Archive for the ‘collections’ Category

Creative Collections: Altenstadt bottles

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

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Vintage Altenstadt bottle collection

For this Creative Collections post we have this lovely group of bottle decanters.

Vintage Altenstadt pottery mark

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?

Vintage Altenstadt pottery pirate bottle Vintage Altenstadt pottery sailor bottle

Each bottle represents either a specific character, such as a pirate or sailor…

Vintage Altenstadt pottery barmaid bottle Vintage Altenstadt pottery birds bottle

…or a group scene like the bar room or birds in a cage.

Vintage Altenstadt pottery city gent bottle Vintage Altenstadt pottery monocled man bottle

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.

Vintage Altenstadt bottle stoppers

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!

Creative Collections: Vintage printing blocks

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

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pile of wooden vintage printing blocks

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.

details of a pile of wooden vintage printing blocks

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.

details of a pile of wooden vintage printing blocks

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.

vintage printing blocks with a letter 'C' in the foreground

Even the traces of residual ink can add interest.

vintage printing blocks with a number 5 in the foreground

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…

set of wooden vintage printing blocks spelling out H is for Home

…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.

pile of wooden vintage printing blocks

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.

Creative Collections: Glass floats

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

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collection of vintage glass floats

We’ve chosen glass fishing floats for this week’s Creative Collections post – we love the subtle colour variations and irregularities in shape.

collection of vintage glass floats

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.

collection of vintage glass floats

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.

collection of vintage glass floats

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.

Creative Collections: Vintage cups

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

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collection of vintage ceramic cups on an antique wooden rack

We’ve chosen vintage cups for this week’s Creative Collections post.

collection of vintage ceramic cups on an antique wooden rack

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.

collection of vintage ceramic cups on an antique wooden rack

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!

detail of an antique wooden rack

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.

collection of vintage ceramic cups on an antique wooden rack

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!

Creative Collections: Bobbins

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

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collection of vintage bobbins and spools of thread

What a load of old bobbins! :-)  Welcome to the second of our new series of Creative Collections posts.

collection of vintage bobbins

We love these old mill bobbins and think they make a lovely display for a craft room or similar. All the different shapes, sizes & materials work really well together to form an interesting collection.

collection of vintage bobbins from above

We’re in the right part of the world to pick them up, but they’re getting harder & harder to find – especially the brightly coloured ones with their original paint.

collection of vintage bobbins with string and threads

A single, large bobbin is great for storing ribbon or twine. It will earn its keep while you hunt for others!