The special Moomin mug Millennium one of the most popular collector’s items – The history of Moomin mugs by Arabia, part 5


#18 Mug Millennium 1999-2000

In honor of the millennium, Arabia wanted to release a special mug in the late 1999s. Tove Slotte, specialized in designing Arabia’s Moomin mugs, chose the artwork from three original works: Hemulen from Tove Jansson’s picture book Who will comfort Toffle? (1960), Moominhouse from a Christmas calendar painting (1973) and Moomin family from Tove and Lars Jansson’s comic #20 Moomin under Sail (1959). For the Moomin family image, Tove Slotte only replaced the Nibling with Little My copying only the posture.

The illustrations of a winter landscape and snowy Moominhouse are from a Christmas calendar Tove Jansson originally created for Swedish television SVT. In December 1973 SVT aired Christmas calendar tv-series Mumindalen (Moominvalley in Englishalso known as Jul i Mumindalen / Christmas in Moominvalley), written by Tove and Lars Jansson. SVT’s Christmas calendars were also available for purchase as traditional paper calendars with windows to open each day. Instead of a traditional calendar, Moominvalley version illustrated by Tove Jansson had stickers corresponding to each episode of the series. Every day a demonstration was aired to show which sticker to use and where on the calendar to place it. Later the calendars have been made with the same artwork but in a traditional form.

Among the collectors, the Moomin mug Millennium is counted to be part of the special mug series the Christmas greeting mug started. However, unlike the mug Christmas greeting, Millennium mug was only sold for a limited time.

Already for the first Moomin mugs of Teema series Arabia wanted a stamp on the bottom that would be associated with the Moomins. The same image of Moomin with a paint brush has been printed on almost every mug since then, with the exception of a few special stamps. Millennium Moomin mug was the first mug with a special text accompanying the logo.


#19 Mug Snorkmaiden 2001-2012

The natural addition for the character mug series was the mug of Moomintroll’s playmate Snorkmaiden. Although Snorkmaiden resembles Moomins in many ways, she belongs to species called Snorks. One special characteristic of Snorks is that they always change color according to their mood.

The illustrations Tove Slotte chose for the mug insightfully depicts the nature of Snorkmaiden, a little vain and flirtatious. The original artwork can be found from Tove and Lars Jansson’s comics #15 Snorkmaiden goes Rococo (1958) and #20 Moomin under Sail (1959).


#20 Mug Stinky 2001-

The only character mug from the early 2000s that is still in production is the grey Stinky mug. Illustrations for the mug are selected by Tove Slotte from Tove and Lars Jansson’s comic #17 Moomin and the Comet (1958). Stinky, alongside with the Inspector, are the only characters in Arabia’s character mug series that appear only in comics and not in Tove Jansson’s novels.


#21 Sniff 2002-2008

The illustrations for the first Sniff mug are from Tove Jansson’s Moomin novel Comet in Moominland (1946) and a comic strip #2 Moomin and Family Life (1955). Just like for the other characters, Tove Slotte has succeeded in choosing great illustrations for Sniff too, clearly reflecting his personality. For example, Sniff loves all valuable things and gets excited whenever he encounters some. Shiny, sparkly objects, in particular, fascinate him.

Brown Sniff mug is one of the most prestigious character mugs of all time as it was in production only six years and therefore produced slightly fewer than the other mugs. The charming brown Sniff mug was in production until 2008, before the new version of the mug was released.


Featured image, mug bottom and the original illustrations: Moomin Characters
Mugs: Fiskars


Read more:

The history of Moomin mugs by Arabia, part 4 – the first character mug designs weren’t approved for production