We’ve not come across one of these before. A cutlery canteen, cum coffee table, cum cutlery storage. It looks to have been made or commissioned by Viners of Sheffield in the 1950s.
The table is for sale by & in support of British Heart Foundation* in Motherwell. It has lovely mid century modern styling… and you get what looks like a load of highly collectable vintage Viners Chelsea cutlery thrown in as a bonus! We did a little research and found that the last one similar to this sold for £95 – this one’s starting bid is £49.99.
*British Heart Foundation is the nation’s heart charity. They help save lives with information, patient care and pioneering research. With your support, they’re beating heart disease for good.
We did a bit of research into the maker and it turns out that it’s by Terrybaun Pottery – one of the oldest, if not the oldest, craft potteries in Ireland. It was established by Madeleine & Grattan Freyer in the late 1940s. Our egg cup looks like it might be one of their quite early slipware pieces.
Below are just a few examples of the slipware & scaffito pieces they produced in the 1950s/60s – the pictures are taken from the Irish Arts Review’s online archive – stunning!!
The couple’s nephew, master potter Henri Hedou, alongside his wife Fiona, carries on the tradition – taking over the running of the Co Mayo pottery in 1983.
Viners is renowned for its high quality stainless steel products.
The company was founded in 1901 by Adolf Viener.
Sheffield is the home of British steel manufacturing and Viners grew into the biggest cutlery factory in the city.
Ruben Viner, one of the founder’s sons, became the firms driving force, and it really prospered in the 1960s.
This period saw our favourite range of products with wonderful shapes & textures – by designers such as Gerald Benney and Stuart Devlin. Even the packaging looked great!!
Their cutlery ranges from this era such as Mosaic, Shape and Sable are now much sought after.
The stainless steel was sometimes combined with woods such as rosewood and teak…
…as in this fabulous ice bucket…
…or these Polynesian teaspoons.
The company invested in a modern factory in Sheffield with subsidiaries in Ireland, France and Australia. Unfortunately, this major investment was to be the firm’s undoing. Crippling loan repayments at a time of stiff competition from cheaper, Far Eastern imports saw the family-run business close in 1982.
The brand is now owned by US-based Oneida, the world’s largest cutlery company.
Danish-born Jens Quistgaard was one of Scandinavia’s leading designers with a vast product range that included furniture, kitchen equipment, tableware and more.
He is most closely associated with Dansk International Designs, a company which he co-founded with American entrepreneur Ted Nierenberg.
Their partnership lasted for 30 years, Quistgaard being responsible for the majority of designs produced.
He worked in a variety of materials including iron, steel, ceramic and wood. It is wood, and in particular teak, which most often springs to mind when Jens Quistgaard is mentioned. Classic pieces such as his teak ice bucket, designed in 1960.
Also, the Fjord cutlery range designed in 1953, this time teak combined with stainless steel.
There are plenty of pieces in other materials that are worth looking out for.
We love these vibrantly coloured, enamel cooking pots from the Kobenstyle range of 1954.
His cast iron candle holders from 1955 combine sculptural shapes with a distinctive industrial quality.
Sadly, he passed away this January at the age of 88. However, he left a wonderful legacy which lives on in his designs.
We often have Quistgaard pieces available at H is for Home- just run a word search for Jens or Dansk.
For more information about Jens Quistgaard and Dansk Designs, try some of the following books & websites: