Hello. I like to collect well-designed vintage pottery (and lots of other stuff) from the 1950s,
'60s and '70s. Here are some pictures and info of a selection of the things I've found.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Mysterious girl. Stylish 1950s bust of a girl.

Here's something I found recently about which, I have to admit, I know nothing at all.

This beautiful head and shoulders of a girl is made from that sort of chalky pottery that easily chips. She's about nine inches high and is very much in the 1950s style. There's an unreadable signature on the back with the wording Bust No. 4. I wonder if there are more in the same style?

I like the stylised, exaggerated shape and the curved lines. The colours work well too.

A mystery she may be but I'll have to make room to display her somewhere.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Matching lamp base for Poole Freeform vase

It seems like ages ago when I did a blogpost on a Poole Freeform vase from the 1950s. Remember this:  Poole Freeform vase. 

Here is a matching item that I have had displayed with the vase. This item is actually a lamp base but I think it looks more elegant displayed without any of the fittings. The design is hand-painted, I think by Gwen Haskins, and I have an idea that it dates from the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Friday, 22 March 2013

André Hellé animals book from 1911

As well as my interests in pottery and glass, I do have a soft spot for vintage children's books. And I wanted to show you a good one I found recently. It's a wonderful book.

I picked up this vintage french children's book without knowing too much about it but the more I have looked into it, the more fascinating it gets. The book is Droles de Betes with words and illustrations by André Hellé. As far as I can discover, the book was produced in 1911 and that makes it all the more remarkable when you see the layout and the stylised, modernist style of illustration.

The first thing that strikes you about the book is its size, the book is roughly 17 by 12 inches (40x30cm), it's very big. The typography is beautifully done with hand-drawn text and titles, and the wording incorporates many quirky line drawings. The colour illustrations have been printed separately on white paper and tipped-in.

But it's the avant-garde style of the book that is so interesting. The animals are toy-like and so simplified. I imagine that this book must have looked very striking and innovative in 1911.

There are more excellent pages in the book and I'll show them in another blog-post soon.

There's more information on André Hellé on this blog by his admirers: André Hellé 


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Vintage storage jars from the 1960s.

Just a quick blog-post to show three nicely textured vintage storage jars.

They're from the Portmeirion Totem range designed by Susan Williams-Ellis and were first produced in the 1960s.

The textures are great but I like the colours too.

More Portmeirion on Potshots: here and here and here

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Groovy. Westminster vases 1960 1961

Here are a couple of vases by Hornsea pottery that I've always found quite pleasing to the eye. The range is Westminster (I don't know why) and it was produced in 1960 or 1961.

Hornsea seem to have perfected the technique of vertical grooving filled with colour, they used it on the beautiful Summit range, the Summertime range, and others. On this example the grooves are tapered and are very fine by the time they reach the bottom. As far as I know, there were only two sizes of Westminster vases made and only three colours were used. The colours are similar to some of those used on the Summit range so this range displays well with Summit. The pointed arch-shape at the top of the grooves is an elegant feature and the gently flared top is a nice touch too.

One of my favourites.

Hornsea Summit 1960 - 1965

Friday, 8 February 2013

1970s playtime. Make your own sculptures with Galt Octons

How cool is that?

I made it all by myself, you know.

Forgive me but I've been messing about with a vintage toy I found recently. And great fun it is too.

In the age of complicated electronic toys and games, who would have thought you could get so much pleasure from something as simple as creating sculptures from bright coloured, interlocking, plastic octagons. They do say simple things amuse simple minds.

Funnily enough though, what you could end up with is a very stylish object: a visual, light catching sculpture that would look superb on display in the window area of a modern interior. And your sculpture is, of course, infinitely variable for when you feel like a change.

The toy is Octons by UK manufacturer, Galt Toys. I would guess this version dates from the 1970s.

C'mon, don't pretend you wouldn't like a go too.

(Added 27 June 2013) It looks like Galt Toys are still going strong today - and they're still making a version of Octons: Galt Octons