Archive for the ‘collections’ Category

Creative Collections: Dowsers

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

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collection of antique dowsers

This creative collection post is one for the real antique lovers!

detail of a collection of antique dowsers

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).

underside of an antique dowser

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!

ribbed antique dowser

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.

Mr Punch antique dowser

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!

Creative Collections: Wooden spoons

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

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Collection of wooden spoons on an antique wooden spoon rack

Last week’s ceramic Creative Collections post featured modern design & graphics – this one is altogether more antique & rustic in nature.

5 vintage wooden spoons

We just love old wooden spoons!! All the different shapes, sizes & patinas.

pair of vintage wooden spoons

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.

detail of a vintage wooden spoon

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!

Collection of wooden spoons on an antique wooden spoon rack

And then there’s the spin off collection – obviously you then have to find perfect racks & containers in which to keep them!!

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!