordon Martz Marhall Studios tile table. Another MCM made in America story for ya, Pam.

    • Deb says

      Thanks to this post I have finally figured out who the manufacturer of our walnut, ceramic tiled coffee table is. It looks like we have a Marshall Studios custom tile table. We inherited it a couple years ago and have been trying to figure out the mystery ever since. It’s a beauty and we love it.

  3. says

    “Miniature Model Home Replica Mid Century Modern Frank Lloyd Wright – $40”

    I’m not sure what story this fits with, but I thought oddities might be the right place. This is something on Craigslist I was amazed at…I can’t justify purchasing it but thought one of you wonderful people would. If the link doesn’t show here it is again:

    http://columbus.craigslist.org/clt/2691344610.html

  4. Kristin says

    Hey. Thanks for the article. I have one of these. The “happy?” one. I bought it for $20 on eBay several years ago. Evidently, neither the seller nor I had any idea what it was! I never sell anything, but I’m totally selling this! That’ll buy a lot of Pyrex! Anybody have any thoughts where else to sell this besides ebay? I get tired of all the fees! Thanks again.

  5. Arick says

    Hi! I was doing research on this art piece. My grandmother had me look up what this egghead, that she had bought at a garage sale.

    The one she owns has a fly on the nose of the face. Is there any other information on this set? And worth?

        • Leah Smirlis says

          I have 11 of the eggheads! Some are duplicates but there were 2 sizes made. So my doubles are in different sizes. Happy?, whydon’tyoushutup? sex on the brain, etu brute, fly on the nose, rose in the mouth, what agin tonight? think, and i believe those are all the different designs. but I have never found out –if there are more designs-every different face i have seen–i have—any answer to that? thank you–and i love them!

  6. Steve Sullivan says

    Thanks for posting the article.
    Several years the THINK egghead caught my eye at an huge antiques show. I talked myself out of buying it but my girlfriend at the time got it and gave it to me as a surprise. I didn’t know its origins for a long time, but after I learned the history, I started buying eggheads whenever I found them. I have all 8 now. Pretty sure that’s the entire set, though I think some come in two different sizes.

  7. jessie mcgrath says

    hi i live in australia and i was woundering if there was any were i can sell my tackett egghead (fly on the nose) biside ebay.

    thank you

  8. says

    Wow! I don’t remember this post! I have an entire set of the white dishes that my mom got in the late 50’s early 60’s. Plus a few other green and white pieces. I have had a hard time finding out about him. Thank you fot posting this article!!!!!

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