Steel – the material and the colour is this week’s Home Tones. By its very nature, steel has a solid and durable quality. It has real presence in a space – strong and timeless. It’s probably most often used in kitchens and kitchen diners, but we’ve found some wonderful images of it being utilised in bathrooms, lounge areas and bedrooms too. And not forgetting outdoor spaces where metal planters and garden furniture can look fabulous in contemporary designs. It’s the perfect partner for lighter shades of wood such as beech and birch – and looks amazing set against various shades of purple, orange and grey.
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!
Anyone out there after some cutting-edge cutlery?
We’ve just picked up five boxes of classic mid century modern flatware.
There are six each of main course knives & forks, starter knives & forks – and spoons. That should cover lots of menu options!
They’re stainless steel with teak handles.
We love the handle shape and grain of the wood.
It was produced in the 1960s by Mills Moore of Sheffield – the steel city and home to some great cutlery makers. Other names that spring to mind include Viners, Mappin & Webb, Joseph Rodgers, Sanderson and Wolstenholm.
It’s a wonderful design in terms of both material & form – and was selected by The Design Centre – always a good sign when collecting pieces from the era. The boxes are tatty, but the contents are in good condition. We’ll try and get them into our web shop this week – alternatively, drop us a line if you’re keen to fill that cutlery drawer!
We bought this fabulous 1950s/60s coal bucket & matching fireside companion set last week. Although there’s a good selection of great looking sets being manufactured today, we don’t come across many stylish examples from this period.
The only other ones that spring to mind are a couple of atomic sets that we sold many years ago. They’re usually very traditional looking affairs, often made of heavy brass, copper or wrought iron – this one is altogether more mid century modern in design.
It’s made of stainless steel with teak detailing. It was filthy when we bought it, but metal polish, wood oil and elbow grease has improved it no end. It’s heading off to our antiques centre space later on this week.
We bought these items this week – most of them from one local contact actually. It’s quite a mid century modern collection!
Two lovely bits of German pottery for starters – they’re both by Dumler & Breiden. We love the colour contrast and striking repeat pattern of the bowl. The vase has a very distinctive form similar to another piece we’ve got. The combination of thick, textured glaze to the sides and smooth vibrant orange glaze highlighting the holes & vase rim is very effective. We’re trying to be quite strict with ourselves these days, but that’s probably a keeper!
And yet more flashes of orange with the desk lamp & cased glass vase. The lamp, dating from the 60s/70s, is adjustable and has a label for ‘1001 Lamps Ltd’ of London. The vase is unmarked, but dates from the same period.
There’s another nice table lamp in view, this one being teak with a fibreglass shade. The base looks very Danish.
And, staying with the Scandinavian theme, we have some interesting stainless steel pieces. The snack tray is Danish and quite an unusual shape; the pair of matching vases were made in Sweden. There’s some lovely Tupperware spice pots too – both colourful & practical.
…and then there’s the classic 1950s atomic zig-zag coat rack. We’ve had lots of these and grab them whenever we see them – they’re always really popular with our customers.
And last but not least, the teak drinks trolley that the items are sitting on.
This is a lovely piece of furniture dating from the 1960s. It has the ‘Remploy’ label to the base.
It’s got a great look, it’s useful and is in excellent condition. Did we say we were trying to be strict with ourselves?!
Here are some forthcoming attractions for mid September… photos taken on a rare, sunny afternoon by recent standards.
We start with a trio of coffee pots. At the back is a tall coffee pot produced by Briglin Pottery in the 1960s – in our favourite wax resist sunflower design. To the foreground are two enamel pots – the orange one (dating from the 1960s/70s) has no maker’s marks, but is a fabulous colour & shape. The green & white pot is by Cathrineholm of Norway – from the much in demand ‘Lotus’ range designed by Grete Prytz Kittelsen in the 1950s.
Moving onto some Mid Century Modern stainless steel. First we have the little mustard pot still with its original spoon. This was designed by Robert Welch for Old Hall. The set of tea/dessert spoons was produced by Wostenholm of Sheffield – we love their big moon shaped bowls.
Bedroom items next – some unused 1970s patterned pillowcases in shades of orange and two green vintage enamel candle holders.
This set of snack dishes was made by Chance Glass – pieces with this psychedelic swirl design are steadily getting more sought after.
We think these two lidded pots might just be our favourites in the whole collection. They’re Italian, hand painted and date from the 1950s. A pair of domestic goddesses!!
And last but not least, we have this rather nice desk thermometer produced by Smiths in the 1950s or 60s. We fear its needle is about to plummet!