1791 – Neverland

Who among us has not wished to at least visit “Neverland”? I dare say it’s a wish that has entered every child’s head, at some point. First introduced as “the Never Never Land” in the theatre play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up by Scottish writer J. M. Barrie, first staged in 1904, it was possibly influenced by “the Never Never”, a contemporary term for outback Australia. It came to be known as “Neverland” in a subsequent 1928 script. Neverland’s best known resident is Peter Pan, who famously refused to grow up, and it is often used as a metaphor for eternal childhood (and childishness), immortality, and escapism.

In this lavish design, we can certainly see the why anyone would want to vacation there. Two lush round tiers, one in a fairly-land shade of lavender, ornamented with hand-drawn artwork in delicate silver. The upper tier is done up in shades of a sandy beach, and supports a pirate’s treasure map, and gold doubloons. The base tier is ringed by fairies galore (they are the primary users of magic in Neverland), and features Tinkerbell, herself. Wendy and Peter are in the process of hiding from Captain Hook, and his henchman Mr. Smee. Also making an appearance is the ever-present crocodile that is responsible for Captain Hook’s missing hand. Outsized and otherworldly exotic leaves decorate the piece, and this homage to J.M. Barrie’s magnum opus is a fabulous birthday design for any child – or anyone who longs to return to the simplicity of childhood.

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