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.
We bought this small group of vintage milk bottles last week.
They’re half pints and date from the 1920s/30s kind of era – they’re very sweet!
The bottle markings are interesting – each from a different local dairy.
These are all from Greater Manchester. The area would have had large numbers of dairies at one time – supplying households, local shops, businesses & schools. They’d be situated in the various districts & suburbs. This group of ten contains bottles from Salford, Stretford, Sale and Moss Side. The bottles have relatively wide necks and make lovely little vases for a spray of flowers.
They’re available from our shop singly at £6 each; perhaps you’ve got a small restaurant or café with about ten tables – they’d be just perfect for that – or a vintage-inspired wedding reception perhaps?
Well, it was on the cards for quite a while. We were down to our last two red wine glasses when one got broken whilst taking it out of the cupboard.
We found a set of four in a local charity shop about two years ago. They were really cheap – £2.50 the lot – but they were great quality and each held almost an entire bottle! They’re quite fragile, they make that lovely, lead crystal ringing sound when flicked gently with a fingernail.
Sadly, one by one, they were getting broken. We’ve been trying to be so, so very careful when using them and washing them up. We’ve been down to the last pair for almost a year, but we knew that it was only a matter of time… a split second of lost concentration…
The chances of us finding another great set like that in a charity shop are slim. We’re probably going to have to shell out properly for replacements. But what should we do? We can get a six-pack of cheap & cheerful ones from IKEA for just £1.25. That’s probably a good decision considering our track record! But the lovely ones from John Lewis hold ¾ of a litre – no topping up needed – decisions, decisions!
- Connoisseur red wine glasses, 0.66L, set of 4: £38, John Lewis
- SVALKA red wine glasses (30 cl) : £1.25 /6-pack, IKEA
- Set Of 4 red wine glasses: £45, Le Creuset
- Dartington crystalline set of six large red wine glasses (57cl): £24, Selfridges
- Vienna set of 6 burgundy glasses (57cl): £30, Habitat