Christmas gifts of the day: Foodie books

Newly published foodie books | H is for Home

Here’s the first of our 2016 Christmas Countdown gift guides. We’ve researched newly published foodie books and made a short-list of ones that any epicurean would gladly unwrap on Christmas morning!

Watch the birdie!

Detail of birds taken from a vintage tin | H is for Home

In our last blog we were musing over the influence of nature on artists & designers. Also how nature has been interpreted in book illustrations etc. We randomly began with ‘fish’ as a sub-theme, we’re going to continue, equally randomly, with ‘birds’.

detail of teatowel with bird decoration | H is for Home detail of teatowel with bird decoration | H is for Home

1960s Irish linen tea towel

vintage storage jar with colourful parrot decoration | H is for Homekitchen storage jar

The items featured are again predominantly vintage finds from the 1950s, 60s & 70s. They include artworks, books and domestic wares.

amber coloured glass bird | H is for Home Brown glass robin | H is for Home
1960s Wedgewood glass birds

Check out the fantastic bird series produced for Iittala by the Finnish glass designer, Oiva Toikka started in 1973. They’re still being made today having amassed a range of over 300 designs.

John Clappison Hornsea mug with blue owl design | H is for Home John Clappison Hornsea mug with yellow owl design | H is for Home John Clappison Hornsea mug with toucan design | H is for Home John Clappison Hornsea mug with Libra design | H is for Home
John Clappison designs for Hornsea Pottery – mugs & hen ashtray

John Clappison Hornsea ashtray with hen design | H is for Home

small pottery dish with bird decoration | H is for HomeMexican pin dish

1950s cocktail drinks tray | H is for Home 1950s cocktail tray detail | H is for Home
1950s cocktail tray

We’re really pleased with this recent biscuit tin acquisition, picked up in a mixed box at a nearby auction.

vintage biscuit tin with colourful bird decoration | H is for Homefantastic 1950s graphics
vintage biscuit tin with colourful bird decoration | H is for Home vintage biscuit tin with colourful bird decoration | H is for Home

Mid century books can be a rich source of high quality, period illustrations.

Birds of Britain book cover | H is for Home

We dipped into our vintage cookery book collection again and came out with some little gems.

Collection of Stork margarine cook books | H is for Homecollection of 1950s Stork margarine recipe booklets

Bill Charmatz chicken illustration | H is for Home Bill Charmatz chicken illustration | H is for Home
Bill Charmatz illustrations
Detail from the front cover of Esquire Cook Book | H is for Home
Esquire Cook Book front cover. First published in 1956

Charley Harper illustration of an owl wearing a chef's hat | H is for Home Charley Harper illustration of long tailed birds | H is for Home Charley Harper illustration of a chicken on a drum | H is for Home
Charley Harper illustrations

Charley Harper illustration for 'Dinner for Two' Betty Crocker cook book | H is for Home

We hope you’ve enjoyed looking at our avian delights. Stay tuned for flowers, foliage, landscapes and much more!

Something Fishy!

Bill Charmatz fish illustration

Whether it be the physical landscape itself or the flora & fauna contained within it, artists and designers have been influenced by nature over the centuries.

Inspiration drawn from mountains, rivers, lakes, seas, clouds, trees, birds, fish, plants, flowers are all reflected in their work.

We thought it would be fun to take these broad themes and show their influence on the creative process. For no particular reason, we’re going to start with fish!

Poole Pottery Aegean plate Pottery plate decorated with three fish
vintage 1960s pottery plates
vintage pottery plate

We might feature stuff from any decade, but there will, no doubt, be a mid 20th century bias as we love this era and are always drawn to vintage pieces from the 50s, 60s & 70s.

Vintage green glass fish dish
Large 1950s green glass dish

Small green art glass fish sculpture Small blue art glass fish sculpture
1960s art glass sculptures

Stylised fish were a much-used design motif in this mid 20th century period – in art, design and everyday homewares.

vintage fish collage artwork
Collage entitled Fish Fossil Sea Bed by Andrew Rob, 1970

Pottery serving dish detail detail of Swedish pottery serving dish
1960s iron trivet | Swedish serving dish (Dukat)

vintage fish plate detail vintage fish plate detail
Aquarius series fish plates by Washington Pottery

vintage John Clappison Hornsea Pottery mug Small vintage pottery pin dish
John Clappison, Hornsea Pottery | Bernard Moss Pentewan Pottery

Trio of wall mountable pottery fish
Hornsea Pottery wall-mountable fish… who needs flying ducks? 🙂

Also, the artistic treatment given in cookbooks etc can be quite magical. Two of our undoubted favourites are Bill Charmatz and Charley Harper.

Bill Charmatz illustration of a fish stock pot Bill Charmatz illustration of fish in a fryer basket Bill Charmatz illustration of a cat and fish in a bowl
Bill Charmatz – from the Esquire Cook Book first published in Great Britain in 1956.

Charley Harper illustration of fish with a thermometer in its mouth
Charley Harper – from Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two first published in 1958.

Charley Harper illustration of a flat fish Charley Harper illustration of a fish with a tangled fishing line in its mouth

Finally, to show that nature can do a pretty good job herself, we picked up this fossil from a great little shop in Hastings. Preserved in green river shales, it’s 45 million years old (hopefully you won’t be waiting that long for the launch of our website!).

image of fossilised fish
Knightia alta, Eocene period. Origin: Wyoming