Gimme Five! Red wine glasses

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selection of 5 types of red wine glasses

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!

  1. Connoisseur red wine glasses, 0.66L, set of 4: £38, John Lewis
  2. SVALKA red wine glasses (30 cl) : £1.25 /6-pack, IKEA
  3. Set Of 4 red wine glasses: £45, Le Creuset
  4. Dartington crystalline set of six large red wine glasses (57cl): £24, Selfridges
  5. Vienna set of 6 burgundy glasses (57cl): £30, Habitat

Creative Collections: Glass floats

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collection of vintage glass floats

We’ve chosen glass fishing floats for this week’s Creative Collections post – we love the subtle colour variations and irregularities in shape.

collection of vintage glass floats

Glass floats originated in Norway in about 1840. Christopher Faye, a Norwegian merchant, in collaboration with the Hadelands Glass Works, is credited with their invention. Early examples were hand blown, later the glass was injected into wooden moulds resulting in the faint seam line which can be seen on many examples. Modern replicas are also being produced.

collection of vintage glass floats

This is how they would have originally been used – encased with a twine netting holder. These would have then been attached to the large fishing nets & lines to keep mile after mile of them afloat in the sea. This is quite a basic form of holder, but the more elaborate antique examples crafted by the fishermen or their wives during long winter evenings can be a things of real beauty. Glass floats are no longer used having been replaced by plastic, aluminium or Styrofoam. However, thousands of the glass ones are still afloat, travelling along in the currents of the world’s oceans. They’re prized by beachcombers and used in interior decoration.

collection of vintage glass floats

They’re great for interior display – particularly the genuine older examples which have so much character. A collection looks great in a large bowl for example – and they look really fabulous on a window sill where the sun catches the glass and fills the room with coloured light and shadows.

Etsy List: P… P… P… Pyrex

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H is for Home Pyrex Etsy List

There are certain vintage homeware items that the USA has a much bigger & better choice of – annoyingly Pyrex glassware is one those things! We almost never come across the bright red, yellow, blue green or orange dishes; nor see patterns such as Tulip, Daisy, Butterprint or Town and Country.

I remember us having some graduated Carnaby Tempo lidded casserole dishes at home when I was growing up. Very boring when you compare it to Spring Flowers or Friendship.

If you’d like to learn more, there are books on Pyrex, lots & lots of Flickr groups dedicated to it, there’s even a Pyrex Museum in Washington.

P… P… P… Pyrex!
Curated by H is for Home

Riihimaen collection

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collection of green vintage Riihimaen glass vases

We often speak of living with things for a while before they reach our shop – and this is a case in point. We steadily added glass vases to the windowsill on our landing over recent years, building up quite a collection. We’ve enjoyed looking at them each time we passed – the natural light enhancing the gorgeous olive green colourway & highlighting the different shapes… but now it’s time to let them go. Here they are pictured sitting atop a 1960s teak bookcase in our Picture House Antiques space – they look great grouped together.

detail of collection of green vintage Riihimaen glass vases

They’re all produced by Finnish glass company Riihimäki in the 1960s. For the sake of accuracy, we should attribute them to Riihimäen Lasi Oy as the company was renamed in the late 1930s, but they’re still often referred to as Riihimäki vases. The company had some very notable designers such as Aimo Okkolin, Timo Sarpaneva, Helena Tynell, Nanny Still, Tamara Aladin and Erkkitapio Siiroinen.

We’ve got them priced up between £15 & £35… and of course we’ve started a new windowsill collection!!

Tuesday Huesday: The Woods by StokkeAustad & Andreas Engesvik

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The Woods by Norwegian design studios StokkeAustad and Andreas Engesvik

Oslo-based design studios StokkeAustad & Andreas Engesvik have collaborated for a second time. On this occasion they’ve created “The Woods”, a beautiful glass sculpture inspired by the forests & lights of the north. Made from hand blown glass, each sculpture consists of seven trees – joined in two separate sections… Just exquisite!

Bookmarks: Miller’s Mid-Century Modern

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"Mid-Century Modern" by Judith Miller surrounded by vintage Mid-century modern homewares including a West German fat lava vase, bright orange pedestal cigarette lighter, small Cathrineholm enamelware Lotus bowl and still life oil painting

In today’s Bookmarks post we’re taking a peek at Mid-Century Modern – living with mid-century modern design by Judith Miller.

title page of "Mid-Century Modern" by Judith Miller with a small Cathrineholm enamelware Lotus bowl

Well, a bit more of a peek really , as we linger over some of the wonderful pieces on display!

interior view of the mid-century modern design Kauffman House sitting room

Mid-century modern is one of our favourite eras for interior design, illustration, textiles and product design…

Arne Jacobsen "Ant" and "Swan" chairs

…so as the pages turned, there was a soundtrack of many oohs and ahhs!

selection of vintage Mid-Century Modern glassware including a kingfisher blue "Drunken Bricklayer" vase designed for Whitefriars by Geoffrey Baxter

Judith Miller is most famous for her all-encompassing antiques & collectables guides which are published annually.

collection of colourful West German "Fat Lava" pottery pots and vases

In recent years, they’ve include an ever-increasing number of 20th century pieces in response to interest & demand.

collection of GPlan furniture including a nest of pebble tables and "Butterfly" chairs designed by Lucian Ercolani

This book concentrates solely on mid-century modern – 1950s to the 1970s being the period generally accepted.

collection of vintage mid-century modern glass vases

A wonderful introductory chapter covers its evolution and influential designers.

collection of vintage mid-century modern chairs including examples designed by Charles and Ray Eames and Carlo di Carli

The movement perfectly encapsulated a new mood of optimism after the war years with revolutionary designs, materials & techniques.

collection of vintage mid-century modern pop art chairs including examples designed by Egon Eiermann and Günter Beltzig

The fresh ideas, and indeed disposable income, of a whole new generation began to soar.

vintage mid-century modern chair designed by Eero Saarinen and folding cube radio designed by Richard Sapper

There are examples of houses & interiors that encapsulate the era – less cluttered and designed for modern living.

vintage mid-century modern George Nelson "Spike" wall clock, Tommi Parzinger-designed sideboard and mahogany credenza and aluminium armchair designed by Harvey Probber

A broad array of objects are included, with chapters given over to furniture, lighting, glass, ceramics, metalware & textiles.

collection of vintage mid-century modern glass vases produced by Riihimaki of Finland

In addition, an extensive section covers the people responsible for these wonderful & iconic designs.

collection of vintage mid-century modern fabric

There are about 200 familiar & not so familiar names who are given a short, individual write up.

Mid-Century Modern text

We’ll just scratch the surface by mentioning Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton, Eero Saarinen, Alvar Aalto, Robert Welch, Stig Lindberg, Lucienne Day, Per Lutken, Charles & Ray Eames.

view of a sitting room with black Barcelona chairs and sofas

The book is packed with quality, full colour photographic references throughout…

vintage "Valentine" typewriter designed by Ettore Sottsass, Peter and Alison Smithson chair and Ronald Stennett-Wilson green glass candlestick

…and as with all Miller’s guides – estimated values to accompany each item image.

vintage mid-century modern Marcel Breuer reclining chair and Holmegaard "Gulvase" designed by Otto Brauer

There’s also a useful directory included of international dealers and their contact details – broken down into categories such as ceramics, glass, furniture, lighting etc.

collection of American-designed vintage mid-century modern furniture

As well as auctions & fairs and museums if you fancy going to see or sometimes handle wares in the flesh

vintage mid-century modern posters by Saul Bass and Herbert Bayer

The book is well researched and accessible – a perfect coffee table browser or excellent source book for your library.

collection of vintage Scandinavian mid-century modern ceramic pots, vases and plaques

Mid-Century Modern – living with mid-century modern design is available from the publishers Octopus, Amazon and Hive.

collection of vintage Scandinavian mid-century modern ceramics designed by Stig Lindberg

[Many thanks to Octopus for the review copy]