International vintage

International vintage homewares | H is for Home

Our recent acquisitions have a ’round the world’ theme.

Green vintage Riihimäki art glass vase Red vintage Finel enamel mugs

We’ll start with Finland. Vintage glassware fans will recognise the sculptural form and distinctive olive green colour of the Riihimäki vase. These vases look amazing when arranged in groups or rows, highlighting the contrast in shapes and size. And then the enamel mugs – what a gorgeous colour and pattern. They were designed by Kaj Franck for Finel – and are very hard to find in this condition and quantity.

Vintage Italian pottery pin dish Vintage Avon 'Her World' Talc

Next, on to Italy, where this fabulous little pin dish was produced. The hand decorated piece has very eye-catching decoration; she’s a very beautiful and arresting young lady – reminiscent of the work of Modigliani. It’s the perfect little dish for rings or other jewellery. And more pretty girls on this Avon ‘Her World’ Talc. Cosmetic products aren’t something that we normally pick up – but it’s unused with contents intact – and the illustrations are so gorgeous that we couldn’t resist. The label reads “Avon Cosmetics – New York, London, Munchen, Paris, Rome” – a very apt item for our little global product trip!

Vintage Konge tinn pewter napkin rings Vintage green enamel candle holder

These Konge tinn pewter napkin rings hail from Norway. They have a striking and intricate Viking themed design with warriors and ships. They’re very tactile in the hand – keep your dinner guests happy for hours! And last, but not least, a charming vintage enamel candle holder that we’re pretty sure was made in France. We love the delicate ribbed pattern, aged patina and fabulous emerald green colour.

These international vintage products and others will be heading to our web shop soon – click on each item image to find it!

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: Kaj Franck

Mosaic of Kaj Franck designs | H is for Home

What? We’ve never featured Kaj Franck on Designer Desire before? How did that happen?!

We have some of his designs in our home and in our shop. So far, we own a ‘Muki’ mug decorated with Raija Uosikkinen’s ‘Lintu’ pattern and a large ‘Kulho’ bowl with Esteri Tomula’s ‘Tatti’ mushrooms pattern (6th from top, on the left).

The one design on his wares that I really, really desire is ‘Sydän’, the red hearts on white enamelware range (3rd from top, on the right). This pattern was designed by Gunvor Olin-Grönqvist. I’ve seen it on bowls, plates, kettles, jugs and mugs – but the condition and price has never been right.

Kaj Franck (1911-1989) was one of the leading modernist Finnish designers working in glass, ceramics, enamel and metalware. He was artistic director at Arabia (now Iittala) and produced many of their designs as well as ones for their subsidiary company, Finel. He also designed many pieces for glassware company, Notsjö Nuutajärvi.

After researching Franck’s back catalogue, we realised that there’s a similar scenario to the design collaboration between Cathrineholm designers Grete Prytz Kittelsen and Arne Clausen. One person designed the vessel (which was Franck’s domain) and others, such as Esteri Tomula and Raija Uosikkinen, produced the applied pattern.

Some of his popular ranges – such as Teema crockery, Scandia Cutlery and Kartio glassware – are still being manufactured and are available from the Scandinavian Design Center and Finnish Design Shop. I prefer his more colourful, more interesting vintage designs which are always available on eBay, Etsy, Pamono and Bukowskis.

There’s a book on Franck that I’d love to buy, or failing that, have a flick through entitled Kaj Franck – Muotoilija / Formgivare / Designer, currently on sale at around the £100 mark.

Portrait of Kaj Franckcredit

Additional image credits:
1st Dibs | Bukowskis

Charity Vintage: Kaj Franck for Finel mushroom design bowl

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vintage Finel mushroom design bowl by Kaj Frank for sale on eBay for Chrity by & in support of CLIC Sargent(ends 1 May, 2014 15:38:37 BST)

This vintage Finel mushroom design bowl, by Kaj Franck, is up for sale on eBay by & in support of CLIC Sargent*. It’s on at a very reasonable price – buy it now for £44.99 plus there’s free P&P.

We regularly sell Finel enamel items in our web shop. We actually have this very bowl in our own personal collection. We love the black & white mushroom illustration. We’ve only ever seen the enamel bowl (in different sizes), but the design is available on a lidded saucepan, chopping board and even pottery cups, plates and bowls (for Arabia).

*CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. They provide clinical, practical and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. They are there from diagnosis onwards and aim to help the whole family deal with the impact of cancer and its treatment, life after treatment and, in some cases, bereavement.



Forthcoming Attractions: Mid March 2013

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selection of vintage homewares including Babysham party pack in original packaging, red enamel Finel coffee pot designed by Anti Nurmesniemi, Arabia milk jug, pair of staplers, trio of milk bottles, Figgjo Flint Turi Daisy cup & saucer, set of tin drink coasters and trio of Altenkunstadt pottery vases designed by Cari Zalloni

Here’s a selection of vintage homewares that we added to the H is for Home webshop this weekend.

vintage Arabia milk jug and Figgjo Flint Turi Daisy cup & saucer

Some lovely Scandinavian pieces for kitchen/dining including the cow milk jug produced by Arabia and the Daisy cup & saucer by Figgjo Flint.

vintage red enamel Finel coffee pot designed by Anti Nurmesniemi

Also, this red enamel coffee pot designed by Anti Nurmesniemi for Finel – such a classic piece of Scandinavian mid century modern!

trio of vintage blue circle Altenkunstadt vases

Moving a short distance across Europe to Germany – this trio of vases were designed by Cari Zalloni for Altenkunstadt Pottery. They’re from his ‘Cirkel’ range and the Op Art pattern is really striking. We’ve listed them separately, but they do look great grouped together. If you’d like to re-home them as a family, then we can do a special price on the three together!

vintage Babysham party pack in original packaging

These Babycham glasses were a good find. You quite often come across them looking a bit tired (well, they have been partying!). The logos & gold rims are often well rubbed, but these are absolutely mint in their original display box.

three vintage milk bottles advertising Brooke Bond Tea, Ready Brek and Kellogg's Corn Flakes

A bit more advertising ware. These milk bottles were popular in the 1970s & 80s – much more exciting that a drab Tetrapak carton! You could decant your milk into them to brighten up your morning cereal – or they’re perfect for cut flowers too.

pair of vintage staplers

We’ve been picking up a lot of industrial vintage items recently. These staplers fit in very well with that theme adding a vintage touch to a desk or shelf whilst remaining completely functional.

Fine Finel Find!

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detailed view of red, vintage Finel enamel mug decorated with repeating bird pattern | H is for Home

Perhaps ‘find’ is too strong a word – more a patient track down. We’ve long coveted this particular enamel mug designed by Kaj Franck for Finel.

red, vintage Finel enamel mug decorated with repeating bird pattern

We’ve been holding out for a really good example, in pristine condition. Our wait ended this week when we won the bidding on a well-known auction website. We just love the stylised birds and fiery colours – it really is a stunner!

view of the base of a red, vintage Finel enamel mug decorated with repeating bird pattern

Finel is responsible for some fantastic pieces of enamelware.

red, vintage Finel enamel kettle

Great designers such as the aforementioned Kaj Franck, Seppo Mallat and Antti Nurmesniemi worked for the company.

detailed view of a red, vintage Finel enamel kettle

Their pieces are decorative, functional & well made.

large, vintage Finel enamel bowl decorated with mushroom pattern

We have quite a few pieces dotted around the house including cups, teapots & bowls.

detailed view of a large, vintage Finel enamel bowl decorated with mushroom pattern

This bowl is decorated with a fabulous mushroom design. It was probably intended for the kitchen or dining table, but ours seems to have adopted the role of tea light storage container!

collection of blue vintage Finel enamel bowl decorated with circles in a square pattern

We also like to keep examples for sale in the shop. We currently have one of the teapot/kettles shown above. Also, this lovely set of bowls – perfect for serving starters, salads, curries, desserts – anything really! It consists of one large bowl with the geometric circle/grid design and six smaller bowls in the same vibrant blue.

detailed view of a collection of blue vintage Finel enamel bowl decorated with circles in a square pattern
One more design that still eludes us is the repeating red & white heart shape one – but we’re keeping our eyes peeled!

Five Flea Finds

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Collection of items picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

This week was very successful at our local flea market… with 5 really good vintage finds for the shop.

vintage Festival of Britain catalogue picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

First is this original catalogue from the Festival of Britain held in 1951. We’ve really enjoyed browsing through this booklet. In addition the run down of the exhibition itself, there are some fantastic period ads.

vintage chocolate brown enamel Finel kettle picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

Next up is this enamel teapot made by Finel. It was covered in dust and badly tea stained inside, but it’s come up beautifully – a good wash revealed the lovely pattern and the inside bleached clean & white.

vintage Bavaria West German porcelain coffee pot picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

This 1960s coffee pot couldn’t fail to catch our eye. We’ve actually had a set in this pattern before – what a great design with its simple, stylised flowers.

vintage handpainted Arabia sunflower plate picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

This plate was at the bottom of a pile. We could just see the petal edges poking out. We’re glad we made the effort to dig down a bit! It’s a lovely vintage hand-painted sunflower plate produced by Arabia of Finland.

set of 6 vintage Ridgway "Amanda" trios picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

Finally, we have this tea trio – a set of six trios to be precise. It’s the Amanda pattern produced by Ridgway in the 1960s/70s – bright, cheerful and very usable.

All worth getting up early for!

In addition to the five finds destined for our shop, you may also have noticed some wine glasses in the background of the group photo. We were down to our last couple of decent wine glasses (and we do love a glass or two of red wine in front of the fire!). We’ve been looking for new ones for a few weeks now and were determined to pick some up in a charity shop or flea market. There they were – lovely wine glasses – large bowls, long slim stems, nice quality – £2.50 for a set of 8!! Now that was a great buy!