Creative Collections: Vintage printing blocks

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pile of wooden vintage printing blocks

We love typography and fonts – and have amassed quite a collection of vintage letters & numbers in various forms – printing blocks, stencils and old retail signage.

details of a pile of wooden vintage printing blocks

We’ll concentrate on wooden vintage printing blocks for this edition of Creative Collections. Aren’t they wonderful? The array of wood grain & colour, sizes and shapes.

details of a pile of wooden vintage printing blocks

One of those perfect things to collect over the years that make up into a really interesting & eye-catching display – whether it be a random selection or spelled out words.

vintage printing blocks with a letter 'C' in the foreground

Even the traces of residual ink can add interest.

vintage printing blocks with a number 5 in the foreground

We’ve just bought a large collection of blocks like these pictured. So, if you’re missing that perfect letter Q to complete a phrase…

set of wooden vintage printing blocks spelling out H is for Home

…or you’d like particular words to display – name or house number perhaps – just drop us a line and we’ll see if we can oblige.

pile of wooden vintage printing blocks

Prices vary depending on size, the quality of carving & rarity – but generally speaking we sell the smallest letters for £2-£3, medium cost £4-£8 and the largest £10-£25.

Another valet

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vintage valet stand with suit jacket, cuff links and watch

In a blog post almost 3 years ago we featured a gentlemen’s valet stand. It sold quickly and you wouldn’t believe the number of enquiries we’ve had subsequently asking if it was still available to buy!

vintage valet stand

Since then, we’ve kept our eyes open for good-quality, vintage stands. This example, picked up last week, really fits the bill.

detail from vintage valet stand showing the Brevettato label

It was produced by Brevettato of Italy in the 1960s.

vintage valet stand with suit

The wood looks to be teak and it has clean, mid century modern styling.

detail from vintage valet stand showing vintage 'A' cufflinks, Smiths watch and tie

In addition to the main hanging racks for jacket & trousers, there are also nice touches such as the shelf for wallet, loose change, cuff links, watches, keys etc.

detail from vintage valet stand showing vintage Smiths watch

Also charming, extendible finials – which can be used for hanging watches, bracelets or ties. To the base is a simple shoe rack.

detail from vintage valet stand showing vintage brown leather brogues

The whole piece stands on lovely, little castors for ease of movement around the room. Perfect!

Gentleman’s Valet

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tabletop of the vintage gentleman's valet

We bought this lovely vintage gentleman’s valet stand last week.

tabletop of the vintage gentleman's stand tabletop of the vintage gentleman's valet

The main structure is elm with some chrome & Formica detailing.

full length view of the vintage gentleman's stand full length view of the vintage stand

It incorporates both jacket & trouser hangers – over which ties, belts or braces can also be placed. In addition, there are shoe rests and a small, circular top shelf for wallet, watch, cuff links etc.

base of the vintage gentleman's valet

The atomic or Sputnik styling to the base gives it a real fifties look – perfect for all you Mad Men fans. We bet Don Draper has one just like this!

Housing Stock

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three vintage hand painted wooden houses

These were an interesting little buy last week.

vintage handmade hand painted wooden house with red roof and door

A group of three vintage handmade toy houses.

detail of blue vintage wooden house detail of yellow vintage wooden house

They’re constructed of ply around a solid block of wood – then painted.

underside of handmade hand painted wooden house

We’re not sure when they date from, although they obviously have a bit of age – 1940s/50s probably.

vintage handmade hand painted wooden house with yellow roof & door

We love these naive toys and folk art.

vintage handmade hand painted wooden house with blue roof & door

Probably made by dad or grandad for a young child… very sweet!

K is for… Kitchen

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Image of our kitchen

The kitchen is probably our favourite room in the house. We love spending time in here – cooking, chatting or having a big mug of tea after a long dog walk.

photo of a child's writing slate and wooden kitchen utensils

We have the main wall painted a zingy tangerine. It’s bright & lively in the summer but also gives a warm cosy feel when the nights draw in. We used to have it painted a fresh apple green but this felt a bit cold in the winter, so we had to get the brushes back out.

photo of the cooker in our kitchen

The orange also works well with the stainless steel and various shades within the stone tiled splash-back.

The centre of the room is filled with a large, old, beech baker’s table which serves as our main seating & eating area – also a very useful extra work surface.

On the opposite wall to the work units & cooker is a stone fireplace. This would once have housed the original kitchen range.

Photo of the fireplace in our kitchen

The chimney has not gone to waste however, with the cast iron stove chuffing away on chilly nights. On the ceiling above this stove we have a slatted drying rack – perfect for hanging washing on cold, rainy days.

The graphic 1960s street scene is by artist Ken Law… and on the stone ledge sit various vintage pottery plates including Poole and Royal Copenhagen. Mixing old & new is a recurring theme throughout our house.

photo of the shelves in our pantry

We like the blend of rustic pieces such as the baker’s table, butcher’s block and spoon rack with the modern stainless steel and down-lighting.

Photo of our kitchen workbench

Both being former chefs, we like to fill the kitchen with practical (and preferably good looking) equipment.

photo of antique butcher's block

Objects from the 1950s, 60s & 70s seem to fit in well, helping to tie it all together.

photo of our vintage 1960s Hornsea Pottery 'Bronte' tea, coffee & sugar canisters

Vintage kitchen enamel and ceramics are a particular passion of ours – pots, pans, storage jars etc. Hornsea, Denby, Cathrineholm, Rorstrand, Figgjo Flint, Arabia, Dansk Designs, Le Creuset are just a few of the names we look for…

…and then there are the cookbooks – don’t get us started on those!