Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A functional thing of beauty

This I have to share. I have found the perfect cup from which to drink my morning coffee. It’s exactly right with a wide brim, a deep bowl, so when I cup my hands around it the tips of my fingers do not meet. It means that I can get a lot of coffee in here and the aroma of the coffee can escape to further entice me.

The other thing that is of vital importance to me is that it is white. I don't like drinking from cups with coloured interiors. Why? Because you can’t see what tone or hue your coffee or tea is. How can you possibly know if it has been made to the correct strength. Also it’s more appetising to see the real colour of what it is you are about to drink. Everything you eat from and drink from should be working towards increasing your enjoyment.

So what joy, this cup has a white interior, and a beautiful minty-green trim around the inner edge. On the outer edge there is a forest green line. This gives the cup an elegant, understated appearance. It doubles it’s chances of doing an excellent job and being a simple thing of beauty.

Alright, it’s not made of bone china or porcelain, if it were, I have to admit, that my cup would naturally runneth o’er.  No, it’s just made of ordinary glazed earthenware, but I won’t hold that against it. In a way, its utilitarian appearance mixed with beauty is very country French, aesthetics are vital but so is practicality.

If you look at the cup side view on, you can appreciate the balanced shape it has. A nice deep bowl, an old-fashioned tea-cup handle, but modern detailing. I really love the three ridges that run around its circumference half way down, and the way that this detail is picked up, chevron-like, in the handle. It has impeccable aesthetic credentials and a real design integrity.

There is a small chip on the lip, but at the other end of the cup. As I’m right-handed, this chip is never going to trouble me, though a health and safety obessesive would say it is unhygienic.

It’s not for sale but joins my personal collection of coffee cups all built roughly along the same lines. The great sadness is that I found only one, and no saucer. Of course I’m going to use it, making it’s life expectancy shorter but wants to work not sit like a pampered poodle on a shelf. 

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

It's so Lucienne Day!

Here it is, what a fantastic dinner set! It was made in the early 1960's by J & G Meakin in England as part of their Studio collection and it's called Riverside. It's very, very Lucienne Day and Eames.

We've spent some time working out what to offer because as much of it should stay together as possible.

At the moment we have for sale on Ebay three lots as it were. First of all:

1 dinner plate
1 soup plate
and 1 small bowl.

The dinner plate and small bowl are not in perfect condition so the starting bid price is lower.

We've put together another set that is in perfect condition:
1 dinner plate
1 soup plate
1 side plate.

This would appeal to a lover of 1960's retro dinnerware and interiors who doesn't want to own the entire dinner service but wants something either to display, or perhaps use for contemplative meals... dare I say it... alone! Far, far away from anyone who might drop a plate.

Also a serving bowl with lid. There is a chip on both but it is still a wonderful item. The price is cheaper price than we would ask for one in perfect condition.

As you can see there are in fact two of them. Aren't they fantastic? Almost like flying saucers from an episode of The Twilight Zone.

All of this is on Ebay here:

Meanwhile... sigh... the 16 piece dinner set with serving platter & bowl! It's here, the serving bowl with lid above, goes with it and we will offer it all for sale very soon.

Stop press: it's up for sale now. Follow link above to our Ebay shop or click on the main picture at the top of the blog.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Spring is here... or at least we seem to have sunshine

Arggh! The problem with living in two countries is you can often find yourself in the wrong one at the wrong moment. Gorgeous sunshine here, which I'm very grateful for, but really we ought to be in France. The Easter break last week, was a mixture of rain and wind but with a little tantalising sunshine.

For many weekends now, I've been touring the French garden, peering intensely at half-frozen bits of ground, wondering if this was the spot I planted any bulbs. Over Easter, most of my bulbs started to come up, though frustratingly many of the tulips remained firmly closed. On our last day, one or two came out to say hello. I can only guess at what they are all doing now with our backs turned and several days of wonderful sunshine.

Meanwhile, back in London, I content myself with shop-bought tulips that adorn my mantlepiece, their colours are just lushciously 'melt in the mouth' and so similar to the book cover on Sanderson that came this morning: The Essence of English Decoration by Mary Schoeser. 

I haven't had a chance to look at it properly, but it's beautifully produced and takes you through the key design moments in Sanderson's extraodinary 150 year history, and it has a preface by Zandra Rhodes.

What I love about the Sanderson range is that it's all about the botanical world, the outside brought inside, and somehow thorough the ages, they've managed to tailor their designs to the fashion of the moment whilst somehow giving their designs a classic air.

Coming soon are cushion covers made from a gorgeous selection of vintage fabric: from big bosomy roses to these retro anemones and a crisp white vintage French linen. New cushion covers are a great way of refreshing a room or a slightly weary sofa. Rather than re-decorate or move home even, a change of mood and colour can make your home environment more inviting.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

London Life, new stock and Sandersons

What a cold Easter! And only the last day got slightly warmer. Still, we will get a beautiful warm weekend now.

A lot of the items listed last week have been sold! They are off and out into the world and now belong to other people. The wonderful red enamel kettle has gone and the lovely teacups and saucers and plates.

This Limoges teapot is still available. I really love this pot. It's clean and bright with a beautiful folk art design on both sides of the pot. As it is Limoges the china is of a high, transluscent quality. A beautiful find. 

We still have the coffee bean grinder for sale. This is a wonderful piece of history. It has bags of character as a piece of decorative kitchenalia and you can still use it to grind coffee beans.

We now have a number of other items that we are preparing to list. One find that I'm very excited about and sadly no photos yet, so watch this space, we have a lovely dinner set of J & G Meakin Studio Riverside which is pure 1960's. Some of the items are cracked and so we are trying to sort out what to keep and what to offer for sale.

We try very hard to offer china that is in the best possible condition even though it is all preloved and preused. Some of our stock does have the odd tiny chip or small crack. If it's hairline or simply visual rather than structural we will offer it forth as something that has been through the world and is still with us.

The Sanderson's exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London is intriguing me. It celebrates 150 years of Sanderson fabrics. This is an amazing company that has been creating classic textiles that have really stood the test of time. Their latest collection is still to die for, while vintage fabric continues to turn up, worn but still durable and still effortlessly elegant. My favourite from their new collection is the beautiful Early Tulips but maybe my favourite is Grandiflora or Anemone.

Luxuriate in the Sanderson options here:

Meanwhile, as soon as I get a moment I'm off to the exhibition over at SE1:

Bye bye ...