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: Eva Hidström

Collage of Eva Hidström metalware and jewellery designs | H is for Home

There’s not a great deal of information on the internet about Eva Hidström – at least, not that I could find. She’s a 3rd generation Finnish metalware and jewellery designer based in Salo. She specialises in beautiful, colourful enamelware items.

She has produced work for Tillander, Suomalainen Koru and Kultakeskus Oy.

You can occasionally find examples of her work up for sale on Etsy and at specialist sales and auction houses such as T W Gaze, Auktionsverket and Bukowskis.

If you’d like to find out a little more about Hidström, there’s a more detailed feature with additional images by Jonas Forth who’s the CEO of Moomin.

Portrait of Eva Hidströmcredit

Designer Desire: Kaija Aarikka

Mosaic of Kaija Aarikka designs | H is for Home Portrait of Kaija Aarikkacredit

I can’t go more than a few weeks before I’m back across to Scandinavia for a Designer Desire instalment. Kaija Aarikka (1929-2014) began her creative career designing and carving wooden buttons whilst attending Helsinki University of Technology.

Not much later, in 1954, she and her husband founded their own company, Aarikka Oy. They produced mainly wooden jewellery and small wooden ornaments. You can see the progression from the earlier button-making in the beads she used in her later designs.

I love her cute animal figures that she designed using these beads – the plain and multi-coloured rams and different types of birds. These, like her jewellery that she made using wood and often non-precious metals, are very affordable. Find examples on eBay and Etsy.

Additional image credits:
Bukowskis

Designer Desire: Heikki Orvola

Mosaic of Heikki Orvola designs | H is for Home

Heikki Orvola (b.1943) is at the vanguard of Finnish design. He works primarily in glass and ceramics and has produced designs for Notsjö Nuutajärvi, Arabia, Marimekko and Iittala. In 1998, he was awarded the prestigious Kaj Franck prize.

His designs are readily available on Etsy, eBay and the Scandinavian Design Center.

Portrait of Heikki Orvolacredit

Additional image credits:

1stDibs | Bukowskis | Invaluable

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

Designer Desire: Jorma Laine

Mosaic of Jorma Laine jewellery designs | H is for Home

I was doing a Google search recently for ‘Vintage Scandinavian jewellery’ (as you do!) and stumbled across the work of Jorma Laine – I’m now smitten!

Laine (1930-2002) was a Finnish jewellery designer who worked for Turun Hopea Oy, Kultateollisuus Ky, Kalevala Kory Oy and his own company, Silver-Laine.

He worked mainly in bronze and silver with the occasional use of semi-precious stones such as turquoise, tiger eye, unakite or nephrite. His style was abstract, Modernist – almost Brutalist – with Viking and tribal influences.

I’ve come across lots of stunning examples of his work but below is the only portrait of the man I could find. Perhaps it’s because he apparently spent the final years of his life living as a recluse in a log cabin in the forest of Finland.

As I said, his work is readily available and fairly affordable – from less than £50 for a bronze pendant. Try looking on Etsy and eBay if you’re interested.

Jorma Laine, jewellery designercredit

Additional image credits:

1st Dibs | Bukowskis