Omersa’s mini menagerie of footstools and decorative objects has an unusually close relationship with Liberty. The first handmade pig was produced in 1927 by a supplier known only as Old Bill, with Dimitri Omersa taking over the company (and adding a few new characters) in 1958. Josie Dale, current director of the company says: “The Liberty customer is looking for something a little different. Our animals are quirky, humorous, long-lasting and of limited availability. I think this endears us to the Liberty customer who is looking for craftsmanship and excellence.”
The Omersa elephant was the first new animal dreamed by by Dimitri Omersa. His long trunk is still stuffed in the same way as it was in the 1950s, using a pointed tool developed especially for this purpose.
All Omersa animals produced between 1958 and the mid 1970s boast a Liberty stamp on their ear, representing their exclusive-to-Liberty status. Although distribution of the Omersa footstools is worldwide these days, they are still handmade in the same way.
Originally a hard sell to Liberty’s sceptical buyers, the rhino became such a successful product it was eventually adopted as Omersa’s company logo.