Creative Collections: Wooden spoons

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Collection of wooden spoons on an antique wooden spoon rack

Last week’s ceramic Creative Collections post featured modern design & graphics – this one is altogether more antique & rustic in nature.

5 vintage wooden spoons

We just love old wooden spoons!! All the different shapes, sizes & patinas.

pair of vintage wooden spoons

There are endless gadgets that you can fill your kitchen with (and we do); but when it comes down to it, if you’ve got a couple of good knives and some wooden spoons, you can get most jobs done.

detail of a vintage wooden spoon

You can get very attached to certain spoons. In addition to some exquisite antique examples that we now just display, we must have about 20 spoons available for use in a pot next to the cooker – we both gravitate to our favourite 2 or 3. They just feel right in the hand!

Collection of wooden spoons on an antique wooden spoon rack

And then there’s the spin off collection – obviously you then have to find perfect racks & containers in which to keep them!!

V is for… Viners

Group of vintage Viners stainless steel items | H is for Home

Viners is renowned for its high quality stainless steel products.

vintage Viners sauce boat | H is for Home

The company was founded in 1901 by Adolf Viener.

Vintage Viners ladle | H is for Home

Sheffield is the home of British steel manufacturing and Viners grew into the biggest cutlery factory in the city.

group of vintage Viners Mosaic cutlery pieces | H is for Home

Ruben Viner, one of the founder’s sons, became the firm’s driving force, and it really prospered in the 1960s.

This period saw our favourite range of products with wonderful shapes & textures – by designers such as Gerald Benney and Stuart Devlin. Even the packaging looked great!!

vintage Stuart Devlin dish designed for Viners | H is for Home

Their cutlery ranges from this era such as Mosaic, Shape and Sable are now much sought after.

set of vintage Viners Mosaic cutlery | H is for HomeMosaic

set of vintage Viners 'Shape' cutlery | H is forHomeShape

set of vintage Viners 'Sable' cutlery | H is for Home
Sable

The stainless steel was sometimes combined with woods such as rosewood and teak…

vintage Viners teak & stainless steel ice bucket | H is for Home vintage Viners teak & stainless steel ice bucket | H is for Home

…as in this fabulous ice bucket…

set of vintage Viners Polynesian teaspoons | H is for Home

…or these Polynesian teaspoons.

The company invested in a modern factory in Sheffield with subsidiaries in Ireland, France and Australia. Unfortunately, this major investment was to be the firm’s undoing. Crippling loan repayments at a time of stiff competition from cheaper, Far Eastern imports saw the family-run business close in 1982.

vintage Viners ice bucket | H is for Home vintage Viners ice bucket | H is for Home

The brand is now owned by US-based Oneida, the world’s largest cutlery company.

vintage Viners Splayds spoons

There are some great vintage pieces out there – have a look at H is for Home’s current vintage Viners items for sale.

U is for… Utensils

We’re taking a look at vintage utensils this week – those useful, kitchen tools from the humble wooden spoon to the wonderfully named kitchemajig.

No kitchen should be without a wooden spoon  – preferably a few.

They come in a wide variety of sizes, have multiple uses, they don’t scratch pots & pans… and also develop a lovely character over years of use.

We keep ours in this lovely, old wooden rack…

… another potful next to the stove…

…and still more hanging from this ancient iron well hook.

It’s useful having them close at hand wherever we happen to be working in the kitchen. There’s always the perfect spoon for a particular job.

This one has such a wonderful patina that it’s now been retired from general use and sits happily on a shelf enjoying its life of leisure… with a pair of child’s antique wooden clogs for company!

Of course kitchen tools don’t stop with the wooden spoon… there are palette knives, ladles, forks, fish slices, whisks etc, etc, etc.

Some utensils are multi-functional like the aforementioned kitchemajig…

…others have very specific uses such as the tomato slicer, butter curler and pastry blender.

Do rolling pins count as utensils?

We think they probably do – made from wood, pottery, marble, or in the case of this Pyrex example, glass.

The heyday for utensils – well our favourite era at least – was the 1950s & 60s. Names such as Skyline, Prestige & Tala.

Chrome & stainless steel tools mounted on lovely painted wooden handles available in a rainbow of colours.

They’re a great way of adding a vintage touch to an otherwise contemporary kitchen. They look good in sets of the same colour…

…or mixed & matched.

We picked up this wonderful set recently – boxed and with its original hanging rack. One small problem though, someone was obviously in desperate need of the lipped, oval spoon… and removed it.

We’re now on a quest for a 50-year-old lipped spoon, in pristine condition, in the right colours – no easy task!

We’ve got boxes full of coffee services short of one cup, storage jars waiting for matching lids and cutlery sets missing the odd knife or teaspoon. It’s all a matter of keeping your eyes open and being patient.

We’re currently relishing reading through a huge pile of 1950s/60 Ideal Home magazines, they’re full of fantastic ads for furniture, fabrics and housewares, including the odd one for kitchen utensils…

…like these for Tala and Prestige.

By coincidence, just as we were writing this post, we sold this lovely Prestige set with their classic 1950s, diamond-patterned handles.

If you manage to find one that you love, a kitchen utensil is of those wonderful items that can give you a little bit of pleasure every time you use it – have you got a favourite?