This is one of the first gondola-shaped things I bought. I lives in the bedroom, not with the other gondola stuff in the living room, so I forgot about adding it to this series!
I found it in an antique store on Magazine Street in New Orleans. (Have you even gone antique shopping after having a couple margaritas? I’d recommend trying it at least once.) When I bought it, it still had some dirt in it, so I imagined it was a plant holder. I tried growing a couple plants in it, but they always died. So you can see that I now use it for incense.
But what is up with that gondolier? Clearly whoever made this had never ridden in an actual gondola. If the gondolier sat up against the ferro like this, the boat would tip right into the water! The ferro is quite heavy (ferro means iron) and is meant to offset the weight of the gondolier at the back of the boat. Gondola designs changed in the 1800s when most wealthy nobles needed to save money and went from two gondoliers to one, or did away with their private gondolas altogether.