Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Brush Your Teeth for the West Norwood Feast

In case you didn't know: eating healthy foods affords "good sound teeth" and, it appears, a nice post-war not-quite-the-end-of-the-ration-book hair style (and don't tell me that those carrots aren't organic!).  These posters were issued by the British Dental Board before they started publishing an array of chastening images of rotten decaying gums etc...ahem, anyway, food for thought!

For those in the South London area I will be selling wares at the West Norwood Feast. This is a much, much better occasion than the usual celebration of food, art, craft and local coming-togetherness than constitutes a local London festival.  Come along...

Sunday, 19 June 2011

East End Art

As reluctant as I am to make this blog a description of my day to day activities, a family trip to the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, East London allows me to make a connection between one of the children's books in my stock and a exhibit at the museum.

This photo shows a tiny part of a large painting of children's playground rhymes which hangs at one of the staircases at the museum.  It's by Dan Jones, an East End artist.  The book cover below is by his mother Pearl Binder.  It's called "Misha Learns English", an early Puffin Picture Book for children, published in 1942.  Both have a lovely folkish style which I like immensely.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Midwinter Madness

Last night I saw the 1951 exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall.  This selection of Midwinter wares could have been on display.  I am hoping to get a pitch at the Vintage Festival held there at the end of July.  Fingers crossed.

Charles Cobelle Design 1962

Gay Gobbler by Jessie Tait c1955

Stylecraft series c1959

Astral by Jessie Tait


Bolero by Jessie Tait

Bali Ha'i by John Russell c1960

Stylecraft (from 1953)

Fashion Shape (from 1955)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Hornsea Cats

Just some fancy cats!  By Hornsea.  For some more inspired Hornsea creations (and other less so) see this Flickr group.  Many of the iconic pieces - seen all over UK kitchens in the 1970's - are by their key designer John Clappison.  I don't have too much of his rarer stuff, but for those of a competitive persuasion you can try to source his designs on ebay...

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


I only ever sent one telegram and that was in 1994 or 95 from the Czech Republic when I think ostensibly the post office had pretty much stopped the service in the UK (my parents thought it was a hoax!).  What's interesting is that the post office (GPO as was) used lots of great artists to design their telegrams.

Here are three from my stock.  The first is by Rowland Emett, who is most noted for his home-spun inventions for the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

This more pastoral one is from Eric Fraser who contributed to the marketing for the Festival of Britain - some interesting thoughts on this from Quad Royal

More frivolously: I have several of these by Ron Atkinson (...surely not the garrulous ex-football manager moonlighting at some ad agency in the 1970s???)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Travel Ephemera

I love cruise and airline ephemera from the 1950s, 60s and 70s - these from P&O ferries and BOAC - (later to become British Airways).  The first images are by Dorrit Dekk (for a short youtube film on her involvement in the 1951 Festival of Britain and how she came to be in London click here

I didn't get a certificate when I crossed the equator (note to self: pen letter of complaint to Iberia Airways), so have had to source this design myself.  Whilst it has been tempting to scribble my name on them, I have resisted and aim to sell the three I have. 

I have other posters by this artist - one advertising flights to Africa in my living room - and have seen several others for sale, but can't find out much about him...anybody know the mysterious Laban?

Monday, 6 June 2011


Designed by Jessie Tait for Midwinter in 1954, this design is called Primavera, which I think looks great photographed against our Ercol table top even in the dying light of this evening.  This is a 15 piece set, which I will be offering for sale soon.

Watering can: photographer's own

First a criminal oversight from yesterday - or as it would be described in the workplace: "an opportunity".  On yesterday's evenings post I missed uploading these delightful salt and pepper pots from the Conran Nature Study series.  And I hope you enjoy the unnecessary addition of the pink watering can.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Nature Study 1955

Designed by Terence Conran in around 1955 - pre-Habitat - this tea service must have represented the height of British modernity at that time.  The images are simple, stylised natural forms.

Another thing to be thankful to TC for is that you can have the most glamorous-on-a-budget coffee in London in the Bibendum forecourt - although the tableware isn't quite this desirable!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Tea with Charles Cobelle

The design on both cup and saucer is by Charles Cobelle, noted for his Parisian scenes - he must have popped to La Rochelle for this one.  The wallpaper is by Sanderson ("Wrappings"). Tomorrow some fantastic British tea sets...

Friday, 3 June 2011

Mermaid Coach Excursions

Even I might be enticed on to a bank holiday coach trip by these posters, which were designed for coach companies to scribble their various exotic destinations: I can (kind of) imagine my grandparents setting out for Morecambe, Barmouth, or perhaps the Coney Island Mermaid Parade (!?!).  All the posters displayed here are originals by Daphne Padden.

Atkins diet disclaimer thats where bacon comes from...

fret not veggies: a more earnest selection

These cards are from a game called "This and That" were produced some time in the 1950s or 60s by an Austrian company called Piatnik (currently displaying disconcerting royal wedding tie-ins).

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Scandi Shopwindow

A taster of some of my midcentury Scandinavian items

Kenneth Townsend

More lovely British items from my stock.  These are by Kenneth Townsend who did such iconic design work for Galt Toys.


Here's a taster of some of my posters...these ones are British and are by Daphne Padden who was a prolific designer from 50s to the 70s.