Blomus tea set

Limited edition stainless steel 'Asia' Blomus tea set | H is for Home

This stainless steel tea set caught our eye at a local flea market last week. What a fabulous modernist shape!

Stainless steel Blomus tea pot with large West German vase | H is for Home

The lady selling it thought it dated from the 1960’s. We could go along with that assumption in terms of design – you could just see it in the departure lounge of 2001: A Space Oddysey!

Stainless stell Blomus tea pot showing integral stainless steel strainer | H is for Home

However, this date was far from certain and would require some checking. It was clearly marked to the base, so detective work was quite straightforward.

Blomus Germany base mark | H is for Home

As it turned out, it dates from the noughties – and is the limited edition ‘Asia’ tea set produced by Blomus of Germany.

Stainless steel Blomus tea set with stainless steel candle holder and vintage Danish Fortnight Neiman Marcus poster | H is for Home

The design and quality is superb – and we love little details like the integral strainer. The set comprises teapot, lidded milk and sugar bowls – and under tray. Form meets function perfectly.

Detail of the milk jug from a stainless steel 'Asia' Blomus tea set

It’s quite quickly become sought after and collectable. It’s just gone into a mid century modern corner of a new retail space that we’ve just acquired… more details to follow on that! It’s priced at £125 the set.

More Menus!

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Vintage German menus from a Norddeutscher Lloyd cruise

Our last vintage menus post proved popular – and most of the examples that we featured in it prior to listing in the web shop have now sold.

Vintage German menus from a Norddeutscher Lloyd cruise

We thought we’d share some more of our collection over the coming weeks…

Details from vintage German menus from Norddeutscher Lloyd cruise

…starting with this collection of cruise ship menus dating from the late 1960s.

Details from vintage German menus from Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen cruise

They were produced for the German company, Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen.

Vintage menu illustration details from a Norddeutscher Lloyd cruise

We like the combination of stark pen & ink drawing with bold, partial colouring. They’re very distinctive – the artist’s signature looks like Geißler, but we can’t seem to find any mention of him anywhere on the internet. Can anyone out there shed some light?

Vintage menu with cover illustration of men playing bowls in a park Vintage menu with cover illustration of suns

Vintage menu with cover illustration of birds Vintage menu with cover illustration of fish

This particular set would look fabulous with simple black frames against a large expanse of white wall. The vibrant colours would really leap out and draw you in to take a closer look.

West German vase collection

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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.

Creative Collections: Altenstadt bottles

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Vintage Altenstadt bottle collection

For this Creative Collections post we have this lovely group of bottle decanters.

Vintage Altenstadt pottery mark

They’re all marked Altenstadt, Western Germany to the base – so we know where they originate from, but we have to admit to ignorance when it comes to a designer or manufacturer. Anyone out there know?

Vintage Altenstadt pottery pirate bottle Vintage Altenstadt pottery sailor bottle

Each bottle represents either a specific character, such as a pirate or sailor…

Vintage Altenstadt pottery barmaid bottle Vintage Altenstadt pottery birds bottle

…or a group scene like the bar room or birds in a cage.

Vintage Altenstadt pottery city gent bottle Vintage Altenstadt pottery monocled man bottle

They’re very charming and look equally good as a group or stand alone piece. They’re very good quality ceramic and the graphics are fabulous, full of quirky details.

Vintage Altenstadt bottle stoppers

We usually put our collections together over a long period of time, picking pieces up singly. Not in this case however. The bottles were someone else’s hard work – hello Emma (of Wooden Donkey fame) if you’re reading this!! We bought her remaining stock when she retired from the vintage retail game. We were supposed to be selling them of course, but as you can see we’ve not managed to part with them as yet!

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