Our recent acquisitions have a ’round the world’ theme.
We’ll start with Finland. Vintage glassware fans will recognise the sculptural form and distinctive olive green colour of the Riihimäki vase. These vases look amazing when arranged in groups or rows, highlighting the contrast in shapes and size. And then the enamel mugs – what a gorgeous colour and pattern. They were designed by Kaj Franck for Finel – and are very hard to find in this condition and quantity.
Next, on to Italy, where this fabulous little pin dish was produced. The hand decorated piece has very eye-catching decoration; she’s a very beautiful and arresting young lady – reminiscent of the work of Modigliani. It’s the perfect little dish for rings or other jewellery. And more pretty girls on this Avon ‘Her World’ Talc. Cosmetic products aren’t something that we normally pick up – but it’s unused with contents intact – and the illustrations are so gorgeous that we couldn’t resist. The label reads “Avon Cosmetics – New York, London, Munchen, Paris, Rome” – a very apt item for our little global product trip!
These Konge tinn pewter napkin rings hail from Norway. They have a striking and intricate Viking themed design with warriors and ships. They’re very tactile in the hand – keep your dinner guests happy for hours! And last, but not least, a charming vintage enamel candle holder that we’re pretty sure was made in France. We love the delicate ribbed pattern, aged patina and fabulous emerald green colour.
These international vintage products and others will be heading to our web shop soon – click on each item image to find it!
We had a wonderful start to the week on the buying front – acquiring a small collection of these zodiac/horoscope mugs on Monday morning.
They were designed by John Clappison for Hornsea Pottery in the 1970s. His vintage pieces are becoming harder and harder to find – so getting hold of a few together was just great.
Each mug features the zodiac symbol – and character traits for that star sign incorporated into newsprint lettering. As with most of his designs, they’re fabulous. They look even better when grouped together, so it’s tempting to hunt down all twelve now that we have a few!
Justin has just read his Aries traits – positive, enthusiastic, energetic, impulsive, enterprising, lively, the pioneer… Is he sure his birthday’s in April?!
We picked up this lovely vintage pottery cheese dome today.
It’s from the ‘Spectrum’ range produced by T G Green. We love the crisp, clean, functional design – along with the bold, stylised lettering.
We were happy with the purchase… and our little mousey friend is always happy when we acquire anything at all to do with cheese!
Alas, he’ll have to say goodbye as it will be heading for the web shop soon. We’ll let him keep the cheese though!
Sometimes plates are just too pretty to keep hidden away in a cupboard; too beautiful to dare eat off. This selection of decorative wall plates deserves to be shown off!
They’re works of art that deserve to be treated as such; mount them on a plain wall or lean them on special little stands to display them to full effect.
- Ceramic fish shaped decorative hanging plates: £4.28 to £64.76, Etsy
- VILLEROY & BOCH Anmut Flowers bread and butter plate – 16cm: £21.90, Selfridges
- London Calling plates – set of 4 by Royal Doulton: £40, Amara
There’s no doubting Thomas Germany Pottery when you see it – especially from this 1960s period. The designs are fabulous – stylish, crisp and clean.
We picked up some lovely examples this week – namely a couple of lidded tureens and plates in three different sizes. We said that you can’t mistake it when you see it, but the feel of it is very distinctive too. A fine quality porcelain that feels wonderful in the hand.
Designers include Richard Scharrer and Eva Striker-Zeisel. Patterns include Pinwheel (shown below), Arcta, Eclipse and Onyx to name but a few. We couldn’t find another example of the two-tone blue diamond-over-circle pattern we’ve just bought – in books or online. Do you recognise it or know the name/designer?
Some patterns are very pared back in subtle shades, others have striking op art designs in eye popping colour combinations.
We think it’s gorgeous – stylish and elegant.
We currently have a few pieces of Thomas in our shop if you’re interested.
John ffrench (1928-2010) was an Irish studio potter / ceramic artist whose work is fantastically colourful and unique.
ffrench attended the National College of Art in Dublin after which he moved to Florence to attend the Instituto Statale D’Arte to specialise in ceramics. He returned to Ireland in 1962 where he was a founding member of Arklow Studio Pottery. In 1969, he emigrated to Massachusetts to teach and where he he founded The Dolphin Studio. However, he maintained a studio in County Galway where he spent time making each summer.
Check out eBay and Etsy for available pieces. His work occasionally comes up for sale in places such as Sotheby’s and Tennant’s Auctioneers.
At the end of this post is a very short film featuring the artist. It’s part of a 2007 retrospective exhibition entitled A Life of Colour. There’s a book available (shown in the montage above) which contains almost 750 illustrations of his work.
creditJohn ffrench video clip
from David Shaw-smith
Additional image credits:
Crawford Gallery | Pinterest
We love a bit of Iden Pottery – the subtle colours, interesting patterns and tactile surfaces. You may need to be a bit selective however, some of the early hand made studio ware is gorgeous.
We bought this fabulous lamp base a while ago, but still haven’t married it up with a suitable shade. We’ve been keeping an eye out for a cream or beige Hessian shade but alas, nothing of the right size or shape has appeared on our travels. We need to make a more determined effort – perhaps an internet trawl is required. It’s such a shame to leave this lovely piece languishing in a storage box.
Iden Pottery was founded by Dennis Townsend when he left Rye Pottery in 1959. The wares were sold by Harrod’s and Heal’s and are well regarded for their quality of design and finish. Their pared back subtlety means that they don’t scream at you from a distance – so keep your eyes peeled for hidden gems on flea market stalls or charity shop shelves.
Larger objects such as the lamp base work well as stand alone pieces in a variety of interior styles. We like grouping smaller pieces in groups alongside other pieces of Iden – or as part of a general collection of studio pottery from the same era.