Vintage Thomas trios

Vintage Thomas trio | H is for Home

One of last week’s favourite items was the vintage Micratex ‘Catrina’ cups we featured – and we’re going to follow that up with more crockery this week. It’s a combination of loving this particular pattern – and having a high regard for the output of this manufacturer in general.

Triangle pattern on vintage Thomas trio | H is for Home

We have a set of six trios designed by Eva Striker-Zeisel in the 1950s for Thomas of Germany. The simple repeating triangle or arrow pattern in grey on white is classic Mid Century Modern; so clean, pared back and unfussy.

Set of 6 upturned vintage Thomas trios

Like many people, we drink most of our tea and coffee out of mugs, but occasionally you fancy (or need) something a little ‘posher’. These are perfect as they aren’t too small and suit any hot beverage.

Base stamp on the underside of a vintage Thomas tea cup | H is for Home

Thomas produced high quality pottery – porcelain in fact, for this range – and it’s a real pleasure to drink from. They’ve had many fabulous shapes and patterns in their output – mid century modern, op art, stylised abstract. We’ve had quite a selection of them over the years – and this one is a real favourite. We’ve just added them to our web shop so they’re available to buy now if you love them too!

Tibor Reich exhibition

Tibor Reich tapestry | H is for Home

Last week, I made an all too rare visit to Manchester; I was meeting a friend at the Whitworth to view the Tibor Reich exhibition.

Tibor Reich exhibition room at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Tibor Reich mural at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Tigoware sketch by Tibor Reich displayed at the Whitworth

Tibor Reich Tigo-Ware 'Florence' and 'Espanola' vases | H is for Home

It was wonderful seeing his work ‘in the flesh’ so to speak, rather than in books or on the internet, to appreciate the scale. The ‘Florence’ Tigo-Ware vase on the left of the photo above is over a foot tall.

Examples of Tigo-Ware designed by Tibor Reich and produced by Denby Pottery in the 1950s | H is for Home

Tibor Reich designed ceramic tiles | H is for Home

His black & white sgraffito designs are very eye-catching and distinctive.

Ceramic ashtrays designed by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Apparently, he designed and produced these keyhole-shaped ashtrays as presents for friends one Christmas. I’ve never seen one on the open market, they’re absolutely beautiful!

Ceramic ashtray designed by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Tibor Reich pen & ink sketches | H is for Home

A lot of his ceramic work is concerned with the female form and visage – my friend and I wondered whether his wife Freda, who was pictured in many of the photographs in the exhibition, acted as his muse.

Colour sketches of women by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

A displat of tools and other objects used by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Tibor Reich's sitting room which he designed himself | H is for Home

Reich may be best known for his textiles (his designs were on the seats of Concorde and the QE II), however his practice was multifaceted. Ceramics, fine art, photography… he even designed his own home including the ‘flaming onion’ fire in his sitting room, shown above.

 

A photo posted by TIBOR (@tiborreich) on

Tibor Reich: Art of Colour and Texture, shown above, was published earlier this month to accompany the exhibition. It can be purchased here (£35.00). The Tibor Reich exhibition runs until August 2016, so you still have lots of time to check it out – it’s well worth it! If you can’t get to Manchester, the University of Leeds (where he studied) have a huge archive of his textile work which can be viewed online.

Wallpaper display at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

In an adjoining room, there was an exhibition of vintage wallpaper (which runs until the 4th of September 2016). With the room’s huge, tall walls the long rolls were shown off to spectacular effect.

Wallpaper display at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Although I loved most of the designs, it also made me realise how overpowering some of the patterns would be if all four walls in a room were papered. A small feature wall would suffice!

Vintage 'Promenade' wallpaper sample | H is for Home

There were display cabinets of wallpaper samples – here are two of my favourites.

Vintage wallpaper sample with birds pattern | H is for Home

It’s a bit Fishy

Detail of yellow and mauve Aquarius fish plate | H is for Home

Last week, we featured a wonderful set of vintage bull plates – this week we have some equally fantastic fish plates!

Stacked set of vintage Aquarius fish plates | H is for Home

We bought five of the set in a single purchase and then managed to track down the missing plate in the following days.

Full set of vintage Aquarius fish plates | H is for Home

It’s now a fabulous and complete set of six.

Collection of vintage Aquarius fish plates | H is for Home

They’re highly stylised with beautiful detailing – dancing air bubbles, fluttering scales and swirling fins. We certainly haven’t seen anything similar in the local rivers or canals!

Back stamp on a vintage Aquarius fish plate | H is for Home

They’re from the Aquarius range produced by Washington Pottery in the 1960s. In 1970, Washington Pottery became English Ironstone Pottery Ltd. Three years later, it became English Ironstone Tableware Ltd, so you can trace the age of an item from its back stamp.

Detail from a purple & orange Aquarius fish plate | H is for Home

As with the bull plates, these colourful fish plates would look amazing displayed on a long shelf or mounted on a wall. Both types are listed in our web shop.

Load of old bull!

Vintage Beafeater steak plates by English Ironstone Pottery | H is for Home

We thought that we must have written a post about this range of crockery before. Having looked through our blog archive, it’s had a few mentions, but never a dedicated post. Surely, it deserves one!

Set of 6 vintage Beafeater steak plates by English Ironstone Pottery | H is for Home

This set was featured in yesterday’s Forthcoming Attractions post – and as we commented on there, we love this eccentric, crazy pattern.

Detail from vintage Beafeater steak plate by English Ironstone Pottery | H is for Home

Psychedelic, multi-coloured, stylised bulls – what’s not to like?

Detail from vintage Beafeater steak plate by English Ironstone Pottery | H is for Home

Some of them just about manage a passable bull hide look, but then this guy just goes completely wild with his pink & turquoise daisy splodges. Fabulous!

Backstamp of a vintage Beafeater steak plate by English Ironstone Pottery | H is for Home

As you can see from the base marks, the range is called “Beefeater” and was produced by English Ironstone Pottery Ltd. They date from the early 1970s era. In addition to these oval main course plates, we’ve also come across side plates – and there’s also a more monochrome version of the pattern. They display really well and look great on a long shelf or mounted on a wall.

Forthcoming Attractions: End February 2016

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collection of vintage homewares

Here are some of our recent purchases and forthcoming attractions.

vintage brass horse and wooden printers letters

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.

Vintage Wiktor Berndt face vase and Riihimaki vase

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.

Antique earthenware cup Antique earthenware cup

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.

Vintage Rorstrand 'Party' teapot

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!!

Detail from vintage biscuit tin with alpine illustrations

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.

Kaipiainen cup & saucer

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Vintage Birger Kaipiainen cup & saucer

We’ve nominated this cup & saucer as the week’s favourite buy. It wasn’t particularly cheap so it didn’t get the nomination because it was a great bargain. Just simply because we absolutely love the pattern… and its extra large size which makes it perfect for a café latte or hot chocolate.

Vintage Birger Kaipiainen cup & saucer showing women's faces

You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce who designed it, as the name is clearly incorporated into the pattern of stylised figures on the side.

Vintage Arabia cup & saucer showing Birger Kaipiainen's name on the bottom rim

It’s the work of Birger Kaipiainen (1915-1988) who worked at Arabia Pottery of Finland for nearly 50 years.

Arabia pottery stamp

He became an honorary professor in 1977 and was referred to as both the King of Decorators and Prince of Ceramics by contemporaries.

Detail view of Birger Kaipiainen cup & saucer

Despite stretching the budget for a cup & saucer, we certainly weren’t going to leave this fabulous example of vintage Scandinavian ceramics behind!