Designer Desire: Celestino Piatti

Mosaic of Celestino Piatti designs | H is for Home

We’ve long had a soft spot for the illustrations of Celestino Piatti (1922-2007). He was a Swiss designer best known for his children’s book illustrations and poster and postage stamp designs.

For years, we’ve been hoping to happen across a pristine 1st edition 1965 copy of his Animal ABC in a charity shop somewhere. It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon – thankfully, you can get new copies online.

Celestino Piatti

Much of his work has distinctive thick, rough, black outlines with bright ‘colouring in’ – almost child-like but incredibly beautiful. He had a few motifs which he kept returning to again & again; owls, the sun with a face and cockerels.

Additional image credits

Artnet | Invaluable | Pinterest | Poster Gallery

This is Cape Canaveral

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Vintage This is Cape Canaveral book with other titles in the series by Miroslav Sasek | H is for Home

We’ve just made a new addition to our collection of This is… books.

Vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book with cup of tea

It’s always a treat to make a brew and settle down with one of these gorgeous books for ten minutes – especially one we’ve never read before.

Vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book cover

Our new arrival is a first edition copy of This is Cape Canaveral dating from 1963. Later versions of this book were called This is Cape Kennedy and most recently, This is the way to the Moon.

Astronauts illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

As always, fabulous illustrations by Miroslav Sasek leap off every page.

Vehicle checkpoint illustration from 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

It’s a pleasure to share them with our readers – existing fans and perhaps a few new converts too.

Cameramen illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

 They’re insightful and very witty…

International newspaper headlines illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

 …and full of wonderfully observed detail.

Rockets illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

They’re beautifully drawn and capture the era perfectly.

Mercury Control Center illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

They also have a real sense of optimism about them.

'Welcome Back' illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

 We picked up this copy for £5 which was a real steal for a first edition.

Cape Canaveral gift shop illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

It’s always nice to get a bargain…

Satellite dish illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

 …and perhaps added just an extra tiny thrill as we thumbed through the pages!

Space available illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

We always buy the early editions and really love our little collection – Cape Canaveral makes it 11.

Pile of vintage 'This is...' books by Miroslav Sasek

A few more to go yet though – there are 18 in the series in total!

Habitat kitchen cards

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Vintage uncut Habitat kitchen cards | H is for Home

We bought a batch of 1960s & 70s posters at auction recently. Amongst them was this little gem – well, big gem really! 🙂

kitchen cards by Juliet Glynn Smith

It’s a whole set of vintage kitchen cards designed by Juliet Glynn Smith for Habitat. She illustrated their very first catalogue in 1966.

Rear of vintage uncut kitchen cards

They were produced on a big sheet, but as you can see from the back, it looks like they were intended to be cut with a guillotine… then used as individual cards. We wonder how many survive as postcards – and how many still exist as one big sheet. We can’t find any other examples online at all, so we guess not many. Well worth sharing with our readers we thought!

'Feeding swine' vintage Habitat kitchen card 'Hawking' vintage Habitat kitchen card

'Bow and arrow' vintage Habitat kitchen card 'Gathering herbs' vintage Habitat kitchen card

The colours & illustrations are absolutely stunning – part medieval, part 1960s!

Vintage uncut Habitat kitchen cards

The full sheet measures 90cm x 60cm so makes an impressive display… here it is in all its glory!

Charity Vintage: Denmark… a lovely land

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'Denmark... a lovely land' vintage children's book

We recently completed our World Dolls Series blog posts. Our series took us to Norway but it didn’t make a detour into any of the neighbouring Scandinavian countries.

Denmark… a lovely land, is set out as ‘a letter from Denmark’. It’s addressed to ‘Nina’ and gives her an insight into the country with the help of a music score, black & white photos and lovely colour illustrations. The book looks to date from the 1950s and was written by Inger Oppenhejm with illustrations by Laus Lauesen.

It’s up for sale by & in support of The Martlets Hospice* at a ‘buy it now’ price of £13.50 with free postage.

*The Martlets Hospice is an independent charity, caring for adults with a life limiting disease where a cure is no longer possible, in the Brighton and Hove area. Specialist palliative care is provided for patients. Support is given to families and carers during the patients’ illness and into bereavement.

World Dolls Series: Spain

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Vintage World Dolls Series: Spain book cover

We’ve reached Spain – and the end of our journey in the World Dolls Series.

World Dolls Series: inside Spain book cover

Just to recap for any latecomers, this charming set of children’s books written by Irene Dark has taken us on a trip through twelve European countries – our doll hosts guiding the way. The books are wonderfully illustrated by a variety of artists. For this final edition it’s the turn of J. Sirr from the Birmingham School of Design.

Map of Spain

Carmen & Juan are taking care of us in Spain. They scrub up well don’t they?

Juan & Carmen, dolls from Spain Juan & Carmen in their Flamenco dress

As the book says, “Spain is a land of hot sunshine. a land of dance and song”.

Street musicians in Spain

We’re barely off the coach and we’re shaking our stuff to the percussion band!

Carmen's house

We’re staying in a traditional Spanish house which is very pretty. Girls in the beds, boys on mats on the floor!

Working in a vineyard

There’s more farming to do – we’ve done our fair share on this trip! It’s grapes, olives, cork and pigs here in Spain.

group of pigs

We’re not complaining. We like earning our keep – and what better way to experience life in each country? And it’s not as if it’s been work, work, work – we’ve skied, skated, sailed, swam, danced, shopped & gone sightseeing.

men on mules

We’re getting all misty-eyed now – what a journey we’ve had. Wonderful sights and lovely people (dolls).

Siesta time in Spain

But all good things must come to an end – and what a beautiful place to rest and reminisce. We’ve sold the coach and have bought a couple of donkeys. We’re staying in Spain for the foreseeable future.

Beach in Spain

You’ll find us here on the beach with our jug of Sangria – staring out at the blue sea & sky. The odd swim to cool off, a light lunch perhaps. Let us know if there’s anything urgent.

                      GONE FISHING – H IS FOR HOME x