It’s a bit Fishy

Detail of yellow and mauve Aquarius fish plate | H is for Home

Last week, we featured a wonderful set of vintage bull plates – this week we have some equally fantastic fish plates!

Stacked set of vintage Aquarius fish plates | H is for Home

We bought five of the set in a single purchase and then managed to track down the missing plate in the following days.

Full set of vintage Aquarius fish plates | H is for Home

It’s now a fabulous and complete set of six.

Collection of vintage Aquarius fish plates | H is for Home

They’re highly stylised with beautiful detailing – dancing air bubbles, fluttering scales and swirling fins. We certainly haven’t seen anything similar in the local rivers or canals!

Back stamp on a vintage Aquarius fish plate | H is for Home

They’re from the Aquarius range produced by Washington Pottery in the 1960s. In 1970, Washington Pottery became English Ironstone Pottery Ltd. Three years later, it became English Ironstone Tableware Ltd, so you can trace the age of an item from its back stamp.

Detail from a purple & orange Aquarius fish plate | H is for Home

As with the bull plates, these colourful fish plates would look amazing displayed on a long shelf or mounted on a wall. Both types are listed in our web shop.

Load of old bull!

Vintage Beafeater steak plates by English Ironstone Pottery | H is for Home

We thought that we must have written a post about this range of crockery before. Having looked through our blog archive, it’s had a few mentions, but never a dedicated post. Surely, it deserves one!

Set of 6 vintage Beafeater steak plates by English Ironstone Pottery | H is for Home

This set was featured in yesterday’s Forthcoming Attractions post – and as we commented on there, we love this eccentric, crazy pattern.

Detail from vintage Beafeater steak plate by English Ironstone Pottery | H is for Home

Psychedelic, multi-coloured, stylised bulls – what’s not to like?

Detail from vintage Beafeater steak plate by English Ironstone Pottery | H is for Home

Some of them just about manage a passable bull hide look, but then this guy just goes completely wild with his pink & turquoise daisy splodges. Fabulous!

Backstamp of a vintage Beafeater steak plate by English Ironstone Pottery | H is for Home

As you can see from the base marks, the range is called “Beefeater” and was produced by English Ironstone Pottery Ltd. They date from the early 1970s era. In addition to these oval main course plates, we’ve also come across side plates – and there’s also a more monochrome version of the pattern. They display really well and look great on a long shelf or mounted on a wall.

Forthcoming Attractions: Early March 2016

Collection of vintage collectables | H is for Home

Here’s a selection of this past week’s vintage buys – quite a blast of colour!

Two orange vintage West German fat lava vases | H is for Home

We’ll start off with the West German vases – in gorgeous, vibrant shades of orange. One has the classic bubbling, fat lava glaze and the other a more uniform pattern of impressed marks. We like both styles – and they look great together.

Full set of vintage English Ironstone 'Beefeater' steak plates | H is for Home

Next up, we have a set of psychedelic bull plates – not exactly subtle shades either! We do love this fun and eccentric range of dinner ware.

Vintage red & silver electric Metamec wall clock | H is for Home

This bright red clock is wonderful too – both functional and beautiful. Produced by Metamec in the 1950s/60s it would provide a real flash of vintage style & colour to a kitchen or office wall.

Three vintage metal waste paper bins | H is for Home

We’ve also picked up this trio of waste paper bins. The one with flowers is marked Worcester Ware – a company who produced some fabulous, everyday metalware. They’re perfect for kids bedrooms or nurseries.

Collection of vintage laundry and garden implements including wooden clothes pegs, washboard, watering can and hand fork | H is for Home

Less bright, but no less attractive, is this collection of garden and laundry items. Last week’s Get their look post featured a lovely traditional laundry area. It had a couple of the vintage washboards on the wall which looked great. We’re big fans of painted and galvanised metal, in general – our own garden is full of old dolly tubs, wash baths, florists pots, dustbins and watering cans. They look attractive, weather nicely – and don’t shatter in the frost!

Groovy Week!

'Groovy Week' blog post banner

Triptych of vintage collectables | H is for Home

In an average week’s sourcing, we buy items from many eras – from antique rustic stools to modernist stainless steel candle holders. However, for some reason this week’s purchases have all been very 1950s and 60s. As you can see from the photos – atomic, flower power and psychedelic designs are very much in evidence – with slots of bold colours & great patterns.

It’s hard to pick favourites, but the metal waste paper basket by Worcester Ware and the Gaytime measuring jug by Lord Nelson Pottery are outstanding. Other makers include Jie Gantofta for the tea/sugar jars, Kirkham Pottery for the egg cups and English Ironstone Pottery for the bull steak plates.

triptych image of vintage 1950s & 60s images picked up this week by H is for Home

They’ll be coming to a website near you very soon!!

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