Price Points: Decorative wall plates

Decorative wall plates | H is for Home

Sometimes plates are just too pretty to keep hidden away in a cupboard; too beautiful to dare eat off. This selection of decorative wall plates deserves to be shown off!

They’re works of art that deserve to be treated as such; mount them on a plain wall or lean them on special little stands to display them to full effect.

  1. Ceramic fish shaped decorative hanging plates: £4.28 to £64.76, Etsy
  2. VILLEROY & BOCH Anmut Flowers bread and butter plate – 16cm: £21.90, Selfridges
  3. London Calling plates – set of 4 by Royal Doulton: £40, Amara

There’s no doubting it’s Thomas!

Vintage Thomas Germany porcelain pieces | H is for Home

There’s no doubting Thomas Germany Pottery when you see it – especially from this 1960s period. The designs are fabulous – stylish, crisp and clean.

Vintage Thomas Germany porcelain lidded casserole | H is for Home

We picked up some lovely examples this week – namely a couple of lidded tureens and plates in three different sizes. We said that you can’t mistake it when you see it, but the feel of it is very distinctive too. A fine quality porcelain that feels wonderful in the hand.

Upturned vintage Thomas Germany porcelain lidded casserole showing maker's mark | H is for Home

Designers include Richard Scharrer and Eva Striker-Zeisel. Patterns include Pinwheel (shown below), Arcta, Eclipse and Onyx to name but a few. We couldn’t find another example of the two-tone blue diamond-over-circle pattern we’ve just bought – in books or online. Do you recognise it or know the name/designer?

Set of Thomas Germany coffee cans with Pinwheel pattern | H is for Home

Some patterns are very pared back in subtle shades, others have striking op art designs in eye popping colour combinations.

Thomas Germany Flammfest casserole with tulip pattern lid | H is for Home

We think it’s gorgeous – stylish and elegant. 

Set of Thomas trios with pattern designed by Eva Striker-Zeisel | H is for Home

We currently have a few pieces of Thomas in our shop if you’re interested.

Designer Desire: Esteri Tomula

Mosaic of Esteri Tomula ceramic designs | H is for Home

Another designer from the Finel/Arabia stable, Esteri Tomula (1920-1998) produced many patterns for their ceramic and enamelled wares many of which were designed by Kaj Franck.

A few of her designs are still in production today and can be purchased from Arabia or the Finnish Design Shop. Her vintage wares can regularly be found on eBay, Etsy and Pamono. We’ve got our eyes peeled hoping to stumble across a set of her salt & pepper pots (top, right). Aren’t they sweet?!

She was very prolific during her career; above are some examples of our favourite designs.

Portrait of Esteri Tomulacredit

Additional image credits:

DishwareHeaven

Designer Desire: John ffrench

Mosaic of John ffrench pottery designs | H is for Home

John ffrench (1928-2010) was an Irish studio potter / ceramic artist whose work is fantastically colourful and unique.

ffrench attended the National College of Art in Dublin after which he moved to Florence to attend the Instituto Statale D’Arte to specialise in ceramics. He returned to Ireland in 1962 where he was a founding member of Arklow Studio Pottery. In 1969, he emigrated to Massachusetts to teach and where he he founded The Dolphin Studio. However, he maintained a studio in County Galway where he spent time making each summer.

Check out eBay and Etsy for available pieces. His work occasionally comes up for sale in places such as Sotheby’s and Tennant’s Auctioneers.

At the end of this post is a very short film featuring the artist. It’s part of a 2007 retrospective exhibition entitled A Life of Colour. There’s a book available (shown in the montage above) which contains almost 750 illustrations of his work.

Portrait of John ffrenchcredit

John ffrench video clip from David Shaw-smith on Vimeo.

Additional image credits:

Crawford Gallery | Pinterest

Iden seek!

Three pieces of vintage Iden pottery | H is for Home

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.

Vintage Iden Pottery lamp base | H is for Home

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.

Detail from vintage Iden Pottery mug | H is for Home Detail from vintage Iden Pottery lamp base | H is for Home Detail from vintage Iden Pottery vase | H is for Home

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.

Vintage Iden Pottery base stamp | H is for Home

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.

Designer Desire: Bjørn Wiinblad

Mosaic of Bjørn Wiinblad designs | H is for Home

We’ve mentioned Bjørn Wiinblad a number of times on our blog in the past but for some reason have never dedicated an entire, detailed post to the man with pictorial examples showing the range of his work. Wiinblad (1918-2006) was primarily a ceramicist; his plates, vases, candle-holders figures et al are decorated with wistful and magical figures. We have a colourful charger from his ‘1001 Nights’ series for Rosenthal which firmly fits this description. He also designed and produced many pieces using other materials such as glass, metal and textiles.

According to the man himself:

It can never be the quantity of a thing that is wrong – it can only be the quality. I put just as much thought, just as many deliberations, and just as great zeal into doing the right thing in my work when I make wrapping paper as I do when I create a decoration for the Royal Ballet.

Some of his designs are still being produced today and can be found on websites such as Connox and Trouva. If his vintage work is more your thing, check out eBay and Etsy.

Portrait of Bjørn Wiinbladcredit

Additional image credits:

1st Dibs

Designer Desire: Birger Kaipiainen

Mosaic of Birger Kaipiainen ceramics | H is for Home

We’ve mentioned ceramic designer, Birger Kaipiainen (1915-1988) before on our blog – we have a cup & saucer that he designed for Arabia. A place where he claims he was, “able to grow like a weed”.

Whilst researching this post, I’ve discovered a plethora of brilliant works by him. He produced an impressive mural – 9 x 5 metres – for the 1967 World Exhibition in Montreal entitled, Orvokkimeri (Sea of Violets). Most of his other works are on a much smaller scale; vases, platters, chargers and table and serveware.

Vintage examples of his work can occasionally be found on 1st Dibs, Bukowskis, Etsy and eBay. The Finnish Design Shop sells a few of his designs that are still in production.

There was a book written by Harri Kalha to accompany a 2013 exhibition of Kaipiainen’s work that’s found its way on to my wish list!

Portrait of Birger Kaipiainen

Image credits:

Bukowskis