Designer Desire: Lisa Larson

Mosaic of Lisa Larson's ceramic work | H is for Home

Born in 1931, Lisa Larson is a Swedish ceramic designer. She worked for Gustavsberg, under Stig Lindberg, from the 1954 through to 1980 when she branched out on her own working for, amongst others, Royal Krona, Duka, Åhléns department stores and Kooperativa Förbundet.

Larson is probably best known for her small sculptures of animals and children of the world, but we absolutely adore her glazed tiles. The Viking ship at the top right of the mosaic is ours – and we’ve also got an elephant. So, it’s a collection of just two at the moment – but we’ve always got our eyes peeled hoping to happen across more. 🙂 

As you can probably tell, Larson is an animal lover – but she verges on the obsessive when it comes to cats!

Lisa Larson with a collection of her cat figures with a siamese cat on her shouldercredit

If you have a look at the short film below, she has the most beautiful sculpture of a cat which just begs to be stroked – so tactile. If you don’t speak Swedish, you can turn on subtitles by clicking on the left icon (next to the one that looks like a cog) along the bottom panel.

Image credits:
1st Dibs | Etsy | eBay

The elephant in the room

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Vintage Gustavsberg Lisa Larson elephant tile with mugs of cacti

We’ve chosen this fabulous wall plaque that we bought on Monday as the week’s favourite buy. It’s only Wednesday, but we don’t think we’ll better it in the next few days!

Vintage Gustavsberg Lisa Larson elephant tile

This particular elephant in the room is the work of Swedish designer Lisa Larson – produced at the renowned Gustavsberg factory where she worked for over two decades.

Detail from a vintage Gustavsberg Lisa Larson elephant tile

We love the design – the raised, textured decoration forming the elephant and riders’ decorative costumes. The colourway is very attractive too with gorgeous cool blues and chalky whites.

Detail from a vintage Gustavsberg Lisa Larson elephant tile showing signature stamp

The condition is very good; it has the ‘Lisa L’ stamp to the front of the plaque and Gustavsberg paper label to the reverse. Everything a collector would want.

Detail from a vintage Gustavsberg Lisa Larson elephant tile showing the Gustavsberg label

It joins another one of her tiles in the H is for Home shop – a contrasting yet equally fabulous design in the form of a Viking ship.

Vintage Home Show buys!

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vintage homewares bought by H is for Home at the Manchester Vintage Home Show including 1970s Crown wallpaper, 1970s floral tea towel, Swedish plaque of a fish in relief made from copper and tin and designed by Sven Lindström, Gustavsberg "Grazia" pin dish designed by Stig Lindberg and a "1001 Nights" porcelain charger designed by Bjørn Wiinblad for his Rosenthal Studio Line

We recently blogged about a very enjoyable Sunday morning spent at the Vintage Home Show held at Victoria Baths in Manchester. There were some excellent stalls with all kinds of temptation!

"1001 Nights" porcelain charger designed by Bjørn Wiinblad for his Rosenthal Studio Line

We acquired a few items as we wandered round.

detail from a "1001 Nights" porcelain charger designed by Bjørn Wiinblad for his Rosenthal Studio Line

The first (and most extravagant purchase) was this stunning charger designed by Bjørn Wiinblad. It’s from his 1001 Nights series and was produced by Rosenthal in the 1970s.

detail showing the artist's signature from a "1001 Nights" porcelain charger designed by Bjørn Wiinblad for his Rosenthal Studio Line

We admired it on our first circuit of the venue, picked it up and stroked it on our second circuit – and bought it on the third. We just couldn’t leave it behind!

vintage homewares bought by H is for Home at the Manchester Vintage Home Show including 1970s Crown wallpaper and 1970s floral tea towel

Then a couple of pieces of flower power caught our eye – quite understandable in the case of the zingy coloured tea towel. It was very reasonably priced, so had to be bought.

vintage 1970s floral tea towel

Unused vintage wallpaper is always much in demand. There’s usually enough on a roll to do a feature wall – or it can be used for lining draws/shelves – or various other craft projects.

vintage 1970s Crown wallpaper with floral pattern in browns and orange

On the same stall as the Wiinblad charger, we also spotted this fabulous Swedish metal wall plaque.

vintage Swedish plaque of a fish in relief made from copper and tin and designed by Sven Lindström

The stylised beaten metal fish just screams 1960s and was designed by Sven Lindstrom. We didn’t get the name of the stall holder so can’t give him a mention in person. He was very friendly and knowledgeable – travelling to Denmark on buying trips. He even gave us a few tips for places to check out… so thanks if you happen to be reading this! We’ll make a journey when we get our camper van sorted!

detail showing the maker's label from a vintage Swedish plaque of a fish in relief made from copper and tin and designed by Sven Lindström

We made our final purchase just as we were leaving – this pin dish was on the stall next to the main entrance.

small white vintage Gustavsberg "Grazia" pin dish designed by Stig Lindberg

We love the graphic townscape design in simple black on white – it just caught our eye despite being so small.

detail showing the backstamp from a small white vintage Gustavsberg "Grazia" pin dish designed by Stig Lindberg

It turns out to be the work of Stig Lindberg – a true great of Scandinavian design. That was a bonus!

If you missed the last two shows, the Manchester dates for 2013 have recently been confirmed – 17 March, 9 June & 27 October.

Bowled over by Stig!

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large vintage bowl designed & decorated by Stig Lindberg for Gustavsberg of Sweden

We’re saying a fond farewell to our gorgeous Stig Lindberg bowl in a few days. We bought it last year at auction and despite it being very tempting to keep hold of these items indefinitely, we have to make a living. So it’s up for sale!

detail from large vintage bowl designed & decorated by Stig Lindberg for Gustavsberg of Sweden

It’s a stunning piece with blue band and black zig-zag design – hand decorated by Stig Lindberg for Gustavsberg of Sweden in the 1950s. Fully marked to the base with the artist’s distinctive markings.

detail from large vintage bowl designed & decorated by Stig Lindberg for Gustavsberg of Sweden

We put most items on our own website, but we’ve decided to list this one on eBay. There are avid collectors of Scandinavian pottery from this era – and Stig Lindberg-designed examples in particular. It will reach a wide audience for collectors worldwide who are searching for him by name. If you’re a fellow fan, there’s still 4 days left of the auction.

We’ve enjoyed living with it for a while, but it’s just got a bid… so it looks like goodbye!

Forthcoming Attractions: Late May 2011

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new H is for Home stock items including yellow 1950s leatherette footstool, vintage Chad Valley globe, Kirkham Pottery salt & pepper and preserve pot and other vintage items

More fab purchases… and quite an eyeful of colour!

collection of new H is for Home stock items including a Palissy Kalibar coffee pot, child's vintage tin pencil case, Daisey Dairy milk bottle and red enamel coffeepot

No auctions this week, so everything was found on our market trawls.

A range of styles from the 50s, 60s & 70s – but you can imagine them all working together in the same vintage lover’s home.

trio of new H is for Home stock items; orange vintage plastic Gustavsberg record holder, orange mantle clock and vintage black & white ice bucket

Items include some lovely Kirkham Pottery with its distinctive spots & stripes, a bright orange record holder by Gustavsberg of Sweden, tin desk globe by Chad Valley and an amazing leatherette stool made by Sherborne.

trio of new H is for Home stock items; Kirkham Pottery salt & pepper and preserve pot on a yellow 1950s leatherette footstool

The stool was looking tired & grubby when we picked it up, but a bit of TLC has had amazing results.

new H is for Home stock items; yellow 1950s leatherette footstool and vintage Chad Valley tin globe

Other pieces just needed a quick wash and were good to go. They’ll all be hitting our shop very soon.

Tile-tastic!

Mosaic tiled wall in Huddersfield town centre | H is for Home

We were out & about in Huddersfield the other day and took some photos of these amazing tiled mosaics.

Mosaic tiled wall in Huddersfield town centre | H is for Home

They’re situated in a 1960s-built precinct development in the town centre – they really capture the era.

vintage Platt tile depicting a prince on horseback with falcon on his arm | H is for Home

On the subject of tiles, we recently put this image on Flickr. It’s a 1960s tile by Platt depicting a prince on horseback with a hunting falcon – we absolutely love it! We’re planning on having it framed.

Vintage 1960s/70s raised relief tile depicting a bird on a branch | H is for Home

We got this vintage bird tile ready-framed which is very effective. We think it was made by Maw & Co. It reminds us of Lisa Larson in style. We bought it from Wowie Zowie in Chorlton. This shop is well worth a visit if you’re in Manchester – they have some lovely stuff, imaginatively displayed.

vintage 1960s/70s tile by Lisa Larson depicting Vikings in a ship | H is for Home

This large tile/plaque is indeed by Lisa Larson – she’s a real favourite of ours! It was designed for Gustavsberg of Sweden in the 1960s.

vintage Lisa Larson tile on our sitting room shelf | H is for Home

Here it is in its usual home on a shelf in our lounge.

vintage Italian tile on our bathroom shelf | H is for Home

Here’s another one of our vintage tiles in situ – this one’s Italian – it sits happily on our bathroom shelf. Here it is in close up.

vintage Italian ceramic tile depicting whitewashed buildings | H is for Home

The most recent addition to our little collection was picked up yesterday. It’s quite different to the others in the fact that it represents a real place – it depicts the Euromast in Rotterdam designed in the 1950s – we really like the modernist feel to it.

vintage 1950s ceramic tile of the Euromast in Rotterdam | H is for Home

The final item in our burgeoning tile collection is by Kenneth Townsend. We featured it before in our Z is for… Zoo blog post.

vintage lion ceramic tile by Kenneth Townsend from his Menagerie collection | H is for Home

The lion is an early piece from his Menagerie range. Hopefully, we’ll be able to find some of his other animals to fill our shelves!