It’s safe to say this has been on the busiest Christms and New Year holidays ever – or at least it seems like that! We spent much of our time trekking between various family members, located around the country in Stafford, Barnsley and Sedgfield. Much fun was had by all! The quota and quality of vintage presents was no less than usual:
Thank you to everyone in our family who gave us something for Christmas presents. I always love giving presents, and it’s just lovely to receive so many ones that are personal to us.
I really wanted to title this post, ‘A Lot On My West German Pottery Plate’ but then I realised that two of the plates I’m featuring aren’t from the country, let alone the region… ne’er mind!
This plate by Bjørn Wiinblad is part of the Rosenthal Studio Line. It’s tiny! I didn’t realise we had this but Aidan has firked it out this morning. ‘Firked’ is a verb coined by my mum which Aidan has adopted. It means to find something out. Well, this morning a few plates have been firked out for you to have a look at.
I’ve got grand plans for these plates if we ever buy a bigger house. Feature wall, somewhere prominent with a vast array of different plates adorning it… Vintage Vixen did a similar thing with her Wall of Misery; I want to make a Wall of Retro Platery.
This gorgeous piece of Italian Tourist Tattery was found by my sister Megan on a recent trip for her and my dad to Germany. It matched the lovely Italian vase I bought from Kevin Graham on our last trip, so I had to have it as soon as I saw it. It’s been featured on this blog before, but any excuse to show it again is good enough for me. These pieces were made in the 1960s in the Republic of San Marino. There are similarities to the Fat Lava of West German Pottery in the crusty, thick, white glaze around the edge; which contrasts in a stunning manner with the high-gloss smoothness of the central image.
This beautiful 1950s Ruscha wall plate depicts a market scene. Ruscha did a range of these plates and plaques which showed scenes from different streets or views. This is the only one I have, but it is a beauty.
The detail and effort that goes into these pieces shows up on the smallest scale. There are at least three different applications of glaze on her skirt.
Is it a horse? is it a deer? Is it a giraffe? Is it some strange hybrid of the three? I’m really not sure, but I do still like this little 1950s plate very much. The elongated necks and legs of these creatures, when coupled with their cheeky chirpy faces, create the cutesy kitsch feel of the 1950s. *Update* Aidan has just entered the room and mocked me considerably about this – apparently, they’re clearly giraffes. Fine then. Whatever. They’re giraffes.
This plate is marked underneath with ‘L’Ancora Alura 208′. At first glance, I thought this was another Italian company. However, a quick Google search has discovered that it’s actually a Dutch company: Ceramics Company van den Kroonenberg. The website I found is incredibly useful and definitely worth a visit – Dutch Pottery and Ceramics marks. They say about the pottery, ‘Industrial produced Retro PopArt decorative art pottery, L’Ancora ceramics, produced by Ceramics Company van den
Kroonenberg, with black mat fragments, scratched in lines and partial covered glazes as decoration, like girls & boys heads.’ The picture they have of the backstamp also matches mine perfectly.
There are probably more plates hidden and buried in various boxes around the house, in the loft and in our friend’s garage. I think my Wall of Retro Platery is well on its way though.
So, the pottery I bought from my parents… It was odd, really. As I was on the train on the way down to Stafford – apart from reading ‘How to Be a Woman’ by Caitlin Moran, which was killing me with restrained laughter – I was thinking about the pottery my dad said he’d bought from Germany. I genuinely considered if they’d found anything like a Schaffenacker. But as we’ve only found one in all of our trips over there, I thought the chances were slim.
First thing I saw as I walked into the kitchen where the pots were living was this:
My mum says my face was a picture; I pretty much launched myself at it whilst saying, “I’m having it! I’ll give you what you want for it!” We L.O.V.E. these. No other way to put it. And it’s only the second one we’ve ever had.
As if it couldn’t get any better, they also had one of these beauties:
It’s just gorgeous and matches my large vase beautifully. My sister, Megan, spotted both of these pieces. The Schaffenacker she says she knew I would like, but I think the Italian plate she was eyeing up for herself. No chance was I letting her keep it! Sorry to be selfish, Meg, but I love it too much!
I can only hope they get this lucky again when they visit Germany next…
As mentioned yesterday, we managed to find a few retro bits and bobs on our holiday. It wasn’t supposed to have anything to do with retro or vintage, but you know what we’re like… any sniff of a flea market and we’re there!
These postcards were the first things we found, bought over a number of days:
When we found the first one, I thought perhaps that it was being used to fill up the stand, but they must still be printing them as we found three of them in many different places. We stayed in Sisco by the way, on the Cap Corse – the little finger that sticks up at the top.
The flea market we went to was in Bastia, on the morning of our flight. I think it was quite brave of Aidan to agree to go to it – he’s one of those travellers who likes to be at the airport six hours or so before check in usually. Perhaps I wasn’t reckoning with his love of flea markets!
We found these together on the same stall. They’re a little boring in the glazes, but for the novelty (and price) it was worth buying them. We’ve now got about eleven of these 242s, and this only started as we began looking out for them for a buyer who’s got over a hundred of them in different glazes. Now we have our own little collection of ones he doesn’t want!
I also discovered the ‘Magic’ setting on my camera this holiday – cue lots of pictures with random ‘sparkle’ or the pinhole setting as on these two pictures. Not sure what I think of it yet, but I’ll keep playing with it. I absolutely love the Italian bowl – a bargain at 1 Euro. The 1950s religious print was also one euro. Not something I would usually buy, but it’s so kitsch I couldn’t resist.
So, not much but a few good little finds. Just goes to show you can get a retro fix anywhere in the world – even on a tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. What I particularly liked was how we managed to get a selection of stuff representative of the tat we normally buy: West German Pottery, vintage pictures, 1950s stuff and Italian tourist tat. Brilliant and perfect!
- Bring on the Summer Holidays Part One: Corsica! (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
As mentioned a few posts ago, not only do we have a fine selection of slightly more sophisticated and acceptable Italian pottery (the Bertoncello bits and bobs); we also have an increasingly growing ‘Tourist Tat’ selection.
This one even has the name of the hotel written on it: “Motel Maxim”. Actually, it’s a motel, isn’t it? Not even a hotel! Oh dear, imagine the people who would have stayed and bought this from the Motel Maxim… and now it’s in the proud possession of a mad collector such as myself, who can find any reason to keep any old piece of kitsch tat hanging around.
This next one is my absolute favourite though:
It’s a liquer bottle. The first time I saw it, I thought it said ‘Souvenir di Jarvisio’. It’s actually ‘Tarvisio’. Nearly.
Amazingly, it’s still sealed:
Many of these things had a picture on them to represent the area you were buying it from:
I’ll be honest: I’ve got very little idea what this one is supposed to be! Could be sailing boats? Perhaps? If you squint a bit…
Having said a few months ago that I wouldn’t start a collection of these, that has swiftly changed with the addition of the bowl and walnut liquer bottle. How do I know it’s walnut liquer? Let’s just say, not only does our bedroom now have a distinct walnutty aroma to it; I may have tried a bit from around the rim… Aidan was aghast! You never know, if we ever run out of booze one night, I’ll crack it open properly.
What tourist tat do you love without reason?
- Italian Pottery: Bertoncello (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
Yet another collection that appears to have exploded in size is that of our Italian pottery. For a long time, we didn’t know what these pots were:
But then Aidan brought home this from the previous trip:
Our fledgling collection of tourist tat Italian pottery has suddenly taken a turn for the more sophisticated. Apart from the fantastic, concertina form of the piece, the glaze itself is beautiful. Subtle, but wonderfully executed.
Looking through the Bertoncello thread on the Pottery and Glass forum seems to hint that our other pieces could be also Bertoncello. I still have my doubts, although Aidan is quite convinced about it.
And as he spent some time yesterday morning taking these pictures for me, then I’ll let him off.
Finding anything out about Bertoncello pottery appears to be a task which is eluding me today. I’ll settle for posting more of Aidan’s pictures instead.
We did actually get some more of the Italian tourist tat pottery from the last trip; but I won’t put them into the same post as these! At the moment, the big Bertoncello piece is living on a shelf in the spare room. The little pots seems to have taken up residence on the kitchen windowsill, nestled in with the aloe vera (Vernon) and the giant cacti. Yet more things I have to move on the odd occasion I get locked in the house and have to climb out of the window… twice this year so far!
Last night we went to visit our friend John, who has finally moved into his house eighteen months after buying it! This meant that we were in Barnsley for today and, what with the glorious weather, we took the opportunity to visit the charity shops and Cawthorne Antiques Centre.
Unfortunately, the pickings were fairly slim in the charity shops. All I found were these vintage books:
The trip to Cawthorne Antiques Centre was much more successful. We always like going there; it’s got a good mixture of antiques, including a couple of rooms and stalls of the kind of ‘vintage and retro’ stuff I like. Prices are reasonable as well.
We’ve had a couple of these before and they always seem to be popular on Ebay. Never been able to find anything out about them though. Aidan spotted both the Italian vases and the Tretchikoff style head. I think I’ll keep the vases for a while.
Some of those are a bit rubbish but there are some lovely ones mixed in. Most seem to be for Christmas, so I’ll probably save them until then to blog about.
The Ridgway Homemaker design is one of my absolute favourite Mid Century prints. We actually bought two teacups and six saucers: one of the cups is chipped but I think we’ll be able to find cups to match the saucers.
Lovely day all in all. Let’s hope the gorgeous sunshine continues for tomorrow.
- Charity Shop Rummaging (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
Here is my disclaimer before you see the following photos:
1) The Italian pottery found in Blackpool will not be to everybody’s taste.
2) I have mentioned previously my inability to take a decent picture of a pot.
That said: feast your eyes on these:
A little bit gaudy, a little bit over the top… what’s not to love?! How about the fact that they have undoubtedly been produced as tourist tat for one region of the continent (Italy) and have somehow ended up in the tatty, touristy town of Blackpool? How can you not appreciate that?
Ok, I know. I’m trying too hard… it’s just me that loves them. Ah well. You’ll all be laughing on the other side of your face when these are worth thousands in fifty years’ time. Probably.
Thursday saw the first visit to the auction house in Holmfirth since before Christmas. In all honesty, it was a bit thin on the ground for retro and vintage items. We did put a few bids in on boxes that contained the odd bits and bobs for us, then junk for a car boot sale. One such box contained this:
I quite fancied this as a ‘party’ dish. Aidan wasn’t so keen, so I put a bid on the box. Bit disappointed not to have won it, but clearly someone was willing to pay more than the £7 I put on the box! (Such a cheapskate…)
Other things that caught my eye were these:
Now, don’t get me wrong, I would not want these in my own house. But, there does seem to be a current trend for taxidermy in vintage styling. How many times have you seen faux (and real) stag’s heads and antlers in interiors photos?
We have won one box, but it’s only full of some retro kitchen ware. I’ll upload pictures later. Right now, I need to leave for a friend’s birthday afternoon tea. Plus, I’ve just realised that it’s that cold in my spare room that I can see my breath!