Forthcoming Attractions: Mid June 2016

Trio of vintage homewares: Orange plastic pop art lampshade, Blue Carstens West German pottery vase, Blue Cathrineholm Lotus enamel coffee pot | H is for Home

We’ve acquired some lovely vintage homeware pieces in the last week or so – and there’s been lots of photographing and listing to do. Here’s a selection of our favourite recent additions.

Blue vintage Carstens West German vase | H is for Home Orange plastic vintage pop art lampshade | H is for Home

Vintage wooden tabletop cantilever sewing box | H is for Home Blue vintage Cathrineholm Lotus coffee pot | H is for Home

Vintage blue & green bird patterned curtains | H is for Home Vintage Denby 'Trees' cup & saucer | H is for Home

Vintage hand painted pottery piggy bank | H is for Home Vintage Babycham tea towel | H is for Home

We like to split items between the web shop, eBay shop and physical shop space so have been busy in the this month!

This mid century modern shelving unit was bought at auction recently. It’s for sale of course, but it also provides the perfect backdrop for other objects from the same era – pottery, lamps and so on.

H is for Home vintage homewares at Picture House Antiques in Todmorden | H is for Home

As always, if you see anything that takes your fancy, just drop us a line.

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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.

Charity Vintage: Whitefriars nipple vase

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Vintage Whitefriars nipple vase

We have a high-end Charity Vintage item for you this week. Helen & Douglas House* are selling this fantastic vintage Whitefriars nipple vase.

An identical vase, in the same sage green colourway, sold in March for £800. Another nipple vase, in kingfisher blue, ends tomorrow and is currently at £450. Yet another, in aqua, is for sale elsewhere online with a price of £900. This example above is listed with a ‘buy it now’ price of £800 but they are open to offers; a very fair price.

Up until fairly recently, we had a collection of tangerine Whitefriars art glass. However, as is the way when you’re vintage dealers, items come & go, ebb & flow.

*Helen & Douglas House is a registered charity providing respite and end of life care for children and young adults with life-shortening conditions, as well as support and friendship for the whole family.


Royal Copenhagen Tenera vase

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Royal Copenhagen Tenera vase designed by Johanne Gerber

This gorgeous vase has to be our favourite acquisition of the week!

Royal Copenhagen vase designed by Johanne Gerber

It was designed by Johanne Gerber for Denmark’s Royal Copenhagen Pottery in the 1960s.

stamp on the base of a  Royal Copenhagen vase designed by Johanne Gerber

It’s from the Tenera range and features this wonderful stylised fruit pattern.

detail from a Royal Copenhagen vase designed by Johanne Gerber

We love the subtle burnt oranges & yellows combined with the strong black – and the slightly dimpled texture adds further interest too.

Royal Copenhagen vase designed by Johanne Gerber

 It’s a good size, standing at just over 20cm tall and has real impact – in fact, it was the first thing we noticed in a large auction space filled with two hundred other objects!

Forthcoming Attractions: Mid January 2015

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selection of vintage homewares coming to the H is for Home shop in mid January 2015 including a fat lava floor vase, two-tone orange Thermos vacuum flask, orange vacuum jug, maroon Crayonne ice bucket, white first aid tin, cream enamel tiffin, large bobbin with twine, industrial stapler and wooden Zoo-line hippo figure

Justin’s been photographing our recent vintage purchases today – here’s a sneak preview of items heading for the web shop & antiques centre this week.

Fat lava West German pottery floor vase

We’ll start with this gorgeous fat lava West German vase. It’s got our favourite look for this type of pottery – heavily textured with a bold flash of colour.

selection of vintage picnic items including a two-tone orange Thermos vacuum flask, orange vacuum jug, maroon Crayonne ice bucket and cream enamel tiffin

We might be a bit premature in picking up picnic wares (there’s sleety snow falling outside as we write), but there’s nothing like being prepared! Some lovely items here for picnicking, camping – or a day on the allotment. The most unusual piece has to be this vintage enamel tiffin.

vintage cream enamel tiffin bowls unstacked

It comprises four cream & green containers with an aluminium carry frame. Perfect for all kinds of food from rice dishes to salads – a four course meal in fact!

white first aid tin and wooden bobbin with jute twine

We thought this wall-mountable first aid box was very nice – it’s made of metal and has a clean, simple style. Sitting alongside the cabinet is an old mill bobbin with jute twine. No house should be without some good twine – and when it looks this good, all the better.

small vintage leather suitcase and industrial stapler with staples

Next, a couple of items that date from the 1920s/30s kind of era. These old staplers are full of character and display really well. It can earn its keep though as it still works – and even has a box of old staples to go with it! We love the tiny vintage case – endless storage possibilities from craft materials to fashion accessories. They look great on a shelf or chest of drawers – singly or in a small pile. This one even had some lovely old paper from a local drapers.

details of interior of vintage leather suitcase

Last, but certainly not least is this gorgeous wooden hippo. We didn’t actually buy this piece recently – more a case of putting her into storage and it temporarily vanishing! Safe & sound now though. It’s an overnighter – the mouth opening wide to hold jewellery, watches and so on. It’s from the Zoo Line Series designed in the 1950s. There’s a bit of damage to the ear, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. The hippo has its original packaging and she looks pretty much unused – so ear aside, condition is excellent – including the bright red lips and the fact that the curly tail is intact – often this is missing or broken.

vintage wooden Zoo-line hippo with original box

So, as usual, a diverse range of items – they’ll all be available to buy soon.

West German Ceramics

Collection of vintage West German 'Fat Lava' pottery vases

We recently posted a photograph of two lava glazed vases on our Flickr page which has proved very popular. So we thought that we’d write a few words and share a few more photos about West German ceramics from the 1950s to the 1970s.

After a period of time being generally ‘out of fashion’ these amazing ceramics are being appreciated once more for their style and eccentricity. They are now regularly seen gracing the pages of design and interior magazines. The range of colours, shapes, textures and sizes is mind-boggling!

Collection of West German 'Fat Lava' vases

Some pieces are hand-thrown, others are mass-produced, stock shapes. However, as with the Poole Delphis Pottery range, even these stock shapes can be transformed by the textures and the individual glazes in every colour imaginable. Pieces range in size from 3 inches to well over 20 inches tall for the larger floor vases.

West German vase with impressed detailing

Impressed ‘thumbnail’ detailing

Fat lava glaze detail

Frothing lava glaze

Incised West German vase

Incised decoration

Colourful West German vase

No rules with colour combinations!

Base detail of West German vase

Typical base markings

A number of factories produced these characteristic ceramics – Baykeramik, Carstens, Dumler & Breiden, Jopeko, Roth, Ruscha and Scheurich to name but a few. Much has still to be learned about which company produced what. Some factories produced pieces with distinctive base markings such as the crossed swords of Dumler & Breiden, however the majority of pieces simply have serial number markings (often accompanied by ‘German’ or ‘W. Germany’). You may be lucky enough to find a piece with the original paper label, otherwise you’re in for a bit of detective work. Fat Lava book by Mark Hill

There hasn’t been a great deal published on West German ceramics from this period, however Fat Lava, by Mark Hill (from Amazon UK) is a good starting point – it outlines the main factories and is packed with good quality colour photos.

In fact, the book was written to accompany an exhibition of German pottery from this period held at King’s Lynn Arts Centre in 2006.

Another place to find out more is the GinFor’s Odditiques website. Also Outernational, fat-lava.com and An Seta Pottery.

The pots work well displayed in groups of either similar or contrasting colours. The larger floor vases look great as stand-alone pieces.

Our particular favourites are the fiery oranges and reds, particularly ones with the bubbling lava glazes. We’ve built up quite a collection but good examples are getting harder to find and prices are rising steadily.

Trio of West German vases

Trio of small, red and brown West German vases, 4-6 inches tall

Trio of 1950s West German vases

Trio of incised vases – classic 1950s shapes

Blue West German vase

Blue vase with original Scheurich paper label

Huge floor vases

Floral West German vase with rustic stool and knitted cushion

Fat lave glazes provide striking accent colours

We hope you’ve enjoyed looking at some of our collection. Have a look at our West German Pottery Collectors group on Flickr to see some more examples from us and other members. If this post has inspired you to start your own collection, then happy hunting!

Vintage West German pottery & ceramics currently available at our H is for Home online shop

'Fat Lava' book by Mark Hill