This stainless steel tea set caught our eye at a local flea market last week. What a fabulous modernist shape!
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!
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.
As it turned out, it dates from the noughties – and is the limited edition ‘Asia’ tea set produced by Blomus of Germany.
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.
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.
And the nominations for our favourite purchase of the week are… *dramatic pause*… it’s like the Oscars… well, not quite. Anyway, our choice for favourite purchase of the week is this fabulous 1960s tea set.
We see so many drab, average-looking stainless steel tea sets from this period that we don’t normally look twice. Just occasionally, one stands out from the crowd!
This one’s quite sculptural – we love the angular ‘hollow’ handles and circular teak finials. It has a really clean, modernist look. We’ve no idea of the designer or manufacturer. The only markings indicate it was made in Hong Kong which was quite common during this period as many companies based production there.
Whoever is responsible, there’s no doubting that it’s a great looking piece. Just the thing to accompany a plateful of modernist triangular sandwiches (crusts removed, of course) – or sports biscuits with their 1972 Munich Olympics vibe (the original versions at least). Alternatively, the set could just sit on open mid century modern shelving looking fabulous. Let us know if you do happen to know a possible designer for it – or if you’d like to own it of course!
We’ve chosen this wonderful Italian modernist mill conversion for this month’s Pick of the Pads.
It’s the home of fashion designer, Barbara Garofalo and is featured in the July 2015 edition of Elle Decoration – it even gets on the cover!
Factory spaces aren’t common in Rome, and this former wool mill provides an amazing structure with which to work.
It’s airy, clean and uncluttered… and we love it!
The colour scheme is largely white with muted, natural shades – and just the odd flash of strong colour which works superbly well – the red kitchen cupboards or striped textile on this bed for example.
The huge floor-to-ceiling windows let sunlight pour in…
…and there’s a distinct vintage industrial feel to the décor with rough hewn wood, wire racks, baskets, hooks and trolleys.
The spaces flow into each other so well and it’s both homely and functional – a difficult balance to achieve. It looks pretty much perfect to us!
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.