We’ve not really featured any artists who specialise in glass so far in Designer Desire but that is about to change with this mosaic of work by Erik Höglund.
Best known for his people decanters for Kosta Boda (where he worked for 20 years), Höglund had a long and industrious career designing all manner of art glass. From the smallest coin-sized sun catchers to large-scale candelabra.
His decorative pieces are colourful and playful with organic, flowing forms. Many of them are designed to interact beautifully with light in some way – be it electric, fire, candle or the sun.
We have a few favourite pieces amongst this selection – perhaps the fabulous mid century modern fire-screen just edges it – or maybe that gorgeous ceiling candelabra. Tough choice!
There are always quite a lot of his works available for sale online – from just a few pounds to thousands & thousands. As a starting point, check out Etsy and eBay.
1st Dibs | Artnet | Bukowskis | Invaluable
We’ve acquired some fabulous vintage items this week.
We’ll start with two pieces for the kitchen diner – both items having a distinct Op Art feel. The coffee pot has a bold pattern of squares & circles in chocolate brown, black & white. It was produced by Johnson Bros in the late 60s or early 70s. The lidded casserole dish was made around the same time and has an equally striking design – this time, a repeating pattern of tulip heads in vibrant green & blue. It was made by Thomas of Germany. As we mentioned in the last Forthcoming Attractions post, we’re big fans of much of this company’s output.
This toy typewriter is a lovely example. It’s the Mettoy Elegant model in shades of pink – complete with original box. We’ve had a few of these Mettoy typewriters, but never in this colourway before.
Next is an old favourite – the West German fat lava. This example was produced by Dumler Breiden and has a striking, sculptural form with flashes of orange to the rim and twin handle like openings. The piggy bank was made by Cascade in the 1960s/70s. We like the design and pewter colour of the glass. You might want to use this money box for display only because there’s no stoppered hole to retrieve the coins – once they’re in, they’re in!
And last but not least, two nice bits of lighting. The miniature desk lamp is really cute. It dates from the 1950s/60s era and has a brass coloured flexi neck – perfect for those dramatic grey interiors perhaps. The wall lamp originates from the same period and is a real beauty. The mount is teak with brass & copper detailing – the glass shade has a wonderful swirling pattern. This piece looks good against grey too – and we can also see it hanging on a bright white wall in a pared back Mid Century Modern space.
If anything has taken your fancy, most of these items have just been put into our web shop.
Here are some of our recent purchases and forthcoming attractions.
We’ll start with our little equine friend. Mid century brass horses – they’re like buses – we don’t pick one up for years then four come at once! We’ve just sold a lovely pair of similar horses in the web shop this week. This one’s equally stylish. Frederick Weinberg is a name often mentioned in connection with this kind of piece. As with the previous pair, this horse dates from the 1960s era and has a classic Etruscan like form. You’ll also notice some of those lovely vintage wooden printer’s blocks lurking there. We’ve just got hold of another small quantity of letters & numbers. They’ll be heading to our antiques centre space as it’s not really practical to list them all individually on the website… but if you’re after a particular letter or number, drop us a line and we’ll let you know what we have.
Next we have a couple of lovely Scandinavian glass vases. The green hooped example is known as a ‘tulppaani’ or tulip vase and was designed by Tamara Aladin for Riihimaki of Finland – and the amber ‘face’ vase was designed by Wiktor Berndt for Flygsfors of Sweden. Both date from the 1960s and the latter is signed to the base.
We’ll head back a couple of hundred years with the next piece. It’s a small transfer printed cup featuring the tale of Cock Robin. It’s got chips, cracks and the handle’s missing – but it’s such a charming little object. Perfect with a few fresh flowers on a small table, tray or windowsill.
This vintage tin is really lovely and the condition is remarkable considering it dates from the late 1950s/early 60s. It has a ski and winter sports theme with fabulous illustrations to the lid and sides. It still retains the original label to the underside for a ‘mallow selection’ produced by Elkes Biscuits. It’s the ideal container for cakes or home-made cookies. And if any of our readers out there do happen to own a mid century modern ski chalet… well it’s just perfection!!
And finally, we have to give a mention to this gorgeous teapot by Rorstrand. It’s not actually a recent purchase, but it feels like a new item to us. We misplaced the lid about 5 years ago. We’d given it up for sure – and it really irked us every time we came across the lidless pot in a storage box. Someone recently ordered a coffee set and as we unwrapped the various cups and plates from their newspaper wrapping, there it was! The little lid with its distinctive pattern peeking out of a piece of paper at the bottom of the box. How it got in there we don’t know – but what a great feeling! Anyway, we thought we’d give it a mention in our recent finds post! We’re always happy to share pictures of this wonderfully designed teapot anyway.
We have a high-end Charity Vintage item for you this week. Helen & Douglas House* are selling this fantastic vintage Whitefriars nipple vase.
An identical vase, in the same sage green colourway, sold in March for £800. Another nipple vase, in kingfisher blue, ends tomorrow and is currently at £450. Yet another, in aqua, is for sale elsewhere online with a price of £900. This example above is listed with a ‘buy it now’ price of £800 but they are open to offers; a very fair price.
Up until fairly recently, we had a collection of tangerine Whitefriars art glass. However, as is the way when you’re vintage dealers, items come & go, ebb & flow.
*Helen & Douglas House is a registered charity providing respite and end of life care for children and young adults with life-shortening conditions, as well as support and friendship for the whole family.
We had a disaster this week. In the middle of the night, one of the shelves in our larder collapsed with a massive crash. On it was a dozen or so glass storage jars, full of rice, dried pulses, pasta etc. All but two of them smashed to smithereens with their contents exploding to the far corners.
They were mainly Le Parfait jars of varying sizes – here some of them are in this old photo – there were even more of them on the shelf at the time of the event. We had to embark on a massive, midnight clear-up operation – trying to keep the dog out of the way while we swept up shards of glass and millions of lentils with dustpan & brush. We still don’t know what caused the shelf to give way – it’s been there near on 5 years!
Anyhow, we’re in the market for some new glass storage jars. We looked at replacing like for like but we didn’t know how expensive Le Parfait jars are – we tended to pick them up here and there second hand at markets and charity shops. The smallest size is £5.25. Here are a few mainly cheaper – and equally attractive – options we’ve found.
- Vogue clip top preserve jars: from £2.39, Nisbets
- KORKEN food storage jars with lids: from 80p, IKEA
- Clip top preserving jars: from £1.49, Dunelm
- Kilner jars: from £1.50, Divertimenti
- Ella Sabatini square glass storage collection: from £6.99, Wayfair
I’m always on the look out for nice kitchen storage jars – well, to be honest, it’s usually Justin who’s keeping an eye out on my behalf at the various auctions & markets he visits.
He brought these beauties home last week – very superior in quality to my normal offerings! I know they were quite expensive, but he’s not divulged the exact figure as yet.
They’re Italian and date from the first half of the 20th century – 1920s to 1940s kind of era.
They’re a fabulous shape – quite modernist. Remember that early black & white Flash Gordon series? They remind us of Zarkov’s rocket ship from that… or something out of the film Metropolis.
We’re not sure what exactly they were used for, although we’re certain that they were on display in a shop or café. They’re large enough to hold a wide variety of products. Coffee beans maybe – or luxury chocolates. Perhaps even cigars?? They don’t smell of anything, but the lid interiors have a distinct staining – it looks a bit like coffee or tobacco.
Let us know if you have the definitive answer!
22 Apr 15 | update: We think we’ve got the answer. The paper sticker is a tax certificate indicating that tax has been paid on the products inside – this manufacturing tax on spirits was introduced in 1926. The jars probably contained something preserved in alcohol. This would most likely be fruit such as peaches & cherries. Thanks to Peter, one of our regular readers, for his information.