Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bowls For Days

For the next few days I'll share my favorite Murano bowls, among the most beautiful objects in our current collection. This glittery wonder from Barbini is the most glamorous combination of minty celadon green and heavily layered gold. So very '50's in its delightful design.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Eterna-ly Greatful

This is a production piece created mid-century under the artistic direction of Gunnar Nylund for Rörstrand, Sweden. I especially love the super-graphic nature of this pattern - called "Eterna".

Friday, January 29, 2010

We've Been Mug'd

Let me clarify. "Manhattan Users Guide" a website that sends out daily e-mail blasts to discerning New Yorkers gave us notice. Wednesdays are for all things "Newww.York"- web based recommendations, a section they term "Intersection". Our mention came on 1/27/10.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Drink It Up!

An Italian ceramic drinks set from the 1950's made expressly for Marshall Field's...Chicago's premier department store. A close-up view of the textured glaze suggests design influenced by the abstract expressionist paintings of the day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cool Contrast

Thomas Toft. c. 1950's Denmark. 13" tall and gorgeously graphic. Gotta love the mix of matte chocolate brown and shiny white glaze.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tiki Chic

Here is a great example of the oxymoronic modern primitive look that became a hallmark of the mid-century aesthetic. Granted, we usually associate 195o's home decor with futurism and clean lines, but what we can also expect is the occasional nod to "Exotica". Such is the case with this Hawaiian or perhaps Easter Island style sculpture. While it appears to be carved stone on a wooden base, it is in actuality one solid ceramic or plaster piece... and rather heavy at that.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Venetian Vortex

Fratelli Toso, Murano Italy, c. 1950's.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hooray for Higgins

The Higgins Studio, home of “modern miracles with everyday glass” was founded in 1948 by Michael and Frances Higgins who met at the Chicago Institute of Design. They were pioneers in the rediscovery and refinement of the ancient art of glass fusing. Originally the Studio operated out of the Higgins’ Chicago apartment, with kilns set up behind the sofa. This piece is a vintage bowl made between 1957-1964. For more information see link below:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Back to Barbini

Two more from the Murano masters. These are deceptively large... the picture can't properly convey their sheer size and weight- so I'll just tell you! They are 11" and 9" in diameter and weigh in at 7 and 4 lbs. respectively. Large and lovely.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tray Chic

This lacquerware tray was produced in Japan by a company called Otagiri in the 1960's. There is something both serene and surreal about this pattern called Golden Mist.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Best of Barbini...

Continued... In the form of a lovely lidded jar- in Barbini's signature controlled bubble pattern.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Genie in a Bottle

...or should I say- Barbini in a Bottle. Nobody has ever produced stopper bottles of the fine quality found in those made in the '50's by Barbini. The heavy gilded glass with its elegant lines and rich saturated color are the design details that allow this piece to stand out from the rest.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Buddha as a Girl

According to one legend, Kwan Yin, who is often referred to as the female Buddha, was a beautiful Indian princess who forsook marriage and the good life to live in a convent in order to become a truly enlightened human being, or bodhisattva. This ceramic head represents India by way of Italy, c. 1960's. Groovy Goddess!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Beautiful from Every Angle

One of our favorite ceramics is this piece from Höganäs Keramik, a Swedish company established in 1909 and still in operation as part of the Ittala Group. In the 1950's, while still a small independent studio, this extraordinary piece was created by the hand of John Anderson. The striations in the glaze offer a wonderfully dynamic variation in color and tone that captures the eye.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Feeling Blue?

Well these three should cheer you up! From l-r: Elme, Gunnar Ander for Lindshammer (Sweden), and the dowel shaped vase is Italian...all from the 50's.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Home Sweet Home

On occasion we lend our pieces for use in showhouses or model apartments. These were returned today from a stay at a fabulous address here in Manhattan. Italian ceramics from the 50's, once again available for your consumption.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reversal of Fortune

Black and Gold meets Gold and Black on these two Murano bowls from the 50's. Most likely from the same factory(Barbini perhaps), reunited here for the first time in many years.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Leaf it to us...

Another example of a Great Dane who made a huge mark in neighboring Sweden. I'm speaking of course of one of our favorites, Gunnar Nylund for Rörstrand.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Patina is a Virtue

This sweet little Art Deco bronze box is incised GAB, which stands for "Goldsmedjarnas Aktiebolag", a metal factory in Sweden. Possibly by the hand of Just Anderson, a famous Danish artist often employed by the foundry during the 20's-40's. We feel the decorative detail my be an unopened Poppy. Intoxicating!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Black Box

Another importer of the decorative arts was Rosenthal Netter. Not a manufacturer, per se, but certainly a major provider of pretty pieces for the American mid-century this swell black keepsake box.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Inside This Box...

This modernist box is marked Raymor, Italy on the bottom. This may lead one to believe that an Italian company named Raymor actually manufactured this fantastic little ceramic. Not so. Raymor aka Richards Morgenthau & Co., was a New York-based company well-known as American distributors of modern domestic products, evolving from Russell Wright accessories. They sought out companies and designers worldwide and imported or commissioned decorative objects for US consumption. This piece was quite possibly made by Bitossi (given its color combination). We are huge fans of Raymor's slogan: "MODERN in the TRADITION of GOOD TASTE"! "

Thursday, January 7, 2010

All Shapes and Sizes

A selection of earthy delights from Carl-Harry Stålhane for Rörstrand, Sweden, 1950's.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Aw... just look at those dimples. Italian pinched cased glass vases- c. 1960's.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Shell-y Winter

If sub-zero Winter weather has you dreaming of tropics far away, why not surround yourself with beachy baubles such as these:
  1. Two Shells from Seguso, Murano 1950's
  2. Small (just 3.5" wide) Footed Sterling Silver Shell by Wallace (U.S.A.) 1950's
  3. Large Copper Barbini Shell, 1950's

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tray Chic

Japanese from the 1920's. Notice the sterling silver details. This dark Rosewood tray would make a fabulous small surface for your valuable collectibles.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Recommended Reading

No one designer defined an aesthetic we like to refer to as maximalism than the legendary decorator and jeweler TONY DUQUETTE. There is a newly published tome by his design partner Hutton Wilkinson called More Is More: Tony Duquette. We put a copy in our window as an homage to the modern baroque ideal.

Friday, January 1, 2010

This May Be a Stretch...

A delicate delicacy from Fratelli Toso (try to say that five times fast)! This stopper bottle in a turquoise and amber stripe says 1950's in it's very form and color palette.


As in: the act, process, or capability of distinguishing between two separate but adjacent objects or sources of light. Here's to a year filled with beauty and enLIGHTenment. We recently acquired this classic hand-blown Italian lamp in an unusual color-way...Amber. It gives off the most calming ambient light.