Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Richard Nissen

There were many companies producing teak housewares in the latter half of the 20th century, and the biggest by far was Dansk Designs. The originality and quality of the designs produced made them a sensation from their introduction in the 1950s well into the 1980s (and of course again today). The history of the company and the designer, Jens Quistgaard, is well-documented.

Less is written about the other companies that followed that trend. Companies such as Digsmed, Laurids Lonborg, Ernest Sohn and others all made interesting designs in teak over the years, but in my experience the company that really hit the mark on quality rivaling that of Dansk was Richard Nissen of Denmark. So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to discover that they were, in manufacturing at least, the same company.

Nissen ice bucket and bowl, at the 2nd Hugh pop-up, 2010.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Den Permanente Catalog 1972 (Selections)

As a follow-up to my post about Den Permanente, here are some pages from the 1972 catalog.

Den Permanente catalog 1972

Borge Mogensen sofa, chair, trolley and table, Kvadrat rug, 

Top: H. Vestergaard Jensen sideboard and dining table, Larsen & Madsen chairs.
Bottom: Hans Wegner everything, Nanna Ditzel nursery chair.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

1986

"I don't like country and western. I don't like rock music, I don't like rockabilly or rock and roll particularly.
I don't like much, really, do I? But what I do like, I love passionately."


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Get Clocked

This post is about how great things end up in the craziest places. Two years ago, in a tiny house where a couple had lived for decades on Detroit's far east side - a working class neighborhood during its best days - an estate sale listing with these pics shows up:


Monday, April 25, 2016

Eros

Online advertising has really pulled the rug out from under magazine publishing, at least in its mass-distributed form. One of the byproducts of this has been the rise in popularity of the specialty magazine (or journal, or bookazine, or magbook or whatever). They tend to have a higher price point than your typical newsstand read, and they are beautifully printed and have great, specialized content. The idea isn't new however, and one of the greatest examples of the subscription magazine/journal is Eros, a groundbreaking magazine from the early 1960s.


First published in 1962, Eros was a magazine devoted to eroticism. It was geared toward intellectuals and in its four issue run covered a broad range of stories about sexuality in history, politics, arts and literature. Available only through mail order, it featured top talent, starting with a fantastic design by the legendary Herb Lubalin (even then a leading typographer and art director) who was engaged to help elevate the project above the era's popular notion of sexually-oriented publishing.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Glassware

I pick up a lot of vintage glassware. It goes with the gig.

Vintage Scandinavian glassware

Some of these are in constant rotation in my own household, some are in (or will go) in the shop, some I just pick up to use for a bit and resell online, because I can't just leave them behind.

Sometimes in photos the details aren't really discernible, glass being transparent and all. But all of these are handmade, the craftsmanship is noticeable when you hold it. After so many years of buying vintage glassware I can usually tell if something is worth getting just by picking it up, and as a matter of fact I've found some of my best glasses buying on a hunch.

If you do enjoy adult beverages it's worth it to pay attention to the delivery mechanism. When I say that using good glassware makes it better, just know that I speak from experience.

Hanging around the house today (from left to right):
"Linear" champagne & water glass, Rosenthal Studio-Line, Germany, 1963
"Canada" port & cordial glass, Per Lütken for Holmegaard, Denmark, 1955
"Ultima Thule" double old fashioned, old fashioned and extra large old fashioned, Tapio Wirkkala for iittala, Finland, 1968
"Varm/Kall" combo hot glögg/cordial glass, Lindau & Lindekrantz for Orrefors, Sweden, 1971 
"Skibsglas (Ship's Glass)" wine glass & cognac glass, Per Lütken for Holmegaard, Denmark, 1971
"Gaissa" double old fashioned, Tapio Wirkkala for iittala, Finland, 1973
"Kluk Kluk" decanter, an historic design repopularized by Holmegaard in the 1950s
"Princess" cognac glass, Bent Severin for Kastrup/Holmegaard, Denmark, 1957
"Aarne" cocktail glass, Göran Hongell for iittala, Finland, 1948
"No. 5" whiskey glass, Per Lütken for Holmegaard, Denmark, 1970
"Tsaikka" hot beverage glass, Timo Sarpaneva for iittala, Finland, 1957

Monday, April 18, 2016

Den Permanente

A couple weeks ago I came across some simple teak bar boards. I grabbed them because vintage barware does well in the store, and frankly a nice bar board is a great find under any circumstances, new or vintage. Each had a price sticker from a store unknown to me called “Den Permanente.” I figured they were import items, usually a solid selection, and moved on.

Obviously once I was home I did some digging on Den Permanente. Information online was surprisingly limited, but what I did find left me with one question: Why, after nearly 20 years of researching mid-century design, and after all the Danish Modern furniture and housewares I've bought and sold, did I know nothing about the greatest Danish design store that ever existed?

Den Permanente Copenhagen 1972 JCRA Archive Photo
Den Permanente, 1972 (photo: JC Raulston Arboretum archive)