Justin has brought home some lovely vintage industrial finds recently. Yesterday it was the turn of this amazing giant light bulb with white ceramic fitting.
The bulb that it’s photographed next to is quite large in itself, so you can see how huge it is. The filament inside looks undamaged, so we think it might actually work if we get the electricity back flowing to it. It’s probably worth going to the effort of re-wiring. The fitting has the original hook too – it would look really striking hanging down from a high ceiling on a long length of chain or vintage-style cord flex.
The day before, it was this vintage ICI tin. The orange logo against the blue background is very striking. And there’s no end of uses for a large tin!
Justin brought me home a present too – a big, blue metal letter A to add to my collection. ‘A’ might be for apple in most children’s books, but A is for Adelle too!!
Blue again! This time some old step ladders with original layers of paint – most recently a lovely duck egg blue. Not only are step ladders useful for doing chores, they also make for wonderful display or storage pieces – plants, bottles, towels (to name but three for which we’ve used them).
And last but not least, this gorgeous little metal carry box with really fabulous patina. Probably originally used for tools in a factory or workshop, there was little chance of this ever being sold – it was immediately re-purposed into our packaging box – holding tape, pens & pencils etc. It’s now an indispensable part of the H is for Home team!
These pieces display the simple, functional design associated with vintage industrial – and the wonderful patina often developed over time. And there’s another reason that we like them. We love the rather varied styles of country antiques and mid century modern. We find that a bit of vintage industrial really helps unite these different looks and eras.
We picked up these fabulous red & white office drawers last week. They’re from the Palaset range designed by Ristomatti Ratia for Treston of Finland in the early 1970s.
They come in individual units which slot on top of one another allowing you to customize your own larger system as required. They’re also available in brown, yellow and green colourways. For vinyl junkies out there, the open cubes are the perfect size to accommodate LPs. The modular range was very popular at the time, selling worldwide, but it’s increasingly hard to find these days. We think that there was a later re-launch, but the manufacturer used an inferior plastic and production didn’t last very long.
Look out for the early examples. They have real solid weight to them – people often think they’re made of wood when first handled.
In addition to designing office products, Ristomatti Ratia worked on a variety of homewares – fashion accessories too – including spectacles and a best selling shoulder bag. Incidentally, he’s the son of Armi Ratia, née Airaksinen, the founder of Marimekko.
We’ve put the drawers into shop space number 2. The look of this space changes quite often, but it tends to mix mid century modern design with much older country antiques. It’s certainly quite eclectic at the moment!
These two stacking units are priced at £195 (ish!) for the pair – ‘collection only’ for these. Drop us a line if you’re interested and would like us to reserve them for you… or, if there’s anything else in the pictures that takes your fancy, we can advise on prices, shipping options if applicable etc.
The rise of the mobile phone over the last couple of decades has obviously decreased the need for home versions, but many people still retain their land-line for various reasons – better reception, lower call costs, business use etc.
And, if you’re going to have one, it might as well be aesthetically pleasing. We picked up this early 1980s Viscount push button telephone at the flea market this week… well, who could miss this fabulous eye-popping green!
Produced by The Standard Telephone Company for British Telecom, it would sit perfectly in any self-respecting mid century modern interior – atop the teak telephone stool, sideboard or Ladderax shelving unit, perhaps.
We think it’s a beautifully designed piece – form and function working in harmony. You’ll find it listed on our web shop later on this week – price £30.
We thought we’d highlight this fabulous vintage industrial storage unit that we’ve listed for sale today. It’s certainly a large, impressive piece!
It’s been living in our lounge recently. As you can see – if a storage or display unit sits still in our house for any amount of time, it starts to fill up with objects!
We bought it from one of the regular dealers at our local flea market. It’s constructed entirely of metal and very, very heavy. This is where we put it when it got delivered… as close to the front door as possible!
It’s a really useful unit with a combination of pigeon holes and drawers that can be placed in any configuration.
We think the metal has just the right amount of distress. Perfect vintage industrial condition – signs of wear, but not tatty. And the paint is original to the piece – and a nice mushroom brown colour.
It could be an ideal storage unit for almost any room in the house. As we said, we’ve had it in a lounge space where it’s great to display objects, keep CDs or books, tea-lights and so on – with keys, coins and all manner of bits & bobs hidden away in the drawers. It could be placed in a kitchen to house cooking equipment and ingredients; a work shop/craft room storing tools, bobbins, threads etc; perhaps an office space housing stationery… or a potting shed maybe – with various pots, seeds, twine and small garden tools. And if you’re lucky enough to live in an open plan loft space…well, we can’t imagine anything better.
We like it very much, but we did buy it to sell – and we moved something else out of the way to give it a temporary home… that needs to go back! Anyway, we’ve just listed it on eBay with a starting price of £299 which we think is reasonable. You’ll need someone with a van, trolley and strong arms to move it, but it could be the perfect thing!
Smoking paraphernalia isn’t something on our shopping list usually, but this collection of vintage pipes caught our eye at a recent auction.
They date from the 1950s/60s era and certainly have a strong mid century modern style about them.
They’re made from a variety of woods in lovely warm shades, Bakelite type plastics and metals such as stainless steel and aluminium.
They’re so good looking and tactile – More ‘Mad Men’ than old men!
Justin has been practising his smoking style in the mirror with a few of them – he looks quite tempted. It actually suits his big beard!
Drop us a line if any of them takes your fancy.
One of last week’s main purchases combined two areas of interest – namely, vintage ephemera and cycling. This huge quantity of 1950s cycling memorabilia appeared at a local auction and we couldn’t resist.
We haven’t done much cycling ourselves in recent years as our big dog provides all the exercise we need, but we still follow it keenly – particularly the Tour De France at this time of year. We’re often distracted from our work when it appears on TV. We love to follow the riders on their journey, both in terms of taking in the stunning French scenery and the sporting competition itself. We went to watch Le Tour when it passed through Yorkshire (and previously Brighton when we lived there) – and we’re determined to follow the race in our camper van when we eventually get one (we’re still saving up! :-)).
Back to the ephemera though. It’s mainly in the form of French magazines and brochures – many relating to the Tour de France.
They’re packed full of interesting historical photographs, artwork, advertisements and features on riders from the era – famous names such as Louison Bobet, Fausto Coppi and Jacques Anquetil.
Quite a treat for cycling fans!
Some of the magazines even have their original route maps intact which is very rare to find…
…unused and neatly folded inside.
They’re perfect for framing and very sought after in themselves – a fabulous find!
We’ll be sorting through them in the coming weeks, having a good browse and then listing them for sale. We might allow ourselves to keep a few pieces, but the majority will be available to buy – watch this space if you’re interested.