Vera Neumann was an American graphic designer best known for her bold, bright, beautiful silk scarves stamped with her little ladybug symbol.
After her death in 1993, the rights for her work were sold and leased to various organisations who reproduced her designs on clothing and homewares. The most recent I could find was a line of scarves by Target in 1993.
There’s a lovely looking book all about her work that I wouldn’t mind getting hold of – it’s entitled Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon.
Although there’s a lot of her work still on the market, alas, it’s mostly located in the USA. However, the prices start at such a reasonable level and a scarf is so light that postage costs shouldn’t be exorbitant.
Born in 1931, Lisa Larson is a Swedish ceramic designer. She worked for Gustavsberg, under Stig Lindberg, from the 1954 through to 1980 when she branched out on her own working for, amongst others, Royal Krona, Duka, Åhléns department stores and Kooperativa Förbundet.
Larson is probably best known for her small sculptures of animals and children of the world, but we absolutely adore her glazed tiles. The Viking ship at the top right of the mosaic is ours – and we’ve also got an elephant. So, it’s a collection of just two at the moment – but we’ve always got our eyes peeled hoping to happen across more. 🙂
As you can probably tell, Larson is an animal lover – but she verges on the obsessive when it comes to cats!
If you have a look at the short film below, she has the most beautiful sculpture of a cat which just begs to be stroked – so tactile. If you don’t speak Swedish, you can turn on subtitles by clicking on the left icon (next to the one that looks like a cog) along the bottom panel.
One of last week’s main purchases combined two areas of interest – namely, vintage ephemera and cycling. This huge quantity of 1950s cycling memorabilia appeared at a local auction and we couldn’t resist.
We haven’t done much cycling ourselves in recent years as our big dog provides all the exercise we need, but we still follow it keenly – particularly the Tour De France at this time of year. We’re often distracted from our work when it appears on TV. We love to follow the riders on their journey, both in terms of taking in the stunning French scenery and the sporting competition itself. We went to watch Le Tour when it passed through Yorkshire (and previously Brighton when we lived there) – and we’re determined to follow the race in our camper van when we eventually get one (we’re still saving up! :-)).
Back to the ephemera though. It’s mainly in the form of French magazines and brochures – many relating to the Tour de France.
Some of the magazines even have their original route maps intact which is very rare to find…
…unused and neatly folded inside.
They’re perfect for framing and very sought after in themselves – a fabulous find!
We’ll be sorting through them in the coming weeks, having a good browse and then listing them for sale. We might allow ourselves to keep a few pieces, but the majority will be available to buy – watch this space if you’re interested.
In this week’s Designer Desire, we’d like to introduce you to Alain Grée (if you’ve not heard of him already, that is). Eighty years old this year (2016), Grée is an illustrator, mainly known for his children’s books and board games.
Grée is an enthusiastic sailor – he’s crossed the Atlantic on his own ships – which can be seen in his very detailed educational books about ships, boats, the sea and sea creatures.
Luckily, Grée has had a very prolific output; his books (over 300) have been produced in large numbers and in 25 different languages. This means you can find examples of his work easily from outlets such as Etsy and Amazon.
His work is still being produced by RicoBel based in Ghent, Belgium who own the rights to his works. Button Books, based in the UK, stock a large stock of his early-years books, activity sets and flash cards.
Here’s a short film of the designer himself talking about how he created his books.
We bought this vintage hospital trolley at auction last week.
We thought it had great re-purpose potential. In particular, its suitability to make a fabulous kitchen work station. For starters, it’s made from stainless steel which is hygienic and easy to keep clean. There’s an ideal height work surface for chopping, peeling etc; an under-shelf for storage where you could keep boards, baskets, boxes or jars – and the drawers are perfect for knives or other utensils.
Also, the trolley is on wheels – so easy to move around the kitchen for cleaning behind or positioning in the best light for working.
It’s manufactured by Reynolds & Branson of Leeds and is very robust. We’d say it dates from the 1950s/60s era. The overall condition is very good with clean, undamaged stainless steel. There’s age-related wear to the wheel area, but we actually like a bit of this type of aged patina in places… and we love the flash of yellow too. If you like it and are able to collect, it’s heading to our antiques centre space this week with a price tag of £135.
This week, we’re featuring the wonderful graphic designs of Daphne Padden (1925-2010) in our Designer Desire series.
‘Mr & Mrs Crownfolio’ have been writing about Daphne on their Vintage Poster Blog for almost 2 decades and it’s thanks in the main to them that something is actually known of her. The vast majority of the images in our mosaic have been borrowed from them. She’s highly underrated in their, and our, opinion!
She has produced work for the likes of The Post Office Savings Bank, P & O, British Railways, BEA, ROSPA and Unilever.
Her designs can be found on travel posters, food packaging and restaurant menus. We’re surprised that she never illustrated children’s books, her style is perfectly suited for that medium.
We’re lucky enough to have this single item of hers in our possession – a bright & bold poster produced for The Post Office Savings Bank advertising their investment accounts.