Dana Byerly's

Digital Junk Drawer

Tale of the tiger

Now that The Lady is enjoying The Sopranos Biennial I want to take a moment to brag about share one of my prize possessions. My Sopranos prop sale vintage wood lacquered tiger plaque.

A vintage wood lacquered tiger plaque with wavy edges hangs on a wall beside a large snake plant.

The final episode of The Sopranos aired on June 10, 2007. Not long after a giant prop sale was announced. At the time I was working only a few blocks from the location. On the first day several colleagues and I gleefully wandered over, not knowing what to expect.

The warehouse was huge. And full. Every little knickknack, tsotchke, and doodad used a scene seemed to be there. Imagine all the stuff from every scene in The Sopranos strewn throughout a giant warehouse. It was a little overwhelming.

After wandering around in a daze looking at all the stuff, I finally found my item. And it was only a few bucks! I didn’t recognize it from the show but it didn’t matter, it was glorious. The Thrift Store Aesthetic features heavily in my home decor, and this piece fit right in.

The Lady didn’t recognize it from the show either, but we knew eventually we’d spot it somewhere. Was it in the backroom at the Bing? In someone’s house? In the office at Satriale’s? At a bar? Only time would tell.

Several years later I was rewatching the series, hopeful that I would catch a glimpse of the tiger. As the show went on I was losing hope that it had been used in a scene. And then finally, in season 6 part 2, the fifth episode from the series end, it appeared.

A still from The Sopranos with Little Paulie sitting a table, he's looking to his right with a smile as if he sees someone he knows. Behind him on the wall is a vintage wood lacquered tiger plague.
Little Paulie with the tiger.

Spoiler alert

In Walk Like a Man (episode 82) Paulie sends his nephew (first cousin once removed), Little Paulie, to break into Christopher’s father-in-law’s hardware store to steal some items for resale. Christopher confronted Paulie, and took it up with Tony, but couldn’t get any compensation for the theft. Then Little Paulie did it again! Christopher took matters into his own hands…

Warning: violence

Christopher barges into a poker game and throws Little Paulie out the window.

The tiger is on the wall to the left of the window, nicely placed within the picture frame wall molding. It has a similar placement in my current apartment.

A white cat with tabby spots sits on a side table beside a large snake plant. There is a vintage wood lacquered tiger plaque on the wall to the left of a window.
Two cats lay on a bed staring at the camera. Behind them is a side table with a large snake plant, on the wall is a vintage wood lacquered tiger plague.
Good thing these two don’t play poker.

I would love my Sopranos tiger plaque if even it didn’t have such a fabulous provenance, but having a piece of The Sopranos history makes me feel like an interior decorator. Even if my house looks like shit.

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