Use your Noggin!

"N is for... Noggin" blog post banner

pair of vintage Viking noggin figures in front of a Lisa Larson ceramic tile of a Viking ship

We love these cute little wooden Vikings – or noggins as they’re widely known.

pair of Viking noggin figures

These vintage examples date from the 1960s & 70s. We think the name ‘noggin’ must come from a children’s animation called ‘Noggin the Nog’ which Justin remembers well from his very early years. It was the brainchild of Oliver Postgate & Peter Firmin and is considered something of a cult classic. The Nogs had a distinct Viking look and saga tradition – here’s a rather charming clip.

There are lots of different noggins to search out – if you’re of the completest persuasion you might want to consider a small house extension… but we’re happy with our two little friends sitting on the shelf keeping us safe from intruders – Nogbad the Bad in particular.

vintage Viking noggin figure with grey beard and Danish axe

P.S. If you’re wondering what the other piece of ‘vikingalia’ is in the background of the top photo, it’s a rather gorgeous pottery plaque by one of our favourite designers – Lisa Larson.

It’s a date!

"It's a date" blog post banner

detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

Any of you vintage fans born in 1979?  This could be the perfect thing for you.

detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

It’s one of a series of ceramic date plates produced annually by Arabia of Finland.

detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

Designed by Raija Uosikkinen, they take their inspiration from the Kalevala – the epic national saga of Finland.

Here’s an extract from the English translation of Rune 33 from which this plate draws its reference:

From a tree the raven answered:
“O thou little silver buckle,
Only son of old Kalervo,
Why art thou in evil humor,
Wherefore sad in thy demeanor?
Take a young shoot from the thicket,
Take a birch-rod from the valley,
Drive thy herd across the lowlands,
Through the quicksands of the marshes;
To the wolves let one half wander,
To the bear-dens, lead the other;
Sing the forest wolves together,
Sing the bears down from the mountains,
Call the wolves thy little children,
And the bears thy standard-bearers;
Drive them like a cow-herd homeward,
Drive them home like spotted cattle,
Drive them to thy master’s milk-yards;
Thus thou wilt repay the hostess
For her malice and derision.”

detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

You don’t have to be born in 1979… they were made from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s. That gives a good span of potentially significant years – birthdays, anniversaries etc.

And don’t mind if there isn’t a special date to be marked… the artwork is so fabulous, they’re covetable for the patterns alone.

1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

Having said that, there’s sure to be a few completists out there who are just going to have to have the full set – and we wouldn’t blame you!!

A package from Sweden

"A package from Sweden" banner

collection of Swedish interior decoration magazines in a vintage chrome & glass magazine rack with a vintage Welsh wool blanket in the background

Adelle’s sister is a regular visitor to Sweden.

Mosaic of contemporary Swedish interior decoration magazine covers

On one trip she picked up a selection of Swedish interiors magazines for us.

selection of contemporary Swedish interior decoratoin and homeware magazines

2-page spread from Swedish Ett magazine

contemporary Swedish interiors magazine featuring new Rorstrand pottery items

We’ve enjoyed browsing through them…

page from Swedish interiors magazine featuring vintage wooden table and chairs

page from Swedish interiors magazine featuring vintage chrome & leather chair and colurful vintage fabric curtain

…particularly having a peek at the houses and products that haven’t appeared in UK publications.

page from contemporary Swedish interiors magazine featuring colourful childrens plate & cutlery

We wanted to share a few of our favourites with you.

page from contemporary Swedish interiors magazine featuring a selection of Black & white items

page from a contemporary Swedish interiors magazine featuring a selection of colourful items

Here are links to the websites of the magazines that we’ve featured:

A is for… Arne

A is for... Arne banner

Arne Jacobsen Cylinda Line stainless steel tea set designed for Stelton

It’s the start of a new year… so we’re starting a new alphabet blog series.

Arne Jacobsen vintage 1960s Cylinda-line tea set for Danish manufacturer, Stelton

We picked up this fabulous stainless steel tea set over the holiday period – so ‘A’ just had to be for ‘Arne’… Arne Jacobsen that is.

He’s one of the great designers of the 20th century – and is the man responsible for designing this set.

Arne Jacobsen vintage 1960s stainless steel Cylinda-line tea set designed for Danish manufacturer Stelton

It was manufactured by Stelton of Denmark in the 1960s.  The various pieces are unused in their boxes… and retain their original labels to the underside.

label on the base of vintage 1960s Cylinda-line stainless steel sugar bowl desingned by Arne Jacobsen for Danish manufacturer, Stelton

The Cylinda-line brochures (of which the set is part) were inside the pots.

original brochure for Cylinda-line range designed in the 1960s by Arne Jacobsen for Danish manufacturer Stelton
click on image to enlarge

The range comprises a variety of tablewares including tea & coffee sets, salt & pepper pots, toast racks, sauce boats, serving dishes, coasters, cocktail mixers, ice buckets etc.

In fact, we sold the Cylinda-line ice bucket on the website last year.

vintage Cylinda-line ice bucket designed by Arne Jacobsen for Danish manufacturers, Stelton vintage 1960s Cylinda-line ice bucket designed by Arne Jacobsen for Danish manufacturer, Stelton

The collection is beautifully made, very functional and looks fantastic too!

vintage 1960s Cylinda-line tea set with original box designed by Arne Jacobsen for Danish manufacturer, Stelton

It was awarded the id Prize in 1967 by the Danish Society of Industrial Design and the International Design Award 1968 by the American Institute of Interior Designers.

A really great find to start the new year!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

R is for… Rorstrand

'R is for... Rorstrand' blog post banner

detail of a pear from a Rorstrand pottery dish | H is for Home

Swedish ceramic production has been dominated by 3 firms – Gustavsberg, Upsala-Ekeby and the subject of today’s blog… Rorstrand.

'Pop' series teapot by Inger Persson for RorstrandPop series teapot by Inger Persson

Rorstrand is in fact, the 2nd oldest porcelain manufacturer in Europe, having been established in 1726. However, most of its early production was based on successful ranges developed by other factories.

'Koka' teapot by Hertha Bengston for Rorstrand | H is for Home
Koka
range by Hertha Bengston

The arrival of Alf Wallander as Art Director in 1895 was very significant. The factory began producing original, distinctive and innovative ceramics of its own.

Small 'Eden' lidded pot by Marianne Westman | H is for HomeEden range by Marianne Westman
'Eden' casserole dish by Marianne Westman | H is for Home

Rorstrand has attracted some of the most talented artists & designers of the day. Names such as Edward Hald, Louise Adelberg, Carl-Harry Stalhane, Hertha Bengston, Gunnar Nylund, Marianne Westman, Inger Persson and Bertil Vallien.

Stoneware ewers by Gunner NylundStoneware ewers by Gunner Nylund

The mid-twentieth output is our own personal favourite – with its simple stoneware designs & informal tableware ranges such as Picknick and Eden.

Rorstrand 'Picknick' serving trayPicknick serving tray

Rorstrand 'Ark' plate and bowlArk plate and bowl

There have been various mergers & takeovers within Swedish ceramics – the ‘big three’ firms are today part of a single conglomerate – Designer Oy.

Rorstrand 'Granada' pattern milk jug | H is for HomeGranada pattern milk jug

Rorstrand is still producing great ceramics – take a look at their current designers & ranges.

Of the recent output, we’re fond of the Grade tableware designed by Pia Torwell in 2000 – simple, functional & beautiful.

Rorstrand 'Grade' ceramic kitchen/tablewareGrade kitchen/tableware

For more information about Rorstrand & Swedish ceramics in general check out the books listed below. They’re packed full of images!

Additional images courtesy:
Fischler, George & Gould, Barrett: Scandinavian Ceramics and Glass 1940s to 1980s
Fiell, Charlotte and Peter: Scandinavian Design

A is for… Apple

'A is for... Apple' blog post banner

detail of vintage Rorstrand 'Eden' pottery dish designed by Marianne Westman | H is for Home

This is the beautiful, stylised and very desirable fruit & leaf design of the Eden range designed by Marianne Westman for Rorstrand of Sweden in the 1960s. This apple pattern was used to decorate various pieces of oven and tableware.

vintage lidded Rorstrand 'Eden' sauce boat designed by Marianne Westman | H is for Home vintage lidded Rorstrand 'Eden' sauce boat designed by Marianne Westman | H is for Home

We have this lovely, lidded sauce boat from the range available in the  H is for Home web shop

It can be used for sauces, compotes, relishes… and is gorgeous enough to simply keep on display!