THE END OF HISTORY
An archive of news and design ideas from the mid-century modern furnishing experts of Manhattan's The End of History. Written by Daniel Petix with store proprietor Stephen Saunders.
Original photography by Daniel Petix
A suite of subtle yellow pieces by Gertrud Lönegrenfor Rörstrand,Sweden. A lovely striped design enhanced by a crazing of glass glaze which pools in a sort of crystalline effect at the center of the low bowls. Also adding to their visual interest is a touch of rusty oxidation along the rims. Made at the venerable Swedish company during her short tenure there - somewhere between 1936-41. Vases 11", 4.5" high Bowls 5.5", 8" diameter
Thrilled as always to be included in the mother of all "Lifestyle" periodicals...Martha Stewart Living.
For the December 2012 issue - a story on decorating with flowers for
the holidays includes our gilt Bavarian porcelain pieces.
The vase with the coral motif (far left), the sweet bird vase (far right), and the heavily gilded cylinder with "Rorschach" design, filled with Poppies, are all ours.
Svend Hammershøiwas a great Dane who created works of pottery for Kahler in the1930s. This group above feature glazes that are antiqued through a painterly application, giving them a distinctiveaged patina. 13",10", 5.5"
A small selection of our impressive collection of Scandinavian pottery which all incorporate genuine copper in the glazing process. From the studio of Sven Hofverberg, Sweden, 1950s
All smalls l to r 6.5", 5", 6"
An utterly unique piece of pottery circa 1970 from the studio of Jorgen Mogensen, Denmark. It appears to me to be a sort of hybrid sculpture/freeform vase. There is somthing almost fluid...like cellular mitosis to this design. 8" diameter, 4" high
Any regular reader of my blog knows I like to feature a bird or two at Thanksgiving. This year we're serving a fine example of a late19th century Japanese Kutani porcelain ginger jar in a rare espresso color (we are used to seeing the typical coral background). 9"
A lesson on the importance of grooming from the Royal Copenhagen master of animal figurative sculpture...Knud Kyhn. As far as we know, this is the only example of this subject in the United States. Another exists in a museum in Denmark. Stoneware (and as weighty as the name suggests) decorated in his signature Sung Glaze.
Gigantic and heavy at 15" tall and 15" wide.
This may appear to be a typical mid-century mosaic table at first glance, but it is in fact something quite extraordinary. Each of the 49 panels decorating its top are mint condition individual enamel-on-copper tiles, hand-made by a famed Danish artist named Bodil Eje (1930-2006). Made expressly for sale at the venerable design super-store Illums Bolighus in Copenhagen in the 1950s. The colors range from cobalt, indigo, purple, forest green and hints of lavender, accented with shots gold and of course copper metallic accents. The tiles are set into a rosewood surface on a bronze base (with rosewood tipped legs). 24" x 43" x 19"
Yes, this piece actually has a name, and it's "Magic Orange". Created in Sweden in the 60s by Vincent Nilsson, a third generation potter of a Swedish ceramics family of note.
What I find so intriguing is his ability to recreate the look and feel of citrus fruit through a speckling style that dots the surface with a variety of colors to mimic the skin of an orange. Huge and heavy at 14.5" in diameter
An Art Deco artifact decorated in the signature Persian glaze of Michael Andersen & Son, Bornholm, Demark, circa 1930s. A little bit of ceramic erotica in shades of turquois and blush pink. Top measures 3.5 x5 and box is 3.5" high
Never ones to rest on our laurels...we prefer to present an unexpected mix, not strictly mid-century and certainly not minimalist. Amid some of our latest Scandinavian ceramic treasures is a white marble bust of an idealized young Roman (Emperor Maximinus perhaps?) by famed German sculptor Otto Poertzel (1876-1963) From his early turn of the century classical period, this handsome man measures 16" to the top of his valiant head.
With the rich treasure trove that has just arrived from Scandinavia, how was I to choose an item for this blog entry? I decided to go with rarity as well as an oddity. Designed in Sweden by A. Anderssonand decorated by Birger Larssonfor Wallåkra (incised AWA) in the early 40s is this almost lunar looking vase. It has the most intriguing glaze reminiscent of bubbling tar in a kind of gunmetal grey color and a surface puckered everywhere like little starbursts and peppered with erratic eruptions. The scale is monumental, as wide as it is tall at 13" x 13". This is a wow-factor Wallåkra vase for the ages.
Every other fall...something big happens. After our partners in Denmark have collected the rarest goods from all over Scandinavia, a shipping container packed to the hilt with hundreds of fine wares makes its way by boat from Copenhagen to New York. We've spent many hours unloading and unpacking one treasure after another and are in the midst of inventory...so that we can finally share these extraordinary items with you. We may have kept the European bubble-wrap industry afloat this time!
From a special line by Heinrich called Chiemsee (after the fresh water lake in Bavaria). Hand painted with raised genuine 24K gold dots in an effervescent pattern that bubbles upwards from the base to the rim. Whimsical and elegant at once. 1950s, Germany 7"
Fratelli Toso made glass objects that look sweet enough to eat. The technique used to achieve the candy striped effect is called 'a canne' in Italian, which is exactly what it sounds like...the use of colored canes of glass melted to create a new form, like the delicious stopper bottle you see above. 11''
This would have been great for a Halloween post...alas, someone named Sandy interrupted us. Perfect for the decorator with an appreciation for the eccentric comes this hyper-realistic German porcelain bust of a man. life size @ around 12" tall
Not unlike the design aesthetic of yesterday's sculpture (mixing smoky grey in clear and frost) is this cubist vase from the venerable Tapio Wirkkala for Iittala (signed), created circa 1960.
A rare and exquisite one-of-a-kind glass sculpture from Archimede Seguso (signed). Smoky clear grey glass sits aloft a frosted cylindrical base. Hand blown in Murano circa 1960. Quite substantial at 22" tall and 10" wide
A stellar selection from the hand of Carl-Harry Stålhane for Rörstrand. Amassed in Sweden over time by a serious collector with an eye for pristine condition and an appreciation for a complete grouping.
The smalls in a drippy, shiny, rusty palette are all between 6-7". The bowls range from 3.5"- 8".
German Porcelain in trippy patterns of genuine 24k gold and real cobalt (or kobalt as the German's are apt to spell it). The center piece by Schumann Arzberg at 20.5" tall is really monumental considering the delicate nature of the material. The others are by one of our Bavarian faves...Heinrich (left to right 12", 10.5", 8", 11")
We are happy to report that the power has returned to our section of downtown Manhattan! It's been a trying time for all New York City residents and we sincerely hope the regular rhythm of life is on the return. Store hours will resume today and I will get back to blogging as soon as I can.
In the meantime, please considering helping those who are still suffering:
Monday - Friday 12 - 7pm
Saturday & Sunday 12 - 6pm.
There is nothing quite like the fabulous vintage hand blown glass , the rare ceramics, and the marvelous mid-century modern furniture found at "The End of History". We opened our shop in Manhattan's West Village in 1997. Since then we have amassed more decorative objects from the 50's & 60's in one room than anywhere in the world. As a result we've become the go-to for top editors from magazines as well as a choice source to the best interior designers in the world. We will update this blog daily... and as new publications come out and exciting new items hit our shelves!