This creative collection post is one for the real antique lovers!
These conical shaped candle extinguishers are often misnamed snuffers, but they’re more accurately called candle dowsers. Snuffers have a scissor action and are designed to remove burnt wick (or snuff).
We got the majority of them in one bulk purchase. It was a rather impulsive buy, but we fell in love with them when viewing an auction at Wilkinson’s, a really wonderful saleroom in Doncaster. It’s usually the country furniture and period oak that we make the trip to see, so twenty antique candle dowsers wasn’t really on our list!
But they made such a lovely display with the variation in style, size & material. There are some exquisite pieces here, dating back hundreds of years – brass, pewter, bronze and silver examples. We love the craftsmanship – and the real connection with history.
Having bought something unusual like this we enjoy the research into styles and dating, but we haven’t found any books or websites dedicated to the subject as yet. We’ll keep looking for reference material – and in the meantime just enjoy looking at them each time we pass!
Last week’s ceramic Creative Collections post featured modern design & graphics – this one is altogether more antique & rustic in nature.
We just love old wooden spoons!! All the different shapes, sizes & patinas.
There are endless gadgets that you can fill your kitchen with (and we do); but when it comes down to it, if you’ve got a couple of good knives and some wooden spoons, you can get most jobs done.
You can get very attached to certain spoons. In addition to some exquisite antique examples that we now just display, we must have about 20 spoons available for use in a pot next to the cooker – we both gravitate to our favourite 2 or 3. They just feel right in the hand!
And then there’s the spin off collection – obviously you then have to find perfect racks & containers in which to keep them!!
For this Creative Collections post we have this lovely group of bottle decanters.
They’re all marked Altenstadt, Western Germany to the base – so we know where they originate from, but we have to admit to ignorance when it comes to a designer or manufacturer. Anyone out there know?
Each bottle represents either a specific character, such as a pirate or sailor…
…or a group scene like the bar room or birds in a cage.
They’re very charming and look equally good as a group or stand alone piece. They’re very good quality ceramic and the graphics are fabulous, full of quirky details.
We usually put our collections together over a long period of time, picking pieces up singly. Not in this case however. The bottles were someone else’s hard work – hello Emma (of Wooden Donkey fame) if you’re reading this!! We bought her remaining stock when she retired from the vintage retail game. We were supposed to be selling them of course, but as you can see we’ve not managed to part with them as yet!
We love typography and fonts – and have amassed quite a collection of vintage letters & numbers in various forms – printing blocks, stencils and old retail signage.
We’ll concentrate on wooden vintage printing blocks for this edition of Creative Collections. Aren’t they wonderful? The array of wood grain & colour, sizes and shapes.
One of those perfect things to collect over the years that make up into a really interesting & eye-catching display – whether it be a random selection or spelled out words.
Even the traces of residual ink can add interest.
We’ve just bought a large collection of blocks like these pictured. So, if you’re missing that perfect letter Q to complete a phrase…
…or you’d like particular words to display – name or house number perhaps – just drop us a line and we’ll see if we can oblige.
Prices vary depending on size, the quality of carving & rarity – but generally speaking we sell the smallest letters for £2-£3, medium cost £4-£8 and the largest £10-£25.
We’ve chosen glass fishing floats for this week’s Creative Collections post – we love the subtle colour variations and irregularities in shape.
Glass floats originated in Norway in about 1840. Christopher Faye, a Norwegian merchant, in collaboration with the Hadelands Glass Works, is credited with their invention. Early examples were hand blown, later the glass was injected into wooden moulds resulting in the faint seam line which can be seen on many examples. Modern replicas are also being produced.
This is how they would have originally been used – encased with a twine netting holder. These would have then been attached to the large fishing nets & lines to keep mile after mile of them afloat in the sea. This is quite a basic form of holder, but the more elaborate antique examples crafted by the fishermen or their wives during long winter evenings can be a things of real beauty. Glass floats are no longer used having been replaced by plastic, aluminium or Styrofoam. However, thousands of the glass ones are still afloat, travelling along in the currents of the world’s oceans. They’re prized by beachcombers and used in interior decoration.
They’re great for interior display – particularly the genuine older examples which have so much character. A collection looks great in a large bowl for example – and they look really fabulous on a window sill where the sun catches the glass and fills the room with coloured light and shadows.
We’ve chosen vintage cups for this week’s Creative Collections post.
We often come across odd cups or part sets when we’re out & about. There’s certainly no need to leave them behind because it’s not a complete service. A cupboard full of mismatched crockery for day to day use looks great – or can form a fabulous shelf or wall display.
The amazing range of designs & colours makes cups the perfect choice for collection. You could concentrate on a particular subject – say flowers. Or a similar colour way. Or certain date era. Or a mad mix!
We have the perfect display piece for our little cup collection in the form of this rustic 19th century kitchen rack. It’s got unusual diagonal slats, studded with little iron hooks – and a shelf for overspill! We just love the patina & crackle of the old paint.
You’ll never run out of collecting material – the number of eye-catching cups is almost limitless – and they’re usually very affordable. Some collecting is about obtaining every single one of something that’s ever been made. That’s not the case here – pick up what you like the look of. There’s no rush – just enjoy the hunt. You could even enter into the dark, murky, mysterious world of mugs!