22 October 2014

Jens Quistgaard

I was thrilled to find a stack of coffee cups and more from Jens Quistgaard's "Flamestone" series, in a small auction last week - I have only ever seen picture of them previously and it's always good to touch and feel the real thing.

The burnt umber glaze is ultra matte, and contrasts beautifully with the white porcelain interiors.

Just incase you aren't familiar with Jens Quistgaard's importance as a designer, here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia page on him:

Jens Harald Quistgaard (April 23, 1919 – January 4, 2008) was a Danish sculptor and designer, known principally for his work for the American company Dansk Designs, where he was chief designer from 1954 and for the following three decades. Though a sculptor and grounded in traditional handicrafts, he quickly established a career as an industrial designer. From the mid-1950s his tableware and kitchenware designs became synonymous with Scandinavian modern and found their way into millions of homes in the USA, Europe and Japan. With his international orientation and success he was ground breaking, and he had great significance for the place which Danish design acquired in the minds of many Americans. In 1958 he received the Neiman Marcus Award and during the following years he was represented at major museums in Europe and the USA. Many of Jens Quistgaard's works are still produced today.
The Flamestone series was designed in 1958 for Dansk Design and went on to become a classic of Mid-Century Danish Design.

Other companies Quistgaard designed for include:
  • Palshus Keramik
  • Eslau Keramik
  • Hermann Ole Jacobsen
  • De Forenede Jernstøberier A/S
  • Raadvad Knivfabrik A/S
  • Sival Staal
  • O.V. Mogensen
  • Slagelse Sølvvarefabrik
  • Kronjyden
  • Nissen/Langaa
  • Bing & Grøndahl
  • Trip Trap
  • IQ Designs
  • Gubi of Copenhagen
I have had several examples of Jens Quistgaard's ceramic designs in the past, and re-post them here  to give a wider picture of the extraordinary skill of this designer:

Cigarette Box in Teak and Porcelain for
Kronjyden Nissen

Cigar Box in teak and porcelain for Kronjyden Nissen

Large ashtray for Kronjyden Nissen

Kronjyden Nissen "Cordial" design

Kronjyden Nissen "Azur"

Kronjyden Nissen "Rune"

...and the hugely popular "Relief" series for Kronjyden Nissen.

19 October 2014

T G Green & Judith Onions - Cornishware and Channel Islands Designs

T.G. Green & Co was originally founded by Thomas Goodwin Green of Boston, Lincolnshire in around 1864 in an existing pottery in Church Gresley, Derbyshire.

In 1926, T.G. Green began producing its famous "Cornish" kitchenware in Church Gresley - using a lathe-turning technique which scraped the blue slip away from the pottery to reveal white bands of clay below. Apparently those stripes were reminiscent of the blue skies and white-crested waves of Cornwall, and this is said to be how Cornishware got its name.

Via TG Green Museum on Pinterest.
The traditional Cornishware jar shape - depending
on the rarity, the label, and age these jars can
reach very high prices amongst collectors.
By the 1930s, the Cornishware range was well established with a thriving export business. The pottery was widely sold in the UK through major department stores. Stores would carry stock of the standard range of lettered jars such as Flour, Sugar, Salt, Currants, Sultanas, Raisins, Tea and Coffee but the housewife was able to make request to the store for her own lettered jars from the factory. Cornishware is still in production today, and the older pieces - especially the jars - are highly valued.

In the 1960s new designers joined TG Green from the Royal College of Art - Scandinavian designer Berit Ternell and British Judith Onions, who restyled the Cornishware range to give it the distinctive shapes that are still used today, (along with the traditional forms) and which have become highly prized by collectors.

Below: a number of pieces I have had recently from the Judith Onions re-design of Cornishware.

Judith Onions had already successfully restyled the Cornish Ware range in 1968 when she was joined by Martin Hunt to design an entirely new range. They produced four clear, bold and very British designs (each with a very different pattern). They named them after the English Channel Islands Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and later - Herm. 

Each of The Channel Islands designs was produced in a number of colours, but the most common ones you will probably see are blue, black, and honey 

T G Green Jersey Blue Coffee Mug I bought recently.
T G Green - Jersey Blue egg cups - via Pinterest page of the T G Green Museum
The Channel Islands "Sark" design in Honey colour
via the TG Green Museum on Pinterest.


  • The T G Green Musuem  on Pinterest which has a virtual catalogue of all known T.G.Green & Co Ltd patterns between 1864 - 2007

TG Green as it was closed in 2007, but was rescued by enthusiasts Charles Rickards and Paul Burston who teamed up with designer and brand consultant, Perry Haydn Taylor. Today the company is now as busy and as popular as it ever was.

18 October 2014

Auction Watch 135

Some weird and wonderful pieces coming up for auction here in Adelaide this week. Some of the photos are from my Instagram feed of photos I took at an auction viewing (link on left if you have Instagram on your smart phone), and others from the online catalogues.

Bjorn Wiinblad Nymolle - "Spring" plate

3 lovely pieces Whitefriars glass

A nice selection of RC Christmas Plates

A collection of bizarre miniatures

....and another.
...a rather disturbing looking smiling donkey miniature from
the collection above.

This time a collection consisting of primarily Noddy Egg Cups!!


I like this Italian Vase - looks reasonably contemporary - I've been trying
to find out the maker as it isn't marked - anyone seen it before??

A retro ramekin collection

Bing & Grondahl Dinner set.

A fantastic looking Italian Carafe and Glassware set in emerald green,
unused vintage.

15 October 2014

Fratelli Fanciullacci Ewer

One of the loveliest pieces of Italian pottery I have come across in a long time. I bought it at auction on Monday - and it is a piece by Italian makers, Fratelli Fanciullacci . Not to everyone's taste I know....but I think it is gorgeous! The palest of musky pink hues, with an "orange peel" textured glaze.

The glaze is the same type as on the equally lovely Fanciullacci sculpture pictured below, which I had a few years ago.

12 October 2014

H M Sutherland - Staffordshire, Australian Hotel Ware!

I recently rediscovered this lovely piece of vintage hotel ware when tidying up a cupboard. It is from a local hotel built in the 1880s, which had an Art Deco re-style c1930s, and was then renovated back to its original 1880s look when totally refurbished about 10 years ago. Amazingly they still had much of the original chinaware (from the 1930s refit by the look of it) which was sent to auctions, charity stores etc. I was lucky enough to find some of these coffee cups and saucers and some dinner plates in my local charity shop - and kept this last one as a reference piece.

Bone china like this was made to last, and I find this sort of "Industriana" always fascinating. It gives you such a great glimpse into the past.

The chinaware was made by Hudson and Middleton, Staffordshire - a fine bone china manufacturer located in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, c1870's-2009. Much of their work was also labelled "Sutherland" or "Royal Sutherland"

There is a detailed and fascinating story of the history of this maker HERE

11 October 2014

Auction Watch 134

Slim pickings this week I'm afraid....because of a short week last week with a public holiday, there wouldn't have been the time for auction houses to put through the usual amount for sale.  Anyway, there are always some interesting things to be found, even in the quietest of weeks:

A gorgeous pink ewer vase - Italian ( looks to be Fratelli Fanciulacci)

An ever popular Arabia cow jug.

Some Wester German and Israeli retro pieces

Great colour on this retro drinks set.

A very 1950s looking mosaic coffee table with Kangaroo and boomerangs!

Wedgwood Pennine - Its a great design, but never brings much in dollar terms.

What a fantastic TG Green coffee set, design by Judith Onions.

...and finally Thomas Germany always had such fantastic colours and patterns - as seen on these
pieces - which were also made in a purple/pink variation.