In my somewhat limited reading today (consisting of a small handful of blogs and the Arts section of the Times--and I haven't yet made it to the puzzle), I came across this gem of a book: Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance. The premise of the book can be found here, but to sum it up, it basically takes a look at 75 objects, tacky as they may be, "that hadn't been over-designed and focus-grouped to death."
I am so putting this on my reading list--as a matter of fact, I may just have to go out and get it tomorrow. Mattio has a glass clown that falls into this category--it's pretty ugly, and has been on his desk since I have known him. We tried putting it in Madeline's room, but she was scared of it, so back onto Mattio's desk it went. I'm not sure what the significance of it is, but there's got to be something there for him to hang on to it for so long. We also have a Dwight Schrutte bobblehead, it's standing right next to the clown. I love Dwight; Mattio gave it to me as an early birthday gift last year, when I was really bumming.
Also, I think all of our TV room furniture falls into this category :)