Kosta Boda handcrafted art-glass designed by Ann and Göran Wärff and made by Kosta Boda in Sweden.
“The melt, glowing in the furnace, is what draws me to new discoveries. With every gather, I feel an almost irresistible urge to give new expression to the magic of glass, to create a work that will be the bearer of light, the sea and the air. Each piece that I design I try to make a receptacle for light, for warmth and sensuality.” Few, if any, have such a deep feeling for the glass melt as Göran Wärff, who has always shown special interest in preserving the traditional skills of the master craftsmen in glassblowing and glass cutting. The play of light within the clear volume of the glass and the endless optical phenomena that occur as the glass diffracts the light are a recurring theme in Göran Wärff’s art and design work. Nature and the play of light in nature are his other main sources of inspiration, beyond the glass itself.
Limelight candle tealight holder designed by Göran Wärff
The popularity of tea sets imported from China spurred British potters to copy their style of decoration. The first willow design may be attributed to Thomas Turner of Caughley Porcelain in 1780. William Spode and Thomas Minton both copied his pattern in 1790. The most popular colour was blue, followed by pink, green and brown. It is always on a white background and the pattern is applied as a transfer.
Dating specific Blue Willow pieces is extremely difficult. Many early pieces were not marked. The body type, glaze, and patterns of the piece give clues to wether it is from early, middle, or late eras. On older examples you will often find spots on a plate where the transfer has slipped, creased or been badly joined up. Copeland states the blue of early patterns was very dark. Through the years when manufacturing the process became more precise the pattern was produced in many shades of blue.
The romantic fable associated with the pattern, and probably invented by Spode, has it’s origins in England and has no links to China.
The most popular version is a tale of star crossed lovers; a wealthy mandarin’s daughter and her father’s lowly accounting assistant. When the father discovers their love, he fires the assistant and builds a fence around his property to keep him away. You’ll always see a fence around the teahouse. The boat in the pattern carries a rich duke, who arrives with a chest of jewels and plans to marry the girl. The lover sneaks in and steals the jewels and the girl. You see the couple running across the bridge to escape to an island, but the father is close behind with whip in hand. The couple are killed. The first versions didn’t include the two birds. Later versions had the gods taking pity on the lovers and allowing their souls to take the shape of doves and fly off together.
Two antique blue and white English china Willow Pattern saucers. There is a very intricately patterned fluted rim, then an inner gold band and an inner geometric oriental pattern. In the centre is the willow pattern.
Blue & White Antique China Cup & Saucer, backstamped Orchid 752. Date: c.1840-c.1900
Plum blossom, orchid, bamboo, and chrysanthemum were adored by the ancient Chinese literati and artisans, and referred to as the “Four Noblemen.” This was because they were used to portray noble characteristics, such as pureness, humbleness, and uprightness.
In ancient China, people called a man of great virtue a gentleman. In the world of flowers, plum blossoms, orchids, bamboo and chrysanthemums are known as the four gentlemen in China because these plants’ natural character have something in common with human virtues. They have all long been featured in ancient paintings and poems used to express loftiness, righteousness, modesty and purity by Chinese literati.
Grown in deep mountain valleys, orchid is one of the top ten well-known flowers in China. With delicate fragrance refreshing people’s minds, and the elegant figures swaying slightly in the wind, orchids are equal to elegance in Chinese people’s eyes.
The fascinating history of the only 20th century Swiss porcelain factory began in 1906 in the Bernese town of Langenthal. The porcelain manufactory Langenthal SA became noted for its cutting-edge technology, the diversity of its products as well as the quality of its porcelain. The artistic output followed the dominant aesthetic currents of the century while still preserving its local character.
Today, the range of products offered by the manufactory and made in the Czech Republic is mainly targeted at hotels and restaurants and responds to the contemporary taste for stylised forms and minimalist designs.
A rare set of four 18th century paktong candlesticks, the design of Huguenot influence, English circa 1720-1730. The octagonally facetted stem of two parts, seamed and fixed to the base by a course thread.
Paktong, a rare Chinese alloy imported in small quantities during the eighteenth century, was used by European craftsmen to make domestic objects in imitation of silverware. This metal has been shrouded in mystery since it was first recorded by Western travellers in the seventeenth century. The vital silver-coloured ingredient, nickel, was not identified in the West until the second half of the eighteenth century, and it was to be a further fifty years before scientists were able to perfect a viable imitation of paktong. In more recent times the mystery of paktong has lain in the lack of documentary evidence concerning its use in the Georgian period. This has given rise to many myths and speculative theories about the metal.
Blue Fluted Full Lace cup by Royal Copenhagen is a true Scandinavian design classic. The Blue Fluted Full Lace pattern was designed as early as 1775 and was reinterpreted by Arnold Krog in 1880. The pattern is painted by hand, down to the very last intricate details.
Founded in 1775 under the protection from the widow queen Juliane Marie, then called The Royal Porcelain Factory. Royal Copenhagen is today one of Europe’s oldest porcelain manufacturers and is known the world over for their high quality and beautiful design.
Frederiksborg Castle was built as a royal residence for King Christian IV of Denmark-Norway in the early 17th century, becoming the largest Renaissance residence in Scandinavia. After a serious fire in 1859, the castle was rebuilt on the basis of old plans and paintings. Thanks to public support and the brewer J. C. Jacobsen, the building and its apartments were fully restored by 1882 when it was reopened to the public as the Danish Museum of National History.
One of the world’s most enduring china patterns, Finlandia remained in production for over 100 years. Some of its appeal comes from its classic blue & white colouration, its Scandinavian inspired design never looks outdated. The swirling contours of the pieces add interest along with its floral design elements and together they project a great sense of symmetry & orderliness.
Used for the production of household and other items in Britain since Roman times, pewter is an alloy consisting mostly of tin which has been mixed with small amounts of other metals such as copper, lead or antimony to harden it and make it more durable.
By the 15th century, the Worshipful Company of Pewterers controlled pewter constituents in England. This company originally had two grades of pewter. The first type, known as “fine metal”, was used for tableware. It consisted of tin with as much copper as it could absorb, which is about 1%. The second type, known as “trifling metal” or “trifle”, was used for holloware and is made up of fine metal with approximately 4% lead. In the 16th century a third grade was added for items that were not in contact with food or drink. It consisted of tin with 15% lead. Ancient pewter contained darkened greatly with age, and the lead readily leached out in contact with acidic foods.
During the 17th and 18th centuries pewter would have been found in every household. Jugs, plates, buttons, pilgrim badges, tankards, wine cups, inkwells, candlesticks and spoons are just some of the many items for which it was used.
Pewter from the 17th and 18th centuries was made from an alloy of tin with a small percentage of lead to harden the metal. With current understanding of the effect of heavy metals such as lead on the body, it is not advisable to use them for drinking purposes. If antique pewter has become very dark, experts from the Antique profession STRONGLY RECOMMEND against re-polishing as this could actually reduce the value.
Towards the end of the 18th century a new alloy called Britannia metal was discovered which could be used for large scale manufacture of teapots and tankards through its ability to be rolled pressed and worked on wooden formers and cold stamped. Up to then pewter had been cast in expensive moulds. This change in tooling with Britannia metal gave resurgence to the industry and new centres were created in Sheffield and Birmingham.
As Britannia metal is an alloy of tin, antimony and copper there are no restrictions on its use for drinking. All pewter of modern manufacture meets the same standard.
From the mid nineteenth century pewter alloys were often used as a base metal for silver plated objects.
Royal Selangor designers and artisans continuously expand the limits of pewter design while staying true to the heritage of craftsmanship. Design collaborators include the award-winning Erik Magnussen and Jamy Yang as well as cultural organisations such as the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum).
Modern pewter is about 91 percent tin, 7.5 percent antimony, and 1.5 percent copper; the absence of lead makes it safe to use for dishes and drinking vessels. The surface of modern pewter is bluish white with either a crisp, bright finish or a soft, satin sheen. It resists tarnish, retaining its colour and finish indefinitely.
Pewter is perfect for everyday use and with the minimum of care it can retain its wonderful finish . It should be NEVER be washed in a dishwasher (the chemicals in the detergent will react with the pewter and ruin the finish). For this reason we recommend washing by hand in hot soapy water and dried with a soft cloth. When drying your pewter, keep the direction of the cloth in a straight up and down motion, never in circles. Pewter is a soft metal and will easily scratch with a hard cloth.