Hello. We 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 we've found.

Monday, 26 March 2012

A vintage children's book with Mary Blair illustrations

This Sunday, I set my clock for an early start. Sunday is car boot sale day and I always look forward to rooting round all the stalls to see if there are any gems of pottery treasure for the Potshots collection.

This week, even though the weather was good for a change, there were no bootsale pottery bargains to be found. Normally this would be a disappointment – but not this week. Just as I was about to leave, I spotted this beautiful children's song book. It cost me £1. The book is wonderfully illustrated by Mary Blair. This edition was published by Paul Hamlyn in 1966 but the book has a copyright from 1955 to the Golden Press, inc. I would guess, therefore, that the illustrations were done sometime in the 1950s. And aren't they just superb? Here are some pictures of a few of the pages...

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Phono Boy. Fantastic plastic by Mario Bellini.

How cool is that? Imagine walking round in 1968 with your favourite poptastic hit record playing on this little beauty.

This is the Grundig Phono Boy portable record player, designed by Mario Bellini in 1968. Love the shape, love the colour. The player is designed to play a 7 inch 45RPM vinyl record which slots neatly in at the top – so I suppose you could say this is the 1960s version of the iPod.

I've seen pictures of the Phono Boy in bright green and bright red, and also in White. And, to me, the Phono Boy certainly qualifies as a fine example of fantastic plastic.

There's a good source of technical information on the Phono Boy here: John's Radio Web

Friday, 16 March 2012

Bird cruet. John Clappison. 1966.

What could be nicer than having breakfast with this delightful salt and pepper set sitting on the table? The intense blue colour, the stylish, modern shape, and the graphic illustrated bird design – it's a real joy.

This is the work of designer John Clappison and believe-it-or-not, this bird cruet set dates from 1966. The set is from a range produced at the time by Hornsea pottery. Other animal cruets in the range are owls, cats and fish. One of the birds (the salt) has a single hole at the front of its beak, the other (the pepper) has three small holes. The sets were all printed in black onto either brown, green or blue backgrounds. I like the blue.

Some time ago, I did a blog-post on the owl cruets from this range. Remember this: Owl cruets.

The more I look at these pieces, the more I can't help thinking that, in a way, the work has a Scandinavian feel to it. I wasn't surprised, therefore, to learn that John Clappison had been to Sweden in 1962. He visited the Gustavberg factory where he met Stig Lindberg at his studio. John also met Gunnar Nylund during this period. In earlier years, John Clappison had met Nils Thorsson at the Royal Copenhagen factory. John had also discovered the work of Nils Kähler at Kähler Keramic. John says that Kähler's work had a big influence on him at the time.

Who knows? perhaps some of that Scandinavian freedom of expression was in the back of the mind of John Clappison when he produced these little gems.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Teak, metal, modern design, it must be Danish.

There's something very pleasing about items made from teak and black metal, it's a common combination of materials in mid-century modern design. So I was very pleased to add this small 3-legged candle holder to the Potshots collection this week.

I'm afraid that I don't know a lot about it, though. I would guess it is from the late 1950s or early 1960s. I don't know who made it or where it comes from but would think it's likely to be Danish. Although the candle holder does not have a maker's mark, it has Denmark written all over it. The simple and elegant design, the modern shape and the use of such materials, all indicate that it is probably from Denmark. If you do know for sure, I'd love to hear from you.

The tops of the candle holders are a bit blackened now but they look to be in a brass coloured metal. A nice object. Would look great with some very tall candles.