Flickr Widget

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Red much?

If you're a fan of red West German pottery, then you're in luck, because eBay is inundated in it right now. When I opened my saved searches on the site, I was amazed by the number of red pieces listed, and when I realized they were almost all from the same seller, I was even more astonished. It appears that keramik-kid either got a bargain on a truckload of red fat lava pieces (many of which aren't identifed in the listings, so you'll have to do your homework) or has decided to redecorate and change color schemes. Here is just a sampling of the red, red and more red pieces currently offered by this seller. The auction is scheduled to end tomorrow.

All images from

Friday, May 30, 2014

You've got mail...

Sometimes the smallest details are the hardest to pull off. When I first bought my 1950 ranch home, it was difficult to find mailboxes that suited its vintage exterior. Today it's a little easier to find reproductions if you can't find an original. Here are images of both vintage and new mailboxes to delight and inspire.

Vintage mailbox - ModPop VintageModern

Pouch mailbox from Canadian Tire

Vintage mailbox

Modern reproduction - mailboxshoppe

Vintage copper envelope-style

Postino envelope-style

New old stock starburst mailbox - atomicspacejunk88

Vintage mailbox - AustinModern

Nice take on an old standard

Another nice post treatment

If you'd like to help a fellow mid-century maven get his mailbox business off the ground (or, as the case might be, firmly planted in the ground), check out Greg Kelly's Kickstarter campaign.

Greg Kelly's modbox design

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Goodbye, Dr. Angelou (1928-2014)

Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson in St. Louis, died on May 28, 2014. She was 86 years old.
Uploaded by mohitbahi on Apr 5, 2007

Angelou was a celebrated poet, novelist, autobiographer, dramatist, filmmaker, actress, singer, dancer, historian, educator and civil rights activist. She began her work in the 1950s and continued till her death, leaving an indelible mark on the world. She will be missed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

West German pottery: Carstens

Carstens Tönnieshof began in 1900 but resumed post-war production sometime between 1945 and 1947. It was one of several pottery factories owned by the Carsten family, but it was the one that produced most of their art pottery. The company was very successful for many years, producing a wide range of shapes and glazes. The factory closed in 1984.

The primary designers were Trude Carstens, who was artistic director until her death in 1965, and Gerda Heuckenroth, Heinz Seiry and A. Seide. The company's products are generally of above-average quality. The Luxus and Atelier ranges were high-end Carstens products. Atelier, which was desinged by Gerda Heuckenroth, premiered in 1962, and Luxus was launched in 1967.

Markings on Carstens pieces vary widely. When  marked, they are generally embossed with a "twin house" mark, with the letter T over the letter C centered underneath.  However, markings are sometimes incised. When spelling out West Germany, they generally abbreviate West simply as W, sometimes with a period and sometimes with a period and a hyphen. Occasionally, the letter Y in the word Germany is lower case, as is the case with Bay products, but most often you can tell the difference, since Carstens usually used red clay, as opposed to Bay's white clay. (Carstens did have some products made in Austria and Australia, however, and they were white clay.)

Carstens generally used the typical West German double-number system, with the first number representing the style and the second number the height in centimeters, but some of their styles started with letters, normally an E or an M.

From ginforsodditiques and

My Carstens floor vase - septemberiris - fireandflamede - RetroEurope - tradenexpo - maiksylvia - retro-beat1957 - tradenexpo - maiksylvia - fireandflamede - tradenexpo

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Florence Broadhurst

Florence Broadhurst (1899-1977) was born in rural Queensland, Australia. She was a multi-talented legend who sang, danced, taught music, painted, sold cars, did charity work and founded an internationally successful wallpaper design business.

At the age of 16, Broadhurst won a singing contest and began performing throughout Queensland. By the time she was in her 20s, she was performing in India, Southeast Asia and China.

In 1926 she opened the Broadhurst Academy in Shanghai, offering lessons in dance, music and journalism. When she tired of this, she moved to moved to London, married Percy Walker Gladstone Kann, a stockbroker, and in the early 1930s opened a dress salon under the name of Madame Pellier.

Her marriage to Kann was brief, and in 1939 she married her second husband, Leonard Lloyd Lewis, a diesel engineer, with whom she had one son. In 1949, the Lewis family moved to Australia, settling in Sydney, at which time she passed herself off as a member of the British aristocracy. She took up painting and had solo exhibits in the 1950s.

At the same time, she became involved in charity and fundraising activities, but by the early 1960s, Lewis moved away from the family, leaving Florence to run a small car dealership. In 1959 she had opened a small studio behind the car dealership where she designed and manufactured wallpaper for local customers.
By 1969 she had expanded her operations and had developed processes that allowed her designs to be mass-produced. She began exporting to North America, England, Hawaii, Kuwait, Peru, Norway and Paris, and by 1972 she was enjoying international acclaim. Her line included over 800 designs in 80 different colorways, many of which are considered iconic. (On a personal note, Broadhurst's designs were so popular in the United States that I remember almost all the designs I've shown below. I actually lived in an apartment with Bamboo Lattice wallpaper.)

In 1977, at the age of 78, Broadhurst was brutally murdered in her studio. The killer was never found.

From, and

Japanese Fans



Japanese Bamboo

Brushed Trellis


Bamboo Lattice

Circles and Squares

Monday, May 26, 2014

Eichler for sale in Concord, CA

Another Eichler has just hit the market, this time in Concord, California. The 4 bedroom/2 bathroom home has 1530 square feet and was built in 1965. It appears to be in excellent condition and is listed at $530,000. The only downside I can see is that it has no air conditioning, but I realize my perspective is colored by living in Texas. That would definitely be an issue here, but it may not be in an area where maximum temperatures rarely exceed the upper 80s.