This is one of my favourite times of the year. Once half term is over, it’s the countdown to Christmas, Halloween and Bonfire Night. There’s something about the smell in the air at this time of year: crisp, leafy, smoky… it reminds me of walking to school as a teenager, wrapped up in my thick navy school-coat and school scarf. Actually, that doesn’t sound too different from what I’m still doing now – only the colour of the scarf has changed!
Last year, I really enjoyed making an autumn display with pottery in the appropriate colours, garnished with a few pumpkins, unusual-coloured squash, twigs and dried chestnut cases. Something about West German Pottery… it lends itself so easily to a themed display; a result of the multitude of colours and cacophony of glazes.
Tomorrow morning we’re off down to Devon for a week. I am fully intending to do not much more than walking, relaxing in front of a log fire whilst reading and drinking red wine. I’ve already got my stash of books prepared…
- The Fabulous Fifties in Pottery (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
- A Lot On My Plate (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
This is what Goff at Wowie Zowie christened us last week, leaving a message for the ‘West German Hotline’. It did make me laugh!
Anyway, Julian and Lisa visited last night along with their son, Christopher (a WGP expert in the making!) to look at the fruits of the latest German Road trip.
We chased my parents away to the local pub, and spent a good hour looking at the pottery with Julian, Lisa and Christopher. I always like it when someone comes to buy pots. Obviously, there’s the financial renumeration that’s a factor, but I like that I get to see them anew again, through somebody else’s eyes.
These were their buys:
I do love that Scheurich one so I’m glad it’s gone to a good home.
I think Christopher would probably have liked this one as well:
Or maybe a Roth 4301 that I don’t currently have a picture of.
Lovely to see them as always and always brilliant to sell pottery to such enthusiastic collectors of West German ceramics.
Today has been a pretty good day. My parents were visiting, so we took them to Levenshulme Antiques Market, a disastrous trip to the (closed) Failsworth Antiques Mill and then on to Lily’s Vegetarian Restaurant in Ashton-Under-Lyne. We had quite a big lunch which was delicious! Then we bought lots of Asian food from the supermarket next door.
My parents also bought a couple of pots from us!
So, a good weekend for WGP selling all in all – I was quite excited to sell my parents pots! I can’t quite put my finger on why I was so excited by my parents buying some vases, perhaps it’s made it feel a bit more real; even they are willing to part with money for them from us!
PS., Forgot to mention: Julian’s pictures of his and Lisa’s gorgeous collection are up on Flickr here. Definitely worth having a look and drooling!
In all their glory! Well, not quite all of them. Some bits and bobs were hiding behind me:
The two square ceramic wall hangings (four in each set, sun designs, red and blue – to make it clear which ones I mean!) were found within an hour of each other and *cough, cough* both by me. Which is a rare occurrence, I can tell you. My hunting style is a quick, excited whip round the shop seizing upon the brightest, boldest pieces like an over-exuberant magpie. Whilst Aidan is the proverbial tortoise: he takes his time and scours each shelf carefully, unearthing treasures that I’ve completely missed. He usually follows this up by pointing out that my find has a got a chip the size of my face on it. But not with these two; oh no! I found them fair and square. I take my small triumphs when I can.
It took a bit of persuading to get Aidan to agree to the giant, orange Scheurich at the back. However, I think he was mollified somewhat when he realised we could virtually fit the rest of the KA’s contents inside it. This is where the magical packing skills of the Holt family come into play. It’s a certain skill that only the men of that family have and has a strict set of rules:
- Don’t let anyone else touch the packing area. That means anyone.
- Tut and sigh: loudly and frequently.
- Eschew any usual forms of packing material, i.e., cardboard boxes or bags. Instead, use things such as the promotional materials from the nearest Lidl to cushion your carefully arranged items.
- Carefully arrange your items by constructing what appears to be a large, ceramic jigsaw.
- Pack pots inside pots inside pots inside pots inside pots… (you get the picture)
- Don’t let anyone touch the packing area. This is important enough to be reiterated.
There are more but you get the picture. Speaking of which:
One of the worrying aspects of these trips is that we are getting to the point where we are buying duplicates of previously bought pots. Whilst at one time we used to get excited by the mere hint of an orange, foamy glaze and couldn’t believe our luck at some of the finds, now we are actually, dare I say it, becoming a bit blase about some of them.
Take the bulbous brown and orange Scheurich in the picture above. We bought the exact same pot on our first ever trip to Germany, fairly early on in the holiday. We were ecstatic and couldn’t belive our luck at finding it. This time, we deliberated over it for about five minutes of whether it was worth buying again or not. We’ve still got the first one in our bedroom!
Is that all of my hastily taken shots done? I think it is. You may be interested to know just how we’ve managed to fit all of these in our house. Here are the current sites:
- The living room – on, inside, under and in front of the sideboard. In every corner. On and in front of the hearth.
- The kitchen – on and under the kitchen table. On top of the bookcase in there.
- The bedroom – inside, in front of and besides the laundry box. In every corner.
- The bathroom – on top of the weird sticky out bit that goes over the stairs.
- The spare room – on top of and in front of a set of shelves.
Yes, we are probably the only people in existence who store West German Pottery in the bathroom.
Aidan is currently in the process of photographing and cataloguing all of the pots. I intend to steal his pictures and post them up as he goes along.
Enjoy this one as a sneak preview (I’m into these at the moment):
More of the ‘Last of the Last’ – German pots remaining from our last German Roadtrip. Ten Days until the next trip… we’d probably be setting off at about this time as well!
The odd thing about that ES pink pot is that the 9 on the base is the wrong way round. Not sure how that would have happened.
These will probably all be appearing on Aidan’s Ebay listings fairly soon. We still need to sell a few though to make space for the next trip. Ten days. Ten days. Say it again… TEN DAYS!
It’s safe to say that the German Road Trip: Part Two was a massive success! We’ve arrived home with over 140 pieces of pottery, several retro lamp shades, a few 80s metal clocks, plant pots, some pieces of glass and two version of J.H. Lynch’s ‘Tina’ print. Phew! Once again, Tina (the KA) did not disappoint and dutifully returned us home safely.
I’ve realised that every time I post up new pots, they tend to be Scheurich ones. So, I’m going to make an effort to feature some other factories for once.
Although Bay Keramik isn’t one of my favourite factories, they do make some lovely patterns. I really like the one on the 96 above and the following: they’re all part of their ‘Folklore’ range.
Those three all came from the Road Trip: Part 2 (or I might start calling it ‘The Remix’), as did the following:
Not so keen on that one, nor the two upcoming… this first one is a very odd one. It looks like some kind of Greek or Roman urn!
One of the other great patterns is this one, that looks to be inspired by Bitossi. It’s called ‘Rimini’ which also seems to be a nod to the Italian company.
The blue one below was actually found in a Glossop charity shop!
One last one before I go – a teeny little wall sconce…
And now I am going to go and read a magazine in the garden and enjoy the small amount of sunshine that we’ve seen this summer.
Well, last week it was my birthday and now I’m another year closer to thirty… I don’t mind so much, but it is a slightly strange feeling. I keep expecting somebody to stop me and say, “Right, the game is up. You’re not really [insert age here]; you’re really sixteen. Stop pretending to be an adult!” This despite the fact that I have a ‘real’ job and own a house… Ah well, even my great nan (who is in her eighties) claims she doesn’t feel any different to when she was in her teens.
Anywho… Needless to say, I might have received a few West German pots for my birthday from a certain somebody:
These were probably my two favourites that he got me. However, the other two were pretty good too…
I think this following one is a Schlossberg, but I’m willing to be corrected:
My wonderful boyfriend made me the most amazing catalogue for West German pottery. He’s spent the last few months making it and it is truly amazing! I’m so impressed with his dilligence on it: it’s nearly six hundred pages long and covers factories, forms, glazes, identification and features. It’s already helped me to identify some pots we’ve already got that we’d wrongly attributed.
The weekend before my birthday, we went to a car boot sale in Hope, near Castleton in the Peak District. There was one stall in particular which was full of all the retro, vintage and studio pottery we could think of! I’m not going to post up pictures of some of it; as Aidan wants to give some away as presents to various people. However, here are two pots we bought from stall:
I really like the blue colour on that Steuler piece. Aidan likes the metallic bronze on this one:
After nearly three weeks of waiting, Aidan’s first purchase from German Ebay is here:
I think it’s safe to say that this one is stunning.
Aidan won this for 9 Euros. It’s in perfect condition with its original label on the front. According to the Mark Hill book, the label is a 1970s-80s one. However, Pip’s Trips attributes it to the 60s. Over to the Pottery and Glass Forum to ask…
Now that I’m back at school, inevitably, the frequency of posts will go down. No matter: I’ll just store it all up for when I get the chance for a catchup. This is just a little one tonight, as I’m a bit tired and Glee is on very shortly…
Last weekend, we went to Barnsley to conduct a cost of living survey and to visit some friends and family. This meant that the obligatory charity shop hunt was in order… Now, it’s a strange coincidence, but three of the main towns in my life just happen to have the most charity shops I’ve ever seen within their centres: Stafford (birth place), Durham (where I went to University) and Barnsley (Aidan’s birth place). There must be about ten charity shops in Barnsley! It’s a Mecca for secondhand goods hunters… Anyway, here’s what we found in the very first shop we visited:
Not particularly exciting, but they’ll do for car boot sales in the summer, especially as they were only £1.00 each…. Left one is a Scheurich; right one a Bay. I forgot to check the numbers before they got lofted, I’m afraid.
Saving the best til last as always: remember my last post? Where I told you that some of my beloved Scheurich 414 pots had got broken in a midnight dash to the toiletten by Aidan? Well, in that very same charity shop we also found this for fifty whole pence:
Words cannot describe how astonished and excited I was to spot this. The best of it was, it had been reduced to 50p - meaning it had been in there for some time. Just waiting for me…
Next post should be about the Fifties and Sixties architecture of Barnsley, but I want to do some research first. Yes, you read that right: Barnsley and architecture were in the same sentence! Just wait as you may be surprised by what you see.
We’ve been extremely lucky this year in that we’ve received a fair number of West German pots amongst other retro goodies. Not only did Aidan and I give each other some fantastic things, but both our families also gave us some amazing things.
Firstly: the Jarvis side (mine)
I’ll save my favourite til last… but to kick things off, how about a lovely, Scandinavian jug and glass set?
We have very merrily been drinking out of these over the Christmas period. The company is still around (visit them here), but these look more 60s to me. Most of the glasses still have their original sticker, as does the jug. Something about the colour and the frosted effect, and perhaps the time of year we received them, just says, “Christmas!” to me. Therefore, I think these will become my Christmas glasses, brought out for special occasions!
These are the two West German pots my parents gave us for Christmas. My favourite is definitely the one on the right! Purely by chance, a couple of days after they gave it to us (we had an early Christmas visit), I was reading the Mark Hill blog and found this - that the pots were inspired by prehistoric paintings in caves that were discovered in 1940. The excitement was immense! Now to all the seasoned WG pottery collectors out there, these are probably old hat, but I’m thrilled to bits with it. So, thank you very much Mum and Dad; you did extremely well!
Apologies for the bright pictures, not sure what happened.
There is likely to be another post about this one in the future, as I fully intend to find out more about the glaze. Aidan found some pictures from the caves that matched the pictures on the pot, but I’ll wait til I know a bit more about it before sharing…
Secondly: The Holt side (Aidan’s)
Little did Aidan’s dad know that it wasn’t just a vintage, Kartell stacking system he was giving us as a present… Oh no, it’s actually a new home for a certain retro Italian donkey collection…
Note the two new donkeys down on the bottom shelf…
So, thank you very much to both sides of the family for these gifts and the many others we received!
Before I start the mammoth task of documenting the retro Christmas gifts, and post-Christmas purchases, there are a few odds and ends of pottery that I forgot to post up previously.
This was bought from a fantastic little retro shop in Islington, London. For the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the shop – it was in a little arcade next to a vintage market just off the high street… anyone know it, let me know!
Car boot sale purchase by the other half. He also came back with the following one. Not tremendously exciting, but for a couple of quid, they’re always worth a purchase…