Designer Desire: Lisa Larson

Mosaic of Lisa Larson's ceramic work | H is for Home

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!

Lisa Larson with a collection of her cat figures with a siamese cat on her shouldercredit

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.

Image credits:
1st Dibs | Etsy | eBay

Vintage Tour de France magazines

Vintage Tour de France magazines | H is for Home

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.

Tour de France magazine from 1954 | H is for Home

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! :-)).

'Le miroir de tour 1954'

Back to the ephemera though. It’s mainly in the form of French magazines and brochures – many relating to the Tour de France.

'Miroir sprint' | H is for Home

They’re packed full of interesting historical photographs, artwork, advertisements and features on riders from the era – famous names such as Louison Bobet, Fausto Coppi and Jacques Anquetil.

Vintage cycling ads | H is for Home

Quite a treat for cycling fans!

Vintage Unis Sport Tour de France map | H is for Home

Some of the magazines even have their original route maps intact which is very rare to find…

Vintage Lambretta Tour de France map | H is for Home

…unused and neatly folded inside.

Portraits of twelve 1950s Tour de France cyclists | H is for Home

They’re perfect for framing and very sought after in themselves – a fabulous find!

Vintage Tour de France magazine feature of Fausto Coppi | H is for Home

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.

Designer Desire: Alain Grée

mosaic of Alain Grée illustrations | H is for Home

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.

Image credits

Alain Grée | Sam Smyth | Flickr | Pinterest

Vintage hospital trolley

Vintage stainless steel hospital trolley | H is for Home

We bought this vintage hospital trolley at auction last week.

Vintage hospital trolley | H is for Home

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.

Open drawer showing chef's knives on a vintage hospital trolley | H is for Home

Also, the trolley is on wheels – so easy to move around the kitchen for cleaning behind or positioning in the best light for working.

Wheel on a vintage hospital trolley | H is for Home

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.

Designer Desire: Daphne Padden

Mosaic of vintage Daphne Padden designs

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!

Portrait of Daphne Padden painted by her father, Percy Padden
Portrait of Daphne Padden painted by her father, Percy Padden

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.

Vintage Daphne Padden poster for the Post Office Savings Bank | H is for Home

An archive of her work is held at my alma mater, The University of Brighton although, to date, none of it seems to have been uploaded to their website. Others can be found in the archives of some of the companies she worked for including The Postal Museum and The Marks and Spencer Company Archive.

You can often find a handful of Daphne Padden’s vintage works on eBay. If you get out-bid, quite a few places are currently reproducing some of her designs including Beast in Show, To Dry For, All Posters and Art.com.

If you have any information or examples of her work, please share – we’d love to hear from you.

Image credits

Vintage Poster Blog | Christies

Staffordshire Potteries trio

Vintage Staffordshire Potteries trio with orange flower design | H is for Home

We don’t do much charity shop trawling these days, but there’s one right next door to our local Post Office – so we always have a look through the window when we send parcels. Every now and then, something catches our eye which was the case today with these lovely orange tea trios.

Base stamp from a vintage Staffordshire Potteries trio with orange flower design | H is for Home

They were made by Staffordshire Potteries Ltd in the 1960s/70s and are typical of the type of wares produced by the company during this era.

Collection of vintage Staffordshire Potteries mugs | H is for Home

We’ve come across storage jars, mugs, soup bowls, plates and tea sets in the past – colourful and fun would sum them up.

Pink vintage Staffordshire Potteries mug set with plastic lids and carry tray | H is for Home

We’ve handled lots of their stuff over the years and it always proves popular in our shop.

Green vintage Staffordshire Potteries mug set with plastic lids and carry tray | H is for Home

Artists such as Elayne Fallon were responsible for the vibrant designs.

Four vintage Staffordshire Potteries lidded storage jars designed by Elayne Fallon | H is for Home

The pottery is not only attractive, but very robust too – so perfect for heavy use in the kitchen , dining room, garden or camp site.