Sunday, October 23, 2011

Harker Rockingham?? Bennington?? Tankard and Stein Set

This gorgeous drip glaze horse head tankard and stein set is one of my favorite pieces from my collection. It's unmarked which has made it very difficult to identify. The set appears to be fairly old but could easily be from the 60s. The glaze is similar to Harker Rockingham pieces but I am unable to attribute it to that group. I just have hit a road block with it. If anyone out there has any ideas on the piece I'd appreciate your input.

On another note I purchased this from a gentleman who also happened to design the MSU mascot. Just a fun side story.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mid-century Modern Ethusiasts

Welcome Mid-century Modern design enthusiasts. Through the years I have personally collected, shared and shopped for many clients. We are fortunate enough to live in an area filled with people who are turning over older items in favor of newer pieces. The purpose of this blog is to create a document of well photographed items that are not only part of my collection but sometimes of my evolving collection. So what is an evolving collection? Every 2-3 years I sell off parts of my collection and make room for newer items. It provides me an opportunity to continue to collect and refresh our home with newer pieces. This blog allows me to document and share that information with fellow design enthusiasts. It also gives other collectors an opportunity to add to their own collections at a savings to them both in time and money. The cycle good for the dealers and sellers because they know I'll be back to refresh and renew. Some people have time to thrift, garage sale and attend auctions and some do not. Without people willing sell there will be no collections. I will continue to share ideas and tips for vintage collectors on a budget. I welcome all parties be they collectors, dealers, interior designers, hobbyists, information gatherers to visit and read here as often as they wish. We are all part of keeping the history of Mid-century design updated and documented. I enjoy sharing and passing that information on if possible and frequently share freely the photographed items in my collection as well as the evolving collection. It is a well intended gift to those who share the adventures of collecting Mid-century Modern pieces.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Harvest Dinner Party Picks

Taylor Smith & Taylor Autumn Harvest will be my pick for setting the table this year!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and it's time to start planning for the ultimate family dinner with classic Mid-century pieces. Once you've selected the perfect autumn color palette for your dinner you can get down to planning the menu.

Let's begin with this classic Swedish Bo Borgstrom cocktail set in chestnut brown. I especially love the stirring stick that ends in a fat teardrop to hasten mixing. Borgstrom began designing glassware pieces for Aesda Glasbruk in 1960 which has been out of business since 1974. The simple lines in this set is sure to set the mood of any autumn gathering.

The next piece is a Mid-century Modern chafing dish. The manufacturer and designer are unknown. Chafing dish fragments are a common find in medieval archeology sites. In fact chafing dishes have been a big part of American society since the 17th century. In fact cookbooks specializing in chafing dish recipes appeared in the late 19th century. Fannie Farmer's Chafing Dish Possibilities was published in Boston in 1898. Maybe you'll be able to find the perfect recipe for this classic piece! The warm wood tones of the sealed bamboo around the outside of the dish will perfectly compliment the autumn's harvest.

On the top of the pile is Taylor Smith and Taylor's, Ever Yours in Autumn Harvest. Featured is a close up of this stunning Mid-century dinnerware set. This set has been hosting Thanksgiving meals in America since the 1950s! So celebrate this year's bounty with Autumn Harvest.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Size Matters for Blue Decanters


When it comes to marketing a product visually, size matters. A shopper must be able to quickly distinguish the size of any item for sale. Size is the reason why you will see so many Ebay and Etsy sellers include a coin with the item they are selling. It may not be an attractive look but the buyer can quickly distinguish a size through visual comparison. In the first photo of the decanter I failed miserably at sharing the size. The decanter looked more like a perfume bottle then a 13" liquor decanter. The solution was simple, include an item that the buyer can use to visually determine the size. In this case I was able to locate 2 small shot glasses, that oddly enough, seem to match the decanter. I also included a large silver tray to better define the shape and color of the decanter itself. The shot glasses serve the same purpose as a coin. Now the buyer can quickly determine size.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Evans Ashtray & Lighter Set

I'm not smoker but I grew up in a house full of smoke. There is just something about these old ashtray and lighter sets that draws my eye to them. Pictured is a set of a Evans ashtray and lighter set. As close as I can date them is late 50s to early 60s. Who wouldn't want this set on their coffee table, even if it's just for looks.

Available for sale HERE!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mad Men & Tea Cups go Hand in Hand

Look for these cups in a future Mad Men episode! Propping for a show like Mad Men is all about details. Kuodos to there prop master, Ellen Freund, for her much appreciated efforts. I knew these tea cups had a future from the moment I saw them. I'll never be on a famous tv series on AMC but it's nice to know my tea cups made it. ;)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mid-Century Modern Doll House by Brinca dada

Due to all of the recent acquisitions of vintage Mid-century Modern Strombecker doll furniture I had to peek around and see if I could find a suitable modern home and found "The Emerson" by Brinca dada. The house is light and airy with 6 large rooms for the modern doll. It even has solar panels!!!! What a wonderful gift this would make for that Mid-century Modern little girl in your life.

I found this cute little set of vintage Mondrian themed doll dishes recently that would look perfect in this house!!! They're available for sale HERE. SOLD

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Strombecker Mid-century Modern Doll Furniture

Strombeck 8" Doll Sofa 1950s available HERE! Still available!

Four Strombeck 8" Doll Kitchen Chairs available HERE & HERE! SOLD

Oh if I was only 8" tall and made of plastic I would so love relaxing on this cool set of retro Strombecker Mid-century Modern furniture set. Just not going to happen.

Fred Press Cocktail Pitcher Mix and Match

Every once in a while I find two items that just look right together and here is a great example. Of course a set is always desirable but not always . This fab cocktail pitcher is signed by one of my favorite artist designers, Fred Press, and made by Rubel. The pitcher is from the Regal line. The "on the rocks glasses" are made by Federal Glass and is decorated in the Bahamas pattern in the Presidential shape.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

"The Help" is Filled With Retro Eye Candy

We finally made it to the movie theater on Saturday to see "The Help". It is by far one of the best films I have seen in a long, long time and didn't deviate to much from the book. Having grown up in the South during the 60's it was refreshing to see a film that expressed so eloquently so many of my memories of that time. Like many Southern white women of the day my mother hired "help" to come in once a week. We had two house keepers, who oddly enough were both named Jean. The first Jean was quiet and reserved. She rarely spoke. I always wondered where she came from and where she went at the end of the day. Did she have kids of her own? I never knew. She helped my Mom with the ironing and cleaning. My Mom usually worked with her to get the house in order. I don't recall there was ever an issue with Jean using the restroom. She always used ours. I have no recollection of a bathroom initiative but I was a little girl. Then one day Jean was gone and replaced with a new house keeper, also named Jean. The new house keeper was warm and friendly and she wore a wig. Aibileen, the main character in The Help reminded me of Jean. Sometimes Mom would have to go out and I'd remain behind in Jean's care. Jean and I would take little trips to Woolworth and to her church. It was always fun. I always felt bad that she got stuck with me but I have to admit I was glad to be with her. The film brought back a host of memories of my life in the South some good and some not as good. I wish I knew what became of the two Jeans that were in our lives in such turbulent times. We moved away from the South in the mid to late 60s. I lost my accent and packed away my memories until this movie.

I had to wonder if anyone else in the theater paid as close attention to the architecture, furniture, rugs, dinnerware and clothing from the time period as I did. It was like visiting an old friend that you haven't seen in such a long time. Every detail of the set design, the props, the hair styles, signage and clothing was retro eye candy to a Mid-century enthusiast. The only thing that seemed out of place to me was when Skeeter was in Hilly's kitchen with Yule Mae asking her if she'd consider being interviewed for the book. Behind Skeeter's head was a cabinet filled with every day dishes. I couldn't help but notice that the blue transferware coffee cups didn't match the red transferware dishes. That would have never been the case in a well to do Southern woman's home. The dishes would all match. Southerner's take setting the perfect table seriously.