It’s been a bit quiet on the H is for Home blog front recently. We’ve been keeping very busy with a new little venture.
We were offered a space in our local Picture House Antiques centre, which we’ve already mentioned in our Todmorden blog, and thought it would be nice to have a physical presence in our home town.
It’s a large cabinet which we’ve given the H is for Home treatment. We’ve painted its backboard a lovely, vibrant green…
…mounted some glossy photos and press cuttings…
…and have begun to fill it with a mixture of antiques, vintage and retro pieces… a taste of things that can be found on the website.
It’s taken a bit longer than anticipated to get to this stage as the whole project started with a bit of a disaster!
We’d arranged about 25 gorgeous glass vases on the top shelf… you know what’s coming next… yes, the shelf collapsed, and the vases came crashing down smashing themselves and other items beneath. There’s no photographic evidence – in the turmoil, taking photos didn’t cross our minds.
It took a few hours before we could face it again… but we eventually returned and have it looking quite nice again. We’ll no doubt be adding & rearranging aplenty over the coming days!
Viners is renowned for its high quality stainless steel products.
The company was founded in 1901 by Adolf Viener.
Sheffield is the home of British steel manufacturing and Viners grew into the biggest cutlery factory in the city.
Ruben Viner, one of the founder’s sons, became the firms driving force, and it really prospered in the 1960s.
This period saw our favourite range of products with wonderful shapes & textures – by designers such as Gerald Benney and Stuart Devlin. Even the packaging looked great!!
Their cutlery ranges from this era such as Mosaic, Shape and Sable are now much sought after.
The stainless steel was sometimes combined with woods such as rosewood and teak…
…as in this fabulous ice bucket…
…or these Polynesian teaspoons.
The company invested in a modern factory in Sheffield with subsidiaries in Ireland, France and Australia. Unfortunately, this major investment was to be the firm’s undoing. Crippling loan repayments at a time of stiff competition from cheaper, Far Eastern imports saw the family-run business close in 1982.
The brand is now owned by US-based Oneida, the world’s largest cutlery company.
We’re taking a look at vintage utensils this week – those useful, kitchen tools from the humble wooden spoon to the wonderfully named kitchemajig.
No kitchen should be without a wooden spoon – preferably a few.
They come in a wide variety of sizes, have multiple uses, they don’t scratch pots & pans… and also develop a lovely character over years of use.
We keep ours in this lovely, old wooden rack…
… another potful next to the stove…
…and still more hanging from this ancient iron well hook.
It’s useful having them close at hand wherever we happen to be working in the kitchen. There’s always the perfect spoon for a particular job.
This one has such a wonderful patina that it’s now been retired from general use and sits happily on a shelf enjoying its life of leisure… with a pair of child’s antique wooden clogs for company!
Of course kitchen tools don’t stop with the wooden spoon… there are palette knives, ladles, forks, fish slices, whisks etc, etc, etc.
Some utensils are multi-functional like the aforementioned kitchemajig…
…others have very specific uses such as the tomato slicer, butter curler and pastry blender.
Do rolling pins count as utensils?
We think they probably do – made from wood, pottery, marble, or in the case of this Pyrex example, glass.
The heyday for utensils – well our favourite era at least – was the 1950s & 60s. Names such as Skyline, Prestige & Tala.
Chrome & stainless steel tools mounted on lovely painted wooden handles available in a rainbow of colours.
They’re a great way of adding a vintage touch to an otherwise contemporary kitchen. They look good in sets of the same colour…
…or mixed & matched.
We picked up this wonderful set recently – boxed and with its original hanging rack. One small problem though, someone was obviously in desperate need of the lipped, oval spoon… and removed it.
We’re now on a quest for a 50-year-old lipped spoon, in pristine condition, in the right colours – no easy task!
We’ve got boxes full of coffee services short of one cup, storage jars waiting for matching lids and cutlery sets missing the odd knife or teaspoon. It’s all a matter of keeping your eyes open and being patient.
We’re currently relishing reading through a huge pile of 1950s/60 Ideal Home magazines, they’re full of fantastic ads for furniture, fabrics and housewares, including the odd one for kitchen utensils…
…like these for Tala and Prestige.
By coincidence, just as we were writing this post, we sold this lovely Prestige set with their classic 1950s, diamond-patterned handles.
If you manage to find one that you love, a kitchen utensil is of those wonderful items that can give you a little bit of pleasure every time you use it – have you got a favourite?
We’ve had another lovely mention in the press – we’re in this month’s Fabric Magazine. It’s a London-based, monthly glossy that specialises in the capital city’s properties as well as features on interiors, travel, health, beauty & style, food & eating out. Take a look at the clipping below!
Thanks to them for their coverage and thanks to all of you out there for your continued support and feedback.