Copper coffee

Vintage Swan 'Canterbury' electric coffee percolator | H is for Home

Shiny metallics have been very much in vogue in the interior design world over recent years – copper and brass in particular, have seen a big resurgence. In last week’s Price Points post we mentioned a visit to the Lakeland store in Windermere. We noticed lots of copper coloured kitchenware and appliances as we perused the aisles that day.

Vintage Swan 'Canterbury' electric coffee percolator components | H is for Home

Well, we picked up a kitchen appliance of a much earlier vintage this week – dating from the last time that copper had this much of a mass market appeal.

Detail from a vintage Swan 'Canterbury' electric coffee percolator | H is for Home

It’s a fabulous coffee percolator produced by Swan.

Detail from a vintage Swan 'Canterbury' electric coffee percolator | H is for Home

It’s made of polished copper with rosewood handle and finial – and here it is advertised in a 1970s Argos catalogue.

Page from a 1976 Argos catalogue showing a Swan 'Canterbury' electric coffee percolator

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It looks great – sleek and stylish. It has a setting for different brew times to allow for varying strengths. It also boasts a ‘keep warm’ setting, so a quick top-up is very easy and your second cup will be just as hot as the first. Perfect for those who need a real kick start in the morning!

Cup of coffee and biscuits beside a vintage Swan copper electric percolator | H is for Home

Having just given it a test run, we can happily report that it makes a very decent cup of coffee indeed. We’ve added it to our web shop this week for anyone interested.

Designer Desire: Heikki Orvola

Mosaic of Heikki Orvola designs | H is for Home

Heikki Orvola (b.1943) is at the vanguard of Finnish design. He works primarily in glass and ceramics and has produced designs for Notsjö Nuutajärvi, Arabia, Marimekko and Iittala. In 1998, he was awarded the prestigious Kaj Franck prize.

His designs are readily available on Etsy, eBay and the Scandinavian Design Center.

Portrait of Heikki Orvolacredit

Additional image credits:

1stDibs | Bukowskis | Invaluable

Designer Desire: Alex Steinweiss

Mosaic of Alex Steinweiss LP cover art | H is for Home

New Yorker, Alex Steinweiss (1917-2011) is considered the father of LP artwork. Prior to the 1930s, the vast majority of records were sold in plain sleeves or record shop advertising ‘bags’. As the first art director at Colombia Records, he recalled what record covers used to be like:

The covers were brown, tan or green paper. They were not attractive, and lacked sales appeal.

They were so drab, so unattractive, I convinced the executives to let me design a few.

He went on to design album artwork for other record companies such as Decca, London, Remington and Everest.

Examples of his work can be found in Jazz Covers, a book we’ve reviewed in the past. There are two books dedicated to his huge back catalogue; For the Record: The Life and Work of Alex Steinweiss and Alex Steinweiss. The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover. There are three editions of the latter available costing from £15 to £1,000.

Portrait of Alex Steinweisscredit

There’s no doubting it’s Thomas!

Vintage Thomas Germany porcelain pieces | H is for Home

There’s no doubting Thomas Germany Pottery when you see it – especially from this 1960s period. The designs are fabulous – stylish, crisp and clean.

Vintage Thomas Germany porcelain lidded casserole | H is for Home

We picked up some lovely examples this week – namely a couple of lidded tureens and plates in three different sizes. We said that you can’t mistake it when you see it, but the feel of it is very distinctive too. A fine quality porcelain that feels wonderful in the hand.

Upturned vintage Thomas Germany porcelain lidded casserole showing maker's mark | H is for Home

Designers include Richard Scharrer and Eva Striker-Zeisel. Patterns include Pinwheel (shown below), Arcta, Eclipse and Onyx to name but a few. We couldn’t find another example of the two-tone blue diamond-over-circle pattern we’ve just bought – in books or online. Do you recognise it or know the name/designer?

Set of Thomas Germany coffee cans with Pinwheel pattern | H is for Home

Some patterns are very pared back in subtle shades, others have striking op art designs in eye popping colour combinations.

Thomas Germany Flammfest casserole with tulip pattern lid | H is for Home

We think it’s gorgeous – stylish and elegant. 

Set of Thomas trios with pattern designed by Eva Striker-Zeisel | H is for Home

We currently have a few pieces of Thomas in our shop if you’re interested.

Designer Desire: Abner Graboff

Mosaic of Abner Graboff illustrations | H is for Home

We’re signed up to the 365 Poster Blog rss feed and last week they wrote an eye-catching post about Abner Graboff, a children’s book and LP illustrator. We decided that we had to investigate his work further as we’d never heard of him or seen his work.

There aren’t that many websites on the internet that have information about him. However, the one person that does is someone we’ve been mutually following for years on different social streams – illustrator & animator, Ward Jenkins. He too came across some designs by Abner Graboff and proceeded to find out more. In 2009, he managed to track down Graboff’s son, Jon and interviewed him. Go visit, there’s lots of primary material and many more images.

Seeing as he’s American, vintage books that he illustrated are mostly available on the USA Amazon website.

Portrait of Abner Graboffcredit

Additional image credits:

Abe Books

A trio of vintage rams

Vintage ram collection | H is for Home

In a recent Designer Desire post, Adelle mentioned her favourite Christmas present of the year. Today, Justin’s collection of presents are the focus. As you can see, there’s a bit of a theme. Being an Aries, a small herd of beautiful rams was a perfect gift. We thought that we’d share a few pics as we know there are lots of fellow fans of this type of vintage loveliness.

Vintage Rodney Peppé ram serving tray

First, this fabulous 1960s tin serving tray with artwork by Rodney Peppé. These 1960s Crown Merton trays aren’t easy to come by – and the ram in particular is an elusive creature.

Vintage Rodney Peppé ram serving tray

It’s one in a series which includes a peacock, tortoise, lion, tiger, squirrel and elephant; these are the ones that we’ve come across, anyway. Isn’t he a gorgeous fellow?!

Cover of a vintage "The Derby Ram" book by William Stobbs | H is for Home

Then there’s this rare, first edition copy of The Derby Ram by William Stobbs dating from 1975.

Page from a vintage "The Derby Ram" book by William Stobbs | H is for Home

A magnificent, giant ram is the star of this picture book. There are charming little rhymes accompanied by glorious illustrations. We’ll have to share some more of them at a later date.

Vintage Bernard Buffet ram artwork | H is for Home

Last, but very much not least, is an original lithograph by a favourite artist of ours – Bernard Buffet.

Vintage Bernard Buffet ram artwork | H is for Home

He’s a bit more subtle that his friends above, but just as gorgeous. In fact, we have a top floor lounge-cum-bedroom where colours are deliberately kept calm and muted – dark greys, creams, wood, leather, wicker – a bit of copper here and there. This fine gentleman will fit right in!