It’s a bit Fishy

Detail of yellow and mauve Aquarius fish plate | H is for Home

Last week, we featured a wonderful set of vintage bull plates – this week we have some equally fantastic fish plates!

Stacked set of vintage Aquarius fish plates | H is for Home

We bought five of the set in a single purchase and then managed to track down the missing plate in the following days.

Full set of vintage Aquarius fish plates | H is for Home

It’s now a fabulous and complete set of six.

Collection of vintage Aquarius fish plates | H is for Home

They’re highly stylised with beautiful detailing – dancing air bubbles, fluttering scales and swirling fins. We certainly haven’t seen anything similar in the local rivers or canals!

Back stamp on a vintage Aquarius fish plate | H is for Home

They’re from the Aquarius range produced by Washington Pottery in the 1960s. In 1970, Washington Pottery became English Ironstone Pottery Ltd. Three years later, it became English Ironstone Tableware Ltd, so you can trace the age of an item from its back stamp.

Detail from a purple & orange Aquarius fish plate | H is for Home

As with the bull plates, these colourful fish plates would look amazing displayed on a long shelf or mounted on a wall. Both types are listed in our web shop.

Groovy Week!

'Groovy Week' blog post banner

Triptych of vintage collectables | H is for Home

In an average week’s sourcing, we buy items from many eras – from antique rustic stools to modernist stainless steel candle holders. However, for some reason this week’s purchases have all been very 1950s and 60s. As you can see from the photos – atomic, flower power and psychedelic designs are very much in evidence – with slots of bold colours & great patterns.

It’s hard to pick favourites, but the metal waste paper basket by Worcester Ware and the Gaytime measuring jug by Lord Nelson Pottery are outstanding. Other makers include Jie Gantofta for the tea/sugar jars, Kirkham Pottery for the egg cups and English Ironstone Pottery for the bull steak plates.

triptych image of vintage 1950s & 60s images picked up this week by H is for Home

They’ll be coming to a website near you very soon!!

Z is for… Zoo

Vintage comic illustration of a zoo keeper and animals | H is for Home

We’ve reached the end of the alphabet… and ‘Z’ is for zoo. Our virtual zoo is full of animals beautifully interpreted in pottery, glass, textiles, book illustrations and more. All our animals are well looked after… and there’s no entrance fee!!

1960s lion tile designed by Kenneth Townsend | H is for Home
1960s lion tile designed by Kenneth Townsend
Detail from a vintage fabric peg bag | H is for Home
Detail from a vintage fabric peg bag
Vintage Scandinavian glass ram | H is for Home
Vintage Scandinavian glass ram
Vintage childrens book cover: 'A Peaceable Kingdom, the Shaker Abecedarius' illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen | H is for Home
Vintage children’s book cover
Vintage childrens book cover: 'A Peaceable Kingdom, the Shaker Abecedarius' illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen | H is for Home
Shaker Abecedarius illustration
Vintage childrens book cover: 'A Peaceable Kingdom, the Shaker Abecedarius' illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen | H is for Home
Shaker Abecedarius illustration
Vintage childrens book cover: 'A Peaceable Kingdom, the Shaker Abecedarius' illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen | H is for Home
List of animals in the Shaker Abecedarius
Vintage Beefeater steak plates by Washington Pottery | H is for Home
Vintage 1960s ‘Beefeater’ steak plates by Washington Pottery
Vintage Staffordshire pottery mug with orange cat illustration | H is for Home
Vintage 1970s Staffordshire pottery mug
Vintage Hornsea 'Aries' mug designed by John Clappison | H is for Home
Vintage 1960s/70s Hornsea pottery mug
Life of St Martin: 'St Martin with dogs' illustrated by Emile Probst, 1966 | H is for Home
‘Life of St Martin’ illustrated by Emile Probst, 1966
Vintage Acupulco chopping board by Villeroy & Boch | H is for Home
Vintage 1960s ‘Acapulco’ chopping board by Villeroy & Boch
Detail from a vintage Acupulco chopping board by Villeroy & Boch | H is for Home
‘Acapulco’ chopping board detail
Vintage Scandinavian pottery plaque with illustration of a snail | H is for Home
Vintage 1970s Danish pottery plaque
Illustration of an elephant carrying children from 'This is Edinburgh' by Miroslav Sasek, 1961 | H is for Home
Illustration from ‘This is London’ by Miroslav Sasek, 1959
Illustration of penguins from 'This is Edinburgh' by Miroslav Sasek, 1961 | H is for Home
Illustration from ‘This is Edinburgh’ by Miroslav Sasek, 1961
Vintage Cadburys biscuit tin with colourful illustration of birds | H is for Home
Detail from a vintage 1950s Cadbury biscuit tin
Vintage 1950s pottery giraffe produced by Lomonosov of the USSR | H is for Home
Vintage 1950s pottery giraffe produced by Lomonosov of the USSR
Illustration by Dean Mitchell from 'Folk Tales of the World, Australia', 1965 | H is for Home
Illustration by Dean Mitchell from ‘Folk Tales of the World, Australia’, 1965
Little orange felt elephant made in Nepal | H is for Home
Little felt elephant made in Nepal
Vintage pottery owl plaque | H is for Home
Vintage 1960s/70s pottery owl plaque
Vintage Scandinavian teak mouse | H is for Home
Vintage 1960s Danish teak mouse
Tiger print by Wallase Ting | H is for Home
Tiger print by Walasse Ting

Something Fishy!

Bill Charmatz fish illustration

Whether it be the physical landscape itself or the flora & fauna contained within it, artists and designers have been influenced by nature over the centuries.

Inspiration drawn from mountains, rivers, lakes, seas, clouds, trees, birds, fish, plants, flowers are all reflected in their work.

We thought it would be fun to take these broad themes and show their influence on the creative process. For no particular reason, we’re going to start with fish!

Poole Pottery Aegean plate Pottery plate decorated with three fish
vintage 1960s pottery plates
vintage pottery plate

We might feature stuff from any decade, but there will, no doubt, be a mid 20th century bias as we love this era and are always drawn to vintage pieces from the 50s, 60s & 70s.

Vintage green glass fish dish
Large 1950s green glass dish

Small green art glass fish sculpture Small blue art glass fish sculpture
1960s art glass sculptures

Stylised fish were a much-used design motif in this mid 20th century period – in art, design and everyday homewares.

vintage fish collage artwork
Collage entitled Fish Fossil Sea Bed by Andrew Rob, 1970

Pottery serving dish detail detail of Swedish pottery serving dish
1960s iron trivet | Swedish serving dish (Dukat)

vintage fish plate detail vintage fish plate detail
Aquarius series fish plates by Washington Pottery

vintage John Clappison Hornsea Pottery mug Small vintage pottery pin dish
John Clappison, Hornsea Pottery | Bernard Moss Pentewan Pottery

Trio of wall mountable pottery fish
Hornsea Pottery wall-mountable fish… who needs flying ducks? 🙂

Also, the artistic treatment given in cookbooks etc can be quite magical. Two of our undoubted favourites are Bill Charmatz and Charley Harper.

Bill Charmatz illustration of a fish stock pot Bill Charmatz illustration of fish in a fryer basket Bill Charmatz illustration of a cat and fish in a bowl
Bill Charmatz – from the Esquire Cook Book first published in Great Britain in 1956.

Charley Harper illustration of fish with a thermometer in its mouth
Charley Harper – from Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two first published in 1958.

Charley Harper illustration of a flat fish Charley Harper illustration of a fish with a tangled fishing line in its mouth

Finally, to show that nature can do a pretty good job herself, we picked up this fossil from a great little shop in Hastings. Preserved in green river shales, it’s 45 million years old (hopefully you won’t be waiting that long for the launch of our website!).

image of fossilised fish
Knightia alta, Eocene period. Origin: Wyoming