Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Lamp

"... to unify the furnishings of a room, lamps should bring a thread of continuity to the look and feel of your space." ... So opens one description of how #mcm designers approached lighting and when I saw the gold and white geometric patterns on this#midcenturylamp I thought it would easily serve as the 'glue' that visually holds together our #midcenturydesign console and the #georgenelsonclock.

The auction was lightly attended and for what I would pay at the local thrift ($5) the tall, ceramic bowling pin found a new home after the obligatory cleaning and re-wiring.

Hand painted with media style texture in the large diamonds, the small diamonds are cutout holes giving the surface depth.

Mid-Century Modern Lamp, George Nelson Clock and Console Stereo

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Colors of Fire-King and Pyrex

1955 Pyrex Advertisement
What would the mid century be without a little colored tempered soda-lime glass? Can you imagine thrift stores with NO pyrex or fireking glassware? I avoided this stuff for years but over the weekend I had to do the unthinkable and at an auction bought a lot of the ubiquitous colored kitchen 'must haves'.

It was the end of a long day and maybe 5 people were left on the floor, all the big draw items had sold and as the auctioneer got into the mode of asking "$60, 50, 40, 20 first 10 takes it all" for each of the remaining shelves of grungy stuff, I raised my hand printed card with the number 84 scrawled in blue sharpie and broke my standing commitment, taking home an old Uhaul box of the colored glass.

After washing and picking all the baked on grease, grease, and more grease from the ageless collection I think I may have found some cool cookware for potato salad and cole slaw... I'll use it and see what all the fuss is about :)

Fire-King mugs and Pyrex Dishware
There is soooo much information on the web about these dishwares, I will not be able to say anything new - except that I have finally joined the crowd and have some Pyrex and Fire-King in the cupboard.

Pyrex Love 
The set I procured is a rather eclectic mix 40's, 50's and 60's wares including the '400 Multicolored Mixing Bowls' set in primary colors. All were in pretty good shape with colors still bright and only a few scratches.

The squat round bowl is labeled 024 and is a wonderful shade of Turquoise. Though it was in the worst shape when I brought them home, it actually cleaned up very nicely. First introduced in 1956 this is my favorite color so far.

The 2 square red pieces are Refrigerator sets, billed as “oven-refrigerator sets”. In 1949, a refrigerator set was issued in three of the colors of the first 400 bowls. The yellow was the 1.5-quart size, blue was 1.5 pints, and red was 1.5 cups. I had 2 of the red (without lids) in the lot I purchased.

The small pink mixer introduced in 1956 came from another set in the 300/400 series. It is one of the more popular solid color sets and both 400 (4-bowls) and 300 (3-bowls, no large) sets were sold.

The Blue Dots bowl comes from the "New Dots' set that was introduced in 1967. I had never seen these until it was included in this auction lot but they are quite familiar to those in the know.

The Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation was formed in 1937 as result of a merger and is best known for its Fire-King glass which was manufactured from about 1940 until 1976. Fire-King was a brand rather than a pattern, and although it is usually associated with ovenware and refrigerator containers, it was also used on a wide variety of patterns and colors of dinnerware, mixing bowls, and coffee mugs.
1940's Advertisement for Jadeite Dishware
For many collectors of this dishware older seems to be better and since Anchor-Hocking has been producing glassware for so long dating can be a challenge. Many resources exist on the web and of course just take a browse at E-Bay and you will find samples from the oldest to the newest.

I actually ended up with 4 different types of mugs in the little sample I bought.

  • The White mug is a 60's square-handled “Standard” coffee mug
  • The Blue mugs are 1950's version of the “Standard” coffee mug and are most confusingly referred as 'Azurite', 'Delphite' or Turquoise. The collectors seem to use Azurite more often than not. 
  • The Green 'Jade-ite' mugs were made in the mid to late 1940's (one is standard the other is a flat bottom 'shaving mug' style). 


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gio Ponti Made Some Chairs

Walking through the back room of the Goodwill last weekend I spied the rope weave, delicate ball feet and stretched ladder back and passed thinking it was a #mcm knockoff, it was so light and the weave so perfect.I sat in the chair, it was solid.   

Back at home, while googling the usual keywords I found Gio Ponti, an Italian who designed mid century chairs meant to revolutionize the way the world viewed factory-produced furniture. He sought to reclaim the stylishness and artistic appeal of crafted furniture, while combining it with the ease of factory production. Interesting story, but since I had walked out without the chair I was pretty sure it would be snatched up pretty quick.  

However, I could not stop thinking about the fluid flow of the chairs design and returned on Wednesday morning to find the chair still in the back room and turning it over and looking at the front support saw the 'Made in Italy Mod.31' stamp I had seen on similar Ponti chairs on the web - $4.98 and it was in the back of Ole Blue ready to come home !!!

Gio Ponti Chair

Monday, November 23, 2015

1968 Silvertone Console

For the price of a replacement stylus we finally have an appropriate device to play those antique music disk things!!! We have been looking around for the last year, waiting for 'our' console to come and last weekend at a neighbors garage sale this 1968 silvertone was offered to us if we would get it out of the driveway !!!. Yeah, sure ya'betcha ! 

1968 Silvertone Console

Home - the electronics cleaned and tested, we found the tuner and amplifier worked great and the disk player needed a $4 stylus we ordered promptly... Very cool tunes now fill the music room and NO (in answer to my youngest sons query) it does not only play old radio stations !

Amplifier worked great, just needed a stylus and a clean up. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

When it Rains ... It Pours!

We have taken to eating casual meals on the stools at the kitchen counter and for those meals decided to lightened up the mood with #midcentury shakers that are fun!!!! My daughter Grace spied these at the local thrift ($.99 ea) and from somebodies relinquished collection she chose the #kissingsquirrels and the classic #mcm totems. Both sets have cork plugs and were made in Japan after the war continuing the S & P shaker tradition started by John Mason in 1858 that required another 50 yrs before becoming popular when the Morton salt company figured out a way to keep salt from clumping in the shaker. 

Remember 'when it rains, it pours' !!!!

Mid Century Salt and Pepper Shakers

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Eric Hoglund Was Quite a Mystery ....

Erik Hoglund studied art and design in Sweden in the early 50's and through the next 3 decades is said to have revolutionized the art of Swedish glass. 

When I first picked up the well taped bundle of iron at the Goodwill I thought maybe this was one of those metal puzzles and tried to connect the hanging chain to the glass holders in some rational way ... NO! When I spotted the 'Sweden' imprint I heard the little voice say 'Buy It' thinking this must be #midcentury and not just old iron chains. 

For $4.98 I was on a google adventure that took a week to determine I had found an early #ErikHoglund iron candelabra ... Still keeping my eyes open for the original glass, for the time being it will hang in the alcove by the fireplace. 

1950's Eric Hoglund Candleabra

Monday, November 9, 2015

Go Dog Go

Bookshelf 'stuffs' include the classic #MidCentury offerings of one Theodor Suess Geisel or as we all came to know him, Dr. Suess! What was YOUR favorite?? I was partial to Go Dog Go ... 'It's a dog party...'

Publishing his first children's book 'And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street' in 1937, during World War II, Theodor #Geisel worked in an animation department of the United States Army where he produced several short films, including "Design for Death". After the war, ‘Dr. Suess’ cranked out over 60 children's books, writing such #midcentury classics as 'If I Ran the Zoo' (1950), 'Horton Hears a Who!' (1955), 'If I Ran the Circus' (1956), 'The Cat in the Hat' (1957), 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas!' (1957), and 'Green Eggs and Ham' (1960).
A few of our favorites

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Cocktails Anyone?

Wood and chrome bar caddy easily compliments the cross legged #campaigntable sitting in the corner. Out of the #goodwill for a cool $2.48 and married with #midcentury hand painted gold trim glassware ($.99 ea), a set of abalone shell coasters ($.99) and a hammered stainless ice bucket completes the necessary accoutrements of a #midcenturymodern setup ... Cocktails anyone?

MCM Must Haves! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Something Special

Found the perfect place to sit the #GeorgesBriard dish!! At an estate sale in #sanfrancisco over the weekend, amongst sooooo much turn of the century (19th!) heavy wood objects, down in the basement, was this delicate little #midcenturymodern walnut and glass top table!

Amongst a few other treasures, I took it home and it was quick work to refinish the wood and clean the glass ... I think it will work well in the sitting room and the Russel Wright Asterisk Glasses look great sitting on the Zebra skin coasters !!!
As I was reading a little about Georges Briard I learned this was NOT an actual person but a signature Jakob Brojdo (the artist) used to mark commercial glassware he designed which were 'wildly popular and numerous'. So popular were his designs that Jessica from the blog,There’s No Accounting for Good Taste, states: “Briard designs were so numerous and were produced for so many years that it’s difficult to get through an entire flea market without seeing something he designed, which makes them great entry-level collectibles.”

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Little Deco for Effect ...

Most unusual #mcm#deco influenced candle holders I have ever seen... Made of heavy forged aluminum(???) they cleaned up nicely and I added a couple of blue glass votive holders ... $2.49 the pair down at the Marin goodwill. 

The #midcenturydesign tortoise shell coasters were $.99 for 6 and OCTOGONAL! 

#thriftshop #thriftstore #thrift#thrifting #thrifty #voltive #chrome #candles#thriftscorethursday #vintage#midcenturydecor

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Wanted a lamp for the piano when I found this #mcm beauty on the shelf at the local thrift ... Half off at $3.50, the vintage mid-century "Style House #56" desk lamp features adjustable flexible joints for different positions. The black base, gold stem and hood will look great against the ebony finish of the piano. The hood and stem are made of plastic and the base is made of metal. 

The copy of 'Catcher' laying around is my hope one of the kids will get inspired and read this 1951 classic 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Artisan Group

This week I sold the old Italianate Couch that was sitting in the family room and went to pick up a couple of Thonet Lounge chairs I found on craigslist. Pulling up to the house south of San Francisco I immediately was greeted by a team of pickers who for the next 2 hours shared with me stories of their adventures around the Bay Area hunting mid century furniture. During this time they shared with me the many object de'art they had procured and were looking to offload and nothing really caught my eye until I asked about a surfboard table - yep, a Basset was in the garage and I could have it with a matching side table. I did not know anything about the Bassett company but the tables were in reasonable shape and affirmed their Danish influence with delicate legs and inspired rolled edges. We quickly worked out the details which included a future Pinot Flight wine tasting up at the house.

We loaded the 2 lounge chairs and the tables into the bed of Old Blue and as soon as I got home I looked up The Bassett Furniture Company and found they sold a wide range of furniture throughout the last century and the tables I had bought were from the Artisan Group, their take on the danish craze that was popular at the time. Designed by Leo Jiranek, a furniture and interior designer born in Grand Rapids, Mich.in 1900, and graduated from Princeton University. Jiranek had designed lines for the better part of the 20th century for most of the popular US furniture manufacturers at one time or another. Considered by some to be the "Dean of Furniture Designers," he was one of the Industry's first, and completely committed freelancers, who enjoyed a 67 year career working for such companies as Thomasville, Ethan Allen, Kroehler, Heywood-Wakefield Company, The Lane Co., Bassett, Broyhill and Garrison.

It was from ad's published in the early 1960's we find that the Artisan Group was finished with Oil Stained Walnut and Dupont Dulux Satin Sheen Varnish. 

LIFE magazine advertisement April 7, 1961

We are asked to consider the lines "oil walnut finish and unique rolled edges of solid wood" and then look at the price of $19.95 - $69.95". Unlike the similar Conant Ball table these rolled edges taper flat near the ends .. nice!

I'm particularly taken with the cat enjoying itself under the side table in the ad! The Artisan side table I found is exactly as is shown in the pictures, however, the coffee table is different. It has similar part numbers and the same Bassett Furniture Industries brand on the bottom even the same upturned 'rolled' edges but the table is longer, shorter and does not have the magazine rack under the table top. I have seen others like this at Etsy and 1stDibs and all attribute to the Bassett Artisan Group but I have not found any Ad's or references to the version without the magazine rack in Bassett literature. 

Artisan Ad 1964

My version of the coffee table

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Butterfly's and Eyeballs

Took a few months, but I finally found a cover at#algomanetcompany for my vintage #midcentury 2-wire butterfly chairs ($25 for frame & $22 for oversized cover). 

I placed them beneath silver prints of the kids from #artrogersphotography with a #midcenturydesign chrome plant stand and #midcentury pottery planter I picked up at auction ($10). 

The eyeball lamp is from my #SanFrancisco days on Haight Street and after rewiring and replacing the bulb fixtures works great. #zgallerie provides the faux fur throw with super fine and comfy fleece backing ...

Designed in 1938 by Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy, also known as the BKF and the Hardoy chair, this design was first mass-produced in the US by Alvar Aalto's company Artek (the name a contraction of "art" and "technology"), Knoll bought the US rights to the chair in 1947, but stopped production in 1951 because they could not sue other manufacturers for making unauthorized reproductions of the Butterfly chair.