We’ve long been fans of the designs of Tibor Reich and were lucky enough to catch a retrospective of his work at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester last year.
A few weeks ago, we bought some cushion covers from a well-known online auction site. It was the original fabric used to make them that caught our eye. The seller photographed the covers alongside a cut-out from a magazine article that showed that the fabric was designed by Tibor Reich and had been used on Concorde.
We couldn’t find any images of the actual interior of Concorde showing this pattern. However we did find this reference:
One of the commercial highlights for Tibor Ltd. in the 1960s was a commission to design the first sets of upholstery and curtain fabrics for the Anglo-French Concorde (prior to trial flights in 1968) [Cabinet Maker and Retail Furnisher, October, 1966]. Five Jacquard upholstery cloths, in natural and gold were used as curtaining fabric along with two carpet designs [Cabinet Maker and Furnisher, October, 1965]. via “Patterns of Culture: Tibor Reich: A Life of Colour and Weave“, by K. Powers and M. A. Hann (with a contribution by J. A. Cousens).
It’s clearly the same fabric as shown in the article, we just haven’t been able to find that ‘in situ’ image as yet. We’d love to see one. As well as being used on the plane, these fabrics were probably also used in the airport lounge for Concorde passengers. Someone’s probably got a lovely colour holiday snap with them pictured sipping champagne, reclining on seats covered in it!
We were delighted with the fabric when it arrived. Beautiful colours and striking design – and unused, mint condition too. The cushions were very nicely made, so as cushions they will stay. With Justin’s chair addiction, we’ve got endless chairs to put them on!
We thought they were a very good price too, considering the high profile designer and prestigious client… and a bargain never hurts!
We’ve mentioned Colin Ruffell, our chosen Designer Desire artist, in the past when we acquired a couple of his original paintings a few years ago. We thought we’d share with you a few more of his artworks.
He has a few, very distinctive styles; abstract modernist, impressionist – however, it’s his naive, Cloisonnism paintings that we love the most – especially the vintage examples. Perhaps because it reminds us of the work of Bernard Buffet.
We couldn’t put it better ourselves, so we thought that we’d allow Ruffell to say a little about himself:
Colin Ruffell was born in 1939, then he was bombed, evacuated, educated, expelled, travelled, repatriated, married, bred, qualified and taught; until in 1965, aged 26, he became a full-time professional artist. Since then he is proud and happy to have survived.
This is the point at which we normally add an image of the artist or designer that we’re featuring. However, we couldn’t resist including the following short film of Ruffell’s cat, Trevor!
His vintage work comes up for auction on occasion; there’s currently a lovely example for sale on Etsy.
We bought this gorgeous vintage chilli red enamel pan this week. It’s from the Kobenstyle range designed by Jens Quistgaard for Dansk Designs.
It was one object from a very colourful array picked up at a local flea market. We like them all, but the casserole has to be our favourite. We’ve always loved this design – it’s both practical and great to look at. The pans are hard-wearing and easy to manipulate & move around. The lid can also be turned upside down to act as a trivet for the hot pan. It’s an absolute kitchen classic!
This particular stamp (‘four duck’ logo & ‘Denmark’) means that the pan was produced in Denmark somewhere between 1959 & 1965. Later pieces were produced in France and Japan. It was out of production for quite a while, but the range has been re-issued and is now produced in Thailand.
So – a design we love, a sought after early example, great condition, amazing colour. This has all the hallmarks of a keeper! But no, stop the press, it’s for sale. The chilli red actually clashes with our orange kitchen scheme, so we’re going to let it go. It will absolutely perfect for someone out there. Available in our web shop now if that person is you!
This sunny, double-aspect sitting room belongs to a desirable Span house located in Taplow, Buckinghamshire.
Span Developments was a property design & development partnership founded by architects, Eric Lyons and Geoffrey Paulson Townsend. The Taplow development – Cedar Chase – was built in 1966 and consists of 24, Type 30 houses. Back then, the 3 and 4-bedroomed, 2-living room ‘patio’ houses were marketed at between seven and eight thousand pounds – they currently change hands for over half a million!
This room, although fully modernised, has been updated & furnished very sympathetically. The armchairs (1954), side table (1970) and floor lamp (1960) were all originally designed during the mid century modern era in which the house was built.
I was doing a Google search recently for ‘Vintage Scandinavian jewellery’ (as you do!) and stumbled across the work of Jorma Laine – I’m now smitten!
Laine (1930-2002) was a Finnish jewellery designer who worked for Turun Hopea Oy, Kultateollisuus Ky, Kalevala Kory Oy and his own company, Silver-Laine.
He worked mainly in bronze and silver with the occasional use of semi-precious stones such as turquoise, tiger eye, unakite or nephrite. His style was abstract, Modernist – almost Brutalist – with Viking and tribal influences.
I’ve come across lots of stunning examples of his work but below is the only portrait of the man I could find. Perhaps it’s because he apparently spent the final years of his life living as a recluse in a log cabin in the forest of Finland.
As I said, his work is readily available and fairly affordable – from less than £50 for a bronze pendant. Try looking on Etsy and eBay if you’re interested.
Justin has brought home some lovely vintage industrial finds recently. Yesterday it was the turn of this amazing giant light bulb with white ceramic fitting.
The bulb that it’s photographed next to is quite large in itself, so you can see how huge it is. The filament inside looks undamaged, so we think it might actually work if we get the electricity back flowing to it. It’s probably worth going to the effort of re-wiring. The fitting has the original hook too – it would look really striking hanging down from a high ceiling on a long length of chain or vintage-style cord flex.
The day before, it was this vintage ICI tin. The orange logo against the blue background is very striking. And there’s no end of uses for a large tin!
Justin brought me home a present too – a big, blue metal letter A to add to my collection. ‘A’ might be for apple in most children’s books, but A is for Adelle too!!
Blue again! This time some old step ladders with original layers of paint – most recently a lovely duck egg blue. Not only are step ladders useful for doing chores, they also make for wonderful display or storage pieces – plants, bottles, towels (to name but three for which we’ve used them).
And last but not least, this gorgeous little metal carry box with really fabulous patina. Probably originally used for tools in a factory or workshop, there was little chance of this ever being sold – it was immediately re-purposed into our packaging box – holding tape, pens & pencils etc. It’s now an indispensable part of the H is for Home team!
These pieces display the simple, functional design associated with vintage industrial – and the wonderful patina often developed over time. And there’s another reason that we like them. We love the rather varied styles of country antiques and mid century modern. We find that a bit of vintage industrial really helps unite these different looks and eras.