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The Twelve Days of Christmas (1959)

The Konkles’ 1959 Christmas windows featured the entire cast of the classic “Twelve Days of Christmas” carol. Ted said that their inspiration came from an old book of Christmas carols: “My wife was so taken with the quaint illustrations that we both let our imaginations work on the possibility of doing the old English carol.”

Making the words of the carol come alive required extensive research by the Konkles. They discovered that the “four Colly Birds” in the old carol referred to blackbirds, based on its use in ancient Scotland. They added a Canadian touch by making them Red-winged Blackbirds.

They also changed their “three French hens” to black from their original white drawings after seeing some at the Royal Winter Fair. The Globe and Mail reported that “no poultry fancier ever saw as fancy a hen as the three who are bejewelled and wearing ermine neckpieces.”



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Partridge in a Pear Tree conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
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Partridge in a Pear Tree conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0034432

Partridge in a Pear Tree, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
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Partridge in a Pear Tree, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610, Archives of Ontario, I0049571

Two Turtle Doves conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
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Two Turtle Doves conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0034430

Two Turtle Doves and Four Colly Birds, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
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Two Turtle Doves and Four Colly Birds, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0048112

Three French Hens conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle,1959
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Three French Hens conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle,1959
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0034433

Three French Hens, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
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Three French Hens, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0052170

Four Colly Birds conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
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Four Colly Birds conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0034435

Two Turtle Doves and Four Colly Birds, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Click to see a larger image

Two Turtle Doves and Four Colly Birds, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0048112

Five Golden Rings conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
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Five Golden Rings conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0034434

Five Golden Rings, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
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Five Golden Rings, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0052171

Six Geese a-Laying conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
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Six Geese a-Laying conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0034422

Six Geese a-Laying, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
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Six Geese a-Laying, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0052172










Seven Swans a-Swimming conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
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Seven Swans a-Swimming conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0034421

Ted and Eleanor working on swans display, 1959
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Ted and Eleanor working on swans display, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0049574

Seven Swans a-Swimming, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
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Seven Swans a-Swimming, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0049572

Eight Maids a-Milking conceptual drawing by Eleanor Konkle, 1959
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Eight Maids a-Milking conceptual drawing by Eleanor Konkle, 1959
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0034425

Eight Maids a-Milking, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
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Eight Maids a-Milking, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0052173

Nine Ladies Dancing conceptual drawing by Eleanor Konkle, 1959
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Nine Ladies Dancing conceptual drawing by Eleanor Konkle, 1959
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0034412

Nine Ladies Dancing, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
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Nine Ladies Dancing, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0052174

Ten Lords a-Leaping conceptual drawing by Eleanor Konkle, 1959
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Ten Lords a-Leaping conceptual drawing by Eleanor Konkle, 1959
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0034429

Ten Lords a-Leaping, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
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Ten Lords a-Leaping, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0052175

Ted and Eleanor with Eleven Pipers Piping conceptual drawing and figure, 1959
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Ted and Eleanor with Eleven Pipers Piping conceptual drawing and figure, 1959
Colour print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0048116

Eleven Pipers Piping, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
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Eleven Pipers Piping, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0052176

Twelve Drummers Drumming conceptual drawing by Eleanor Konkle, 1959
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Twelve Drummers Drumming conceptual drawing by Eleanor Konkle, 1959
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0034426

Twelve Drummers Drumming, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Click to see a larger image

Twelve Drummers Drumming, Twelve Days of Christmas display, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0052177

Twelve Days of Christmas window display conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
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Twelve Days of Christmas window display conceptual drawing by Ted Konkle, 1959
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0049578

Twelve Days of Christmas display window, 1959
Click to see a larger image

Twelve Days of Christmas display window, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0052178

Twelve Days of Christmas display window, 1959
Click to see a larger image

Twelve Days of Christmas display window, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0052179

Twelve Days of Christmas display window, 1959
Click to see a larger image

Twelve Days of Christmas display window, 1959
Black and white print
Ted and Eleanor Konkle fonds
Reference Code: F 4610
Archives of Ontario, I0052180

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