Porcupine - Terracotta Replica of Freud's Metal Figurine by Martha Todd


Exclusive to the Freud Museum, a unique replica of the metal figurine that sits on Sigmund Freud's desk.

When Freud was planning to visit the United States in 1909, he announced that he was going to America in the hope of seeing a wild porcupine and to give some lectures. The phrase ‘to find one’s own porcupine’ became recognised in Freud’s circle as referring to a process of deflecting one’s attention from an anxiety inducing task (giving the lectures in America) by concentrating on a subsidiary goal (the search for the porcupine).

Before leaving the United States, Freud was presented with a bronze porcupine by neurologist James Putnam, which now sits in a prominent position on the right-hand side of his desk, surrounded by his ashtrays.

The figure of the porcupine also occurs in Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego(1921) where Freud refers to Schopenhauer’s ‘famous simile of the frozen porcupines’, in order to help understand the ambivalence inherent in human relationships.

Martha's Todd interpretation of Freud’s Porcupine is press-moulded in black clay with antiqued copped wire, from her original hand-sculpted clay model.


Length: 25cm
Height: 13cm
Width: 17cm
Weight: 484g

All busts are individually made and will vary slightly.

Packed in a black gift box and comes with an info sheet. 

More busts and replicas >

Martha Todd RCA MA is an artist working from her studio in North London. Her work is often conceptual and normally involves sculpting figurative forms, both human and animal. She makes work for exhibitions and on commission.

Read more about our partnership with Martha here. 

Martha's Website

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