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!

Forthcoming Attractions: Mid January 2015

'Forthcoming Attractions' blog post banner

selection of vintage homewares coming to the H is for Home shop in mid January 2015 including a fat lava floor vase, two-tone orange Thermos vacuum flask, orange vacuum jug, maroon Crayonne ice bucket, white first aid tin, cream enamel tiffin, large bobbin with twine, industrial stapler and wooden Zoo-line hippo figure

Justin’s been photographing our recent vintage purchases today – here’s a sneak preview of items heading for the web shop & antiques centre this week.

Fat lava West German pottery floor vase

We’ll start with this gorgeous fat lava West German vase. It’s got our favourite look for this type of pottery – heavily textured with a bold flash of colour.

selection of vintage picnic items including a two-tone orange Thermos vacuum flask, orange vacuum jug, maroon Crayonne ice bucket and cream enamel tiffin

We might be a bit premature in picking up picnic wares (there’s sleety snow falling outside as we write), but there’s nothing like being prepared! Some lovely items here for picnicking, camping – or a day on the allotment. The most unusual piece has to be this vintage enamel tiffin.

vintage cream enamel tiffin bowls unstacked

It comprises four cream & green containers with an aluminium carry frame. Perfect for all kinds of food from rice dishes to salads – a four course meal in fact!

white first aid tin and wooden bobbin with jute twine

We thought this wall-mountable first aid box was very nice – it’s made of metal and has a clean, simple style. Sitting alongside the cabinet is an old mill bobbin with jute twine. No house should be without some good twine – and when it looks this good, all the better.

small vintage leather suitcase and industrial stapler with staples

Next, a couple of items that date from the 1920s/30s kind of era. These old staplers are full of character and display really well. It can earn its keep though as it still works – and even has a box of old staples to go with it! We love the tiny vintage case – endless storage possibilities from craft materials to fashion accessories. They look great on a shelf or chest of drawers – singly or in a small pile. This one even had some lovely old paper from a local drapers.

details of interior of vintage leather suitcase

Last, but certainly not least is this gorgeous wooden hippo. We didn’t actually buy this piece recently – more a case of putting her into storage and it temporarily vanishing! Safe & sound now though. It’s an overnighter – the mouth opening wide to hold jewellery, watches and so on. It’s from the Zoo Line Series designed in the 1950s. There’s a bit of damage to the ear, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. The hippo has its original packaging and she looks pretty much unused – so ear aside, condition is excellent – including the bright red lips and the fact that the curly tail is intact – often this is missing or broken.

vintage wooden Zoo-line hippo with original box

So, as usual, a diverse range of items – they’ll all be available to buy soon.

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