We love a bit of Iden Pottery – the subtle colours, interesting patterns and tactile surfaces. You may need to be a bit selective however, some of the early hand made studio ware is gorgeous.
We bought this fabulous lamp base a while ago, but still haven’t married it up with a suitable shade. We’ve been keeping an eye out for a cream or beige Hessian shade but alas, nothing of the right size or shape has appeared on our travels. We need to make a more determined effort – perhaps an internet trawl is required. It’s such a shame to leave this lovely piece languishing in a storage box.
Iden Pottery was founded by Dennis Townsend when he left Rye Pottery in 1959. The wares were sold by Harrod’s and Heal’s and are well regarded for their quality of design and finish. Their pared back subtlety means that they don’t scream at you from a distance – so keep your eyes peeled for hidden gems on flea market stalls or charity shop shelves.
Larger objects such as the lamp base work well as stand alone pieces in a variety of interior styles. We like grouping smaller pieces in groups alongside other pieces of Iden – or as part of a general collection of studio pottery from the same era.
We don’t go into charity shops that much any more, but we had a mooch in a couple yesterday – after viewing the auction at Hartley’s in Ilkley (a nice town for a day out if you’ve never been – auction, independent shops, cafes etc). We made a few purchases including this cute little vintage slipware dish.
It was made at Ambleside Pottery which was founded by George Cook in the late 1940s. This is quite an early example and rather charming, we think. They also produced some fabulous sgraffito designs which have real mid century modern style.
The pottery closed in the 1980s. It’s developing a wider following of collectors, but is still very affordable. Strangely we saw the best piece of Ambleside Pottery we’ve ever come across in Ilkley – a huge 1950s flagon-like slipware jug. It was for sale at the aforementioned auction. We couldn’t attend on bidding day, so left a bid. Alas, we didn’t leave one high enough, missed out – and have regretted it ever since!
We bought these two lovely vintage Paris side plates this week – what classic 1950s designs!
They’re quite similar, both featuring French café scenes, but were produced by different makers – namely Ridgway and Alfred Meakin.
The illustrations are gorgeous – café society, stylish ladies and gentlemen, parasols, hats… and poodles!
They display very well – catching your eye and drawing you in for a closer look – something different to notice each time. Available to buy in our webshop now.
Look at this fine fellow!
The vintage Bitossi bull was a favourite buy from last week. It was designed by Aldo Londi, the company’s artistic director for over half a century. This piece dates from the 1950s/60s era.
Bold colour, stylised shape and impressed, textural decoration are all classic hallmarks of Aldo Londi’s Rimini Blu.
As you can see, it’s factory marked to the underside – and condition is very good with no chips or cracks – just a bit of age-related crazing to the glaze. It’s a good size too, measuring just over 30cm in length, so a real eye-catching piece. A classic bit of mid century modern home décor! Available to buy in our web shop this week priced at £150.
This fabulous floor lamp came into our lives recently.
It’s by artist, Bernard Rooke and dates from the 1960s/70s period. Bernard Rooke was born in 1938. He attended Ipswich School of Art and Goldsmiths College, London where he took up pottery. He set up a workshop in Forest Hill in London in the 1960s, sharing the space with Alan Wallwork whose work we have sold in the past. Bernard’s pieces are very sculptural and he found that producing lamp bases made his pieces even more acceptable and accessible for the public to have in their homes. They’ve remained a mainstay of his output over many years.
There are bulbs both at the top and internally, and this gives a great effect when illuminated – light diffusing through all the little holes and casting shadows on the wall behind.
We’re now on a hunt for the perfect shade. It has to be Hessian or raffia, we think – and a fair old size too – the lamp base itself stands 3½ feet tall. Let us know if you have one for sale or know where there’s one lurking. We currently have around five lamps that need shades, but this one’s probably top of the waiting list!
We’ve placed the lamp in our bedroom where it shares the space with other studio pottery from the same era. We like these little groupings of pots. They’re all in quite subdued tones of brown, beige and oatmeal so don’t shout for attention, but we love these subtle variations in colour, shape and texture.
The lamp has real impact when you walk into the room. It has the potential to work well in all kinds of settings – from boho-chic to mid century modern. In addition to working well with the other pottery in the space, we also like the way the circular form is echoed by the cane mirror. There’s a classic 1960s starburst clock on the wall close by too. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we really love it. And we know a good friend of ours will be eyeing it up jealously (and we have to admit that it would look perfect in their house)!
It’s very surprising that in our ten years of trading as H is for Home (and in the vintage ‘hobby years’ prior to that), we’ve never actually bought a piece of Terence Conran designed ‘Salad Ware’. Well, as of this morning, those days are over.
Here’s our lovely new plate with its classic vintage 1950s design of fruit and vegetables.
We love the shapes and colours… and its pared back simplicity. We even like the radish-shaped back stamp detail. It still looks modern today – imagine the impact it made over 60 years ago.
We might just have to stroke this piece a while before selling. Well, the house walls are newly painted, there’s a small space available… and it did come with hanging hooks!