Tuesday August 30, 2011 | Comments
Hi everyone. This past weekend, my brother got married so I didn't really have time to do any thrifting for the shop. Well, we had some time off finally on Monday so we did pick up a few things for fun. And there are a few I forgot to post up from last week:
I thought this glass tray with gold and black atomic symbols was a Georges Briard piece for sure, but it turns out it was signed with "by D'ia". I've come across the name before as "M. Dia", and it usually occurs on vintage drinking glasses. We're actually using two of those as everyday glasses in our cupboard. Haven't been able to find out too much about the name, but I was thinking it might be a designer hired out by companies like Libbey or Culver to make the designs.
I picked up this nice Metlox vase even though it had no marks on it, because I recognized the shape from somewhere. My bet was either Metlox or Gladding McBean, and luckily it turned out to be the former because I don't have the Gladding book. We see so much California pottery because we live in SoCal - so I've gotten very good at identifying companies. But it sometimes bums me out, because much of it is not as valuable because it's mass-produced relatively recently (60s-80s). Yes, you do find gems once in awhile, but this knowledge about California pottery is sometimes more of a burden than a blessing (we also run the Potteries of California site, and it gets a little old to have complete strangers demanding prices on items). For online friends - I totally don't mind helping to ID it. It's the strangers (usually 1/4-brained FeeBay resellers) who bug me.
I've seen these little "poppet"-style figurines from Japan quite a few times at thrifts, but they're always overpriced. I only picked this one up because it was cheaper - I believe they're inspired by the Metlox Poppet line, but I'm not sure.
I probably shouldn't have gotten this Selandia tray. We see these metal trays quite a lot, they take up a lot of space, and the right buyer is difficult to come by. But it passed my test for these type of items: cheap, good condition and marked with a Scandinavian country (Denmark in this case). So I picked it up.
This little handmade glass dish caught my eye briefly, but what drew me into buying it was an etched signature. It turns out it's a piece by M. Rhys Williams from 1989. He's still producing today under the Cactus Glassworks name, I believe in the Claremont area. I don't think it's worth a ton, but it's always cool to find marked items from local artisans.
Lastly, we'd been wanting a lighted globe for awhile now. We see them every so often, but they're always damaged or extremely expensive. So we were happy to come across this one in fairly good shape, and still working. Made by a modern Italian company (Tecnodiddatica), it's not worth a fortune but it doesn't matter because we're keeping this one!
I hope to get more (and better) thrifting done in the coming months, but we'll see. Catch you all next week.
Saturday August 20, 2011 | Comments
Hi everyone. We went thrifting this week, but have no truly rare or valuable items to report. What makes it tough is that others seemed to have quite a week (just ask the guy who found the Bauer Russel Wright manta ray bowl!) But I know you lose some and win some. Though, I think I need to step up my thrifting game a little. It's tough to concentrate on that right now because we've been working on the house so much - but maybe it's something to consider after we move.
I hadn't seen this color of Frankoma in the thrifts before. I usually pass on Frankoma, because it's a tough sell sometimes. But if anything looks unusual, I might grab it. This appears to be the #8 honey pitcher in a yellow color that I think may be Sunflower Yellow or Autumn Yellow.
Funny, but we'd just sold one of these Elling Design placemats - and then I found one the next day! This one is holiday themed, so we might save it for a few months. We have a cache of thrifted items that we're going to delay putting up until the holidays. Not much on this maker, except it does have the original tag from Denmark. I believe it's also probably a newer production, like mid 80s to early 90s.
I was all excited about finding this Franciscan Contours piece, but then I got home and discovered it was actually a jar - and it had a lid! This line is very rare, having been produced for only a year or so in the 50s. But you may be able to score it, because it isn't marked with the Contours name. You might notice a small collection of it in the background of many of our photos. If anyone has a spare jar lid, let me know...
This is the 4th fish planter from David Stewart for Lions Valley that I've found - it's the blue-ish one in the foreground. The one in the back that we found earlier is identical, except for the glaze. I'm still curious to know if these blue items were produced at the same time period, or perhaps later.
Difficult to resist LPs when they're only 50 cents. The two at top are Joseph Albers and S. Neil Fujita covers, respectively. I haven't been able to find out who designed the covers of the two LPs at the bottom. But I thought they had cool graphics, especially the Bongo one.
This LP cover was actually designed by Milton Glaser, and has an unmistakable style to it. The record is from the muscial "The Wiz" from the 70s-80s. The little bonus was that there was an original program stuffed inside, from 1976 at the Ahmanson Theatre. I don't think any of these records are worth much, but it's just fun to find.
Just before writing this post this morning, I stepped out for a quickie estate sale. They didn't have much in the way of modern housewares. But they did have tons and tons of books. I picked up an entire grocery bag full of science fiction paperbacks for 5 bucks. Lots of well-known names, like Robert Heinlein, Harlan Ellison, Kate Wilhelm, Philip K. Dick, Delaney. Oh, I know - people don't read books anymore... but we do.
Lastly, I came across this unusual Ken Edwards bird in flight sculpture. We see quite a lot of Ken Edwards ceramic pieces around here, but haven't come across something like this before. The photo really doesn't do it justice, the wingspan is almost 14 inches across! I also can hardly believe it survived careless thrift-store worker hands without any damage.
All right, see you all next week - happy thrifting!
Saturday August 13, 2011 | Comments
Hi everyone. I wanted to put up a short thrifting post before heading out to the house today. Actually, quite a few of the items we found this week are "mysteries" that we hope someone might be able to shed light on.
These wonderful cups and saucers were made by Rosenthal, and are in the "Studio Linie" group. That much is clearly marked on the bottom, but we haven't been able to nail down the pattern - or the shape, or the designer. I'm not sure, but these may be a newer release. We've seen this shape several times on the dinnerware sites, but could not find the exact treatment used on these. From far away the cups almost look like an unknown Heath Ceramics line, though the brown band on the top is not unglazed.
We knew right away that this was one of the Taylor & Ng mug, but it's different than the usual "Animates" mugs we see. Just as naughty, though! =) This was probably a political party mug - we've seen the mugs with donkeys and ones with both animals.
This little blue bud vase seemed to be California pottery, but we haven't been able to figure out who it might be from. After checking our resources and books, it appears NOT to be from Bauer, Gladding or Metlox. These were our top contenders for the maker. I've also had a feeling that it could possibly be non-California, though we don't know enough about potteries in other areas of the U.S. to make a guess. Anyone recognize the shape?
You might have seen these nice glass canisters with colorful plastic tops before (we already had a set with yellow tops). They're marked "Heller Design, Inc." - and pretty much everyone has attributed the design to Massimo Vignelli. Now, it's not that I don't believe everyone - but I've never found conclusive proof anywhere that these were his design. I think "Heller" is the same Heller company that produced the popular Max plastic dinnerware. However, we still would like to find out for sure if Vignelli designed these for them. Short of finding them in the original box, I think we might actually contact the company about it and ask.
Lastly, I came across this striking vase at a thrift store that rarely has these type of items. I immediately thought it was West German when I first saw it. Then I saw that it had a foil sticker reading "Florentine Original Hand Made Italy". It's also marked on the bottom "Hand Painted Italy". It seems like it could be from the 60s or 70s, but I've been wrong before. I haven't been able to find out much about the company that made this, though I've seen other pieces with the exact same sticker.
OK - we still have quite a few backlogged thrifting goodies to post, but once again we'll defer them to next week's post. Happy thrifting!
Monday August 8, 2011 | Comments
Hi everyone. Oof, sorry that these posts just keep getting later and later. This past weekend, we spent about 12 hours on both Saturday and Sunday working on the plumbing of the new house. Needless to say, there wasn't much time for thrift action. But here are a few of the finds. We'll save the rest for next time.
I'm always interested in learning about other areas of design, and how they may relate to the average reseller. It was some surprise to me that there is a growing collectible market for vintage Braun items. I've known about this for awhile, but still don't pick up many items.
I knew this plastic scale was a good find, even if it wasn't as valuable it's such a great ergonomic design that I wouldn't mind having it around in the kitchen. I believe this was designed by Hartwig Kahlcke, though have seen other names attached to it. I don't think Dieter Rams was involved, though could be wrong.
This little green glass elephant was irresistible, though I've no idea who made it. I thought it might be Scandinavian at first, but a few leads seem to point to an American production. Anyone have an idea?
We know a good amount about the different California potteries - because we live here in SoCal so we come across the stuff quite often. But I don't know much about these geese by The Klages of California. I believe that Walter and Olga Klages were best known as aftermarket decorators for Bauer Pottery. Beyond that, I just know I've seen ceramic animal figurines like these by them occasionally.
I still pick up JHQ teak Dansk whenever I can, though I've started to avoid any teak marked "Malaysia" - especially the cheeseboards and trays - because it just seems much more common. Nothing against Malaysia (and in fact, we're going out to eat at a Malaysian restaurant tonight!). I knew immediately that this was a Dansk bar cutting board with a hidden knife - the handle pulls out. The reason I know is that I passed one up earlier, not knowing that there was a knife inside of it!
This is the first time I've come across any Figgjo egg cups. They happen to be in the popular Tor Viking pattern - not tremendously valuable, but I just couldn't leave them behind. This kind of Scandinavian item is just really hard to find at thrifts near us.
I'd earlier spotted a few Denby pieces in this Samarkand pattern at a thriftstore, but had passed on them because they were chipped. Later, I spotted these two cups at a nearby thrift. They were unmarked, but I knew what they were because I'd just seen the same pattern on the marked items. Unmarked items are a great area for resellers to use their acquired knowledge, because other people are sometimes only looking for identifying marks.
Swedish "Dala" items like this book (or napkin?) holder seem to do fairly well for us in the shops. I know that the image is viewed by some to be rather overused, but we don't come across them that much in the stores.
Lastly, we picked up this great German vase at an estate sale the week previoius. Though I know a few of the West German ceramics companies, I didn't have any idea who this could be from. I had tried to research it, and thought it could be newer, perhaps after 1990. It turns out it's from 1957 or so, and was made by Bay Keramik.
I learned it was Bay Keramik from some nice folks on the Pottery and Glass forums. In general, I prefer trying to find out about the maker or designer of a particular item on my own. After all, you can't always depend on people to ID things (and, I get so many ID requests myself, so I know how these folks must feel!) Still, I know that sometimes you've just got to ask for help.
All right, hope you enjoyed this belated roundup. Next weekend, I think I may skip a thrifting post completely - but it depends on what work we need to do on the house. Happy thrifting!