Vintage industrial finds

Huge bulb, one of the vintage industrial finds bought recently | H is for Home

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.

Huge vintage industrial bulb with normal-sized one to show scale | H is for Home

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.

Vintage blue & orange ICI storage tin with large orange desk lamp | H is for Home

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!

Two vintage industrial letter 'A's with apples to show scale | H is for Home

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-painted vintage industrial stepladder | H is for Home

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).

Vintage industrial step ladder with spider plant | H is for Home

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!

Green-painted vintage industrial carry box with packaging tape, measuring tape and pencils | H is for Home

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.

Designer Desire: George Cook

Mosaic of George Cook pottery items for Ambleside Pottery

Earlier this week, we wrote about a piece of Ambleside pottery we bought. Today we’re going to show you a few more examples of work by its maker, George Cook. Cook was the founder and main designer-maker of Ambleside Pottery based in the southern Lake District, Cumbria. He ran the pottery from 1948 until he retired in 1968, when he sold the premises to Brian Jackson. Between 1959 & 1966, he trained Gordon Fox who currently owns & runs Kentmere Pottery.

George Cook pieces regularly come up for sale at auctions across the UK and occasionally appear on eBay. They’re very reasonably priced… for the time being!

The 1954 Rydal Women’s Institute programme reveals how the group held their April meeting at George Cook’s studio. A pottery demonstration formed part of the event. The studio was located in North Road, in an abandoned corn mill (see bottom photo taken in April 1886) by Stock Ghyll, Ambleside.  The pottery remained in existence until the 1980s. At present, it operates as the Giggling Goose Café. Apparently, examples of the pottery can still be found on the roof above the kitchen window.

George Cook, founder of Ambleside Potterycredit

Stock Ghyll Mill, North Road, Amblesidecredit

Additional image credits: Worthpoint

Dish of the day: Ambleside Pottery

Vintage Ambleside Pottery slipware dish | H is for Home

We don’t go into charity shops that much any more, but we had a mooch in a couple yesterday – after viewing the auction at Hartley’s in Ilkley (a nice town for a day out if you’ve never been – auction, independent shops, cafes etc). We made a few purchases including this cute little vintage slipware dish.

Detail from a Blue slipware pottery dish produced by Ambleside Pottery | H is for Home

It was made at Ambleside Pottery which was founded by George Cook in the late 1940s. This is quite an early example and rather charming, we think. They also produced some fabulous sgraffito designs which have real mid century modern style.

Stamp detail from a Blue slipware pottery dish produced by Ambleside Pottery | H is for Home

The pottery closed in the 1980s. It’s developing a wider following of collectors, but is still very affordable. Strangely we saw the best piece of Ambleside Pottery we’ve ever come across in Ilkley – a huge 1950s flagon-like slipware jug. It was for sale at the aforementioned auction. We couldn’t attend on bidding day, so left a bid. Alas, we didn’t leave one high enough, missed out – and have regretted it ever since!

Forthcoming Attractions: Early September 2017

Collection of vintage packaging and advertising | H is for Home

We made one of our bulk purchases last week. We’ve featured other such ‘job lots’ in previous posts – products as diverse as textiles, magazines, lamps, even candle dowsers. This time it’s vintage packaging.

Collection of vintage sweet and biscuit tins | H is for Home

There were plenty of the classic ‘fancy’ biscuit tins in the collection, but it’s the more day to day product packaging that we gravitate towards.

Vintage Thermogene medicated wadding cardboard box | H is for Home

The interest that packaging generates for collectors comes for a variety of reasons. To start with, there’s the fabulous design and graphics which we love too.

Vintage Bishop's Move Tobacco tin | H is for Home

Then there’s the nostalgia factor; there’s such an amazing variety of products – some have fallen by the wayside, others have evolved into more updated versions. The same can be said of the manufacturers themselves.

Vintage Player's Navy Cut Cigarettes tin | H is for Home

It’s complete social history laid out before you.

Vintage Player's Navy Cut Cigarettes tin | H is for Home

Some items will be purely for display, others can still be used, such as the Blakey’s boot protectors. A perfect, authentic finishing touch to a vintage costume!

Vintage Blakey's Boot Protectors cardboard box with contents | H is for Home

Other pieces can be up-cycled for modern use. There are a thousand uses for storage tins of all sizes. They give you a little bit of pleasure every time you have to lift the lid.

Vintage Amovon Toe Caps tin | H is for Home

There were quite a few matchboxes in the lot. Justin is familiar with some of the boxes from his youth, but others date back over a hundred years – even he can’t remember those!

Trio of vintage matchboxes | H is for Home

These early Bryant & May’s Lion Matches are the star of the show. They’re actually Victorian in date – and still have the original matches inside; a rare survivor indeed!

Vintage Bryant & May's Lion matchbox | H is for Home

Even if you’re not actually going to use the products, a collection of vintage packaging makes such a wonderful display – both eye-catching and interesting. It looks great on a kitchen shelf or in a glass fronted case. You can even find old shop display cases which work really well.

Collection of vintage advertising packaging | H is for Home

In fact, when we look at them all grouped together, we’re a bit tempted to start a little collection ourselves – a couple of items might mysteriously disappear!

Designer Desire: René Lalique

Mosaic of René Lalique jewellery designs | H is for Home

Most widely known for his opalescent glassware – ranging from perfume bottles to vases – René Lalique (1860–1945) began his career as a jewellery designer.

I’m much more a fan of Art Deco than Art Nouveau jewellery, but Lalique’s exquisite designs are truly breathtaking. His pieces – hand-crafted from precious metals & stones, enamel, mother-of-pearl and, of course, glass – portray subjects taken from nature. He depicts insects such as butterflies, bees and dragonflies, birds, fruit, flowers and foliage.

If this post has whetted your vintage René Lalique jewellery appetite, there are lots of books on just that subject – I can’t afford to buy the real thing, so the colour photographs between the pages will have to suffice!

Portrait of René Laliquecredit

Additional image credits:

1st Dibs | Love is Speed | The Metrapolitan Museum of Art

Designer Desire: Kerstin Hörlin-Holmquist

Mosaic of Kerstin Hörlin-Holmquist furniture designs | H is for Home

We’re back in Scandinavia for this week’s Designer Desire subject matter. Kerstin Hörlin-Holmquist (1925-1997) was a Swedish furniture designer and architect.

Arguably, many of her furniture designs have a distinct, feminine feel with their organic, curvaceous silhouettes. For example, her Paradiset range that she produced in the 1950s for department store, Nordiska Kompaniet (NK). The line consisted of Little Eva, Big Eve, Small Adam, Great Adam, Uncle Adam, The Sofa, The Purple Paradise, the Lustgården chaise longue and Fikonlövet footstool.

In the 1960s, she designed the Charlotte dining set for Finnish design firm, Asko and the Skrindan range for OPE Möbler.

A small selection of her work is sold new on the Clippings website and via specialist vintage design sites such as Bukowski’s and 1st Dibs.

Portrait of Kerstin Hörlin-Holmquistcredit

Additional image credits:

1st Dibs | Artnet | Bukowskis