Forthcoming Attractions: Early May 2016

Selection of vintage homeware sourced by H is for Home

We’ve acquired some fabulous vintage items this week.

Vintage Thomas Flammfest lidded casserole dish and Johnson Brothers Op Art coffee pot

We’ll start with two pieces for the kitchen diner – both items having a distinct Op Art feel. The coffee pot has a bold pattern of squares & circles in chocolate brown, black & white. It was produced by Johnson Bros in the late 60s or early 70s. The lidded casserole dish was made around the same time and has an equally striking design – this time, a repeating pattern of tulip heads in vibrant green & blue. It was made by Thomas of Germany. As we mentioned in the last Forthcoming Attractions post, we’re big fans of much of this company’s output.

Vintage toy Mettoy Elegant typewriter with original box

This toy typewriter is a lovely example. It’s the Mettoy Elegant model in shades of pink – complete with original box. We’ve had a few of these Mettoy typewriters, but never in this colourway before.

Small vintage Dümler & Breiden fat lava vase and Cascade glass piggy bank

Next is an old favourite – the West German fat lava. This example was produced by Dumler Breiden and has a striking, sculptural form with flashes of orange to the rim and twin handle like openings. The piggy bank was made by Cascade in the 1960s/70s. We like the design and pewter colour of the glass. You might want to use this money box for display only because there’s no stoppered hole to retrieve the coins – once they’re in, they’re in!

Small goose neck desk lamp and mid century modern teak, metal & glass wall pendant lamp

And last but not least, two nice bits of lighting. The miniature desk lamp is really cute. It dates from the 1950s/60s era and has a brass coloured flexi neck – perfect for those dramatic grey interiors perhaps. The wall lamp originates from the same period and is a real beauty. The mount is teak with brass & copper detailing – the glass shade has a wonderful swirling pattern. This piece looks good against grey too – and we can also see it hanging on a bright white wall in a pared back Mid Century Modern space.

Detail from a mid century modern teak, metal & glass wall pendant lamp

If anything has taken your fancy, most of these items have just been put into our web shop.

West German vase collection

'West German vase collection' blog post banner

Vintage West German vase collection | H is for Home

We’ve been Fat Lava fans for a long time. It was over 7 years ago that we first blogged about our West German vase collection. All the fabulous shapes and glazes make them a wonderful thing to collect. There’s much more information coming to light about the various factories and designers that produced them which adds further interest. Books, websites and magazine articles dedicated to the subject have appeared over recent years.

Vintage West German vase collection | H is for Home

We’ve seen quite an addition in our own numbers recently. As mentioned in Tuesday’s post, we bought 21 vases at auction last week.

7 vintage West German vases | H is for Home

There are some real beauties, including pieces by Dumler & Breiden, Carstens and Sheurich.

Trio of vintage West German vases | H is for Home

Some work well in small groupings…

Large vintage West German floor vase | H is for Home

…others are very impressive stand-alone pieces, such as this large, sculptural Carstens Luxus range ‘Beehive’ vase designed by Dieter Peter.

Trio of vintage West German vases | H is for Home

We’ve put about fifteen of them into our antiques centre space as they work very well in a large display. We’ll also add some to the website in the coming week – here’s what we currently have for sale in our online shop.

Forthcoming Attractions: Early January 2012

"Forthcoming Attractions" blog post banner

collection of midcentury modern and vintage items including West German pottery, orange cased glass vase, orange desk lamp, teak lamp base with fibreglass shade and teak drinks trolley

We bought these items this week – most of them from one local contact actually. It’s quite a mid century modern collection!

collection of midcentury modern and vintage items including West German pottery vase, Dumler and Breiden bowl, orange cased glass vase, orange desk lamp, teak lamp base with fibreglass shade, Scandinavian teak mirror, atomic coat rack, stacking Tupperware containers, stainless steel vases and snack tray and teak drinks trolley

Two lovely bits of German pottery for starters – they’re both by Dumler & Breiden. We love the colour contrast and striking repeat pattern of the bowl. The vase has a very distinctive form similar to another piece we’ve got. The combination of thick, textured glaze to the sides and smooth vibrant orange glaze highlighting the holes & vase rim is very effective. We’re trying to be quite strict with ourselves these days, but that’s probably a keeper!

vintage Fat Lava West German vase with double holes produced by Dumler & Breiden

And yet more flashes of orange with the desk lamp & cased glass vase. The lamp, dating from the 60s/70s, is adjustable and has a label for  ‘1001 Lamps Ltd’ of London. The vase is unmarked, but dates from the same period.

vintage teak lamp base with fibreglass shade

There’s another nice table lamp in view, this one being teak with a fibreglass shade. The base looks very Danish.

collection of midcentury modern and vintage items including Scandinavian teak mirror, atomic coat rack, stacking Tupperware containers, stainless steel vases and snack tray and teak drinks trolley

And, staying with the Scandinavian theme, we have some interesting stainless steel pieces. The snack tray is Danish and quite an unusual shape; the pair of matching vases were made in Sweden. There’s some lovely Tupperware spice pots too – both colourful & practical.

…and then there’s the classic 1950s atomic zig-zag coat rack. We’ve had lots of these and grab them whenever we see them – they’re always really popular with our customers.

vintage 1950s teak drinks trolley

And last but not least, the teak drinks trolley that the items are sitting on.

vintage 1950s teak drinks trolley

This is a lovely piece of furniture dating from the 1960s. It has the ‘Remploy’ label to the base.

detail of the bottom of a vintage 1950s teak drinks trolley

It’s got a great look, it’s useful and is in excellent condition. Did we say we were trying to be strict with ourselves?!

West German Ceramics

Collection of vintage West German 'Fat Lava' pottery vases

We recently posted a photograph of two lava glazed vases on our Flickr page which has proved very popular. So we thought that we’d write a few words and share a few more photos about West German ceramics from the 1950s to the 1970s.

After a period of time being generally ‘out of fashion’ these amazing ceramics are being appreciated once more for their style and eccentricity. They are now regularly seen gracing the pages of design and interior magazines. The range of colours, shapes, textures and sizes is mind-boggling!

Collection of West German 'Fat Lava' vases

Some pieces are hand-thrown, others are mass-produced, stock shapes. However, as with the Poole Delphis Pottery range, even these stock shapes can be transformed by the textures and the individual glazes in every colour imaginable. Pieces range in size from 3 inches to well over 20 inches tall for the larger floor vases.

West German vase with impressed detailing

Impressed ‘thumbnail’ detailing

Fat lava glaze detail

Frothing lava glaze

Incised West German vase

Incised decoration

Colourful West German vase

No rules with colour combinations!

Base detail of West German vase

Typical base markings

A number of factories produced these characteristic ceramics – Baykeramik, Carstens, Dumler & Breiden, Jopeko, Roth, Ruscha and Scheurich to name but a few. Much has still to be learned about which company produced what. Some factories produced pieces with distinctive base markings such as the crossed swords of Dumler & Breiden, however the majority of pieces simply have serial number markings (often accompanied by ‘German’ or ‘W. Germany’). You may be lucky enough to find a piece with the original paper label, otherwise you’re in for a bit of detective work. Fat Lava book by Mark Hill

There hasn’t been a great deal published on West German ceramics from this period, however Fat Lava, by Mark Hill (from Amazon UK) is a good starting point – it outlines the main factories and is packed with good quality colour photos.

In fact, the book was written to accompany an exhibition of German pottery from this period held at King’s Lynn Arts Centre in 2006.

Another place to find out more is the GinFor’s Odditiques website. Also Outernational, fat-lava.com and An Seta Pottery.

The pots work well displayed in groups of either similar or contrasting colours. The larger floor vases look great as stand-alone pieces.

Our particular favourites are the fiery oranges and reds, particularly ones with the bubbling lava glazes. We’ve built up quite a collection but good examples are getting harder to find and prices are rising steadily.

Trio of West German vases

Trio of small, red and brown West German vases, 4-6 inches tall

Trio of 1950s West German vases

Trio of incised vases – classic 1950s shapes

Blue West German vase

Blue vase with original Scheurich paper label

Huge floor vases

Floral West German vase with rustic stool and knitted cushion

Fat lave glazes provide striking accent colours

We hope you’ve enjoyed looking at some of our collection. Have a look at our West German Pottery Collectors group on Flickr to see some more examples from us and other members. If this post has inspired you to start your own collection, then happy hunting!

Vintage West German pottery & ceramics currently available at our H is for Home online shop

'Fat Lava' book by Mark Hill