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I finally broke down and decided to start a blog to compile some of the endless research I do on Modern Mid Century design, as much for myself as for others. This is NOT the typical mid century blog where there are lots of pretty photos and very little text or content. This is will have pretty, original photos but it will be heavy on information, research and content. Many pieces featured are within our collection. I will occasionally source other photos to give contrasting or multiple examples on a subject, but will always credit the source.

Much of my research springs from pieces I’ve found scouring through flea markets, antique stores, second stores, ebay, thrift shops, etc.. for the past 15 years. I began collecting and admiring mid century items when I was 14 or 15. I began with an introduction to art deco, moved on to the more of the atomic kitchy stuff of the 1950’s and finally evolved mid century modern designs and designers.

If I get a piece I am unfamiliar with I do a lot of research, that research inevitably leads to learning a lot about all kinds of different designs and designers while trying to pin certain things down. While 80% of the information I find is online, the rest from reference sources I own, it seems to be so scattered and I pick up bits here and bits there. So this blog will put together all the information I find on certain topics or designs.

My particular interest lies in furniture, American, Italian and Scandinavian modernist glass, modernist studio pottery, Scandinavian and Italian pottery like Bitossi and much of it imported to the USA by Raymor or Rosenthal Netter, Cathrineholm enamelware, and especially modernist studio jewelry.

My partner also collects and is becoming quite the expert on MCM lighting and due to his background can explain a lot about furniture design, construction and is magic when it comes to restoring and refinishing both furniture and lighting. Therefore he will be doing some posts here or I will at least be picking his brains for some subjects.

We both collect and sell items. Occasionally some of the items you see on there will be for sale, but others are just part of my personal collection. My partner runs a store on Etsy, but there is only so much overlap between our store and this blog. I tend to write more about the things I personally collect, but a great find for our store will occasionally be highlighted.  If you see an item of particular interest to you, please contact us to find out if it is available for sale.

I’m try to use original photos for this blog, with exceptions when I want to show pieces to contrast with my own or demonstrate differences or the various other styles of certain designs available. I hope posting original photographs will help researchers since they won’t disappear into the ether like all those ebay and etsy images you find via GIS and they offer new content. I don’t mind people using or posting my photos, but if you want to use them you must credit my blog. If you need a photo of a piece for commercial purposes please contact me to discuss the matter.

If you have any questions, would like to contact me, or want more information about something I’ve posted please just leave a comment with your email address. I will not publish the email address. 

I DO NOT offer free valuations or identifications.  I’ve already received too many emails from people curtly asking me to identify their item or simply “how much is this worth”  for pieces they want to sell online.  I’m already providing a good deal of free information on this blog, so please do not ask me to do further research for you.  If you truly think you have a very special piece that you need information and evaluation on I, or someone I can refer you to, can offer information and an estimate of its value for a set fee.

I DO buy items for my personal collection.  If you think you may have a piece I might be interested in buying, please send me  photos, any information on condition or background, along with your asking price.  I will not make you an offer, you need to already have a price in mind when you contact me.

I’ve already got years of research material to do posts and intend to cover the following designers or topics:

Artists:

James Edward Davis (Jim Davis), Helmi Juvonen, Giovanni Schoeman, Ellemarie & Jackson Wollely, etc..

Furniture:
Knoll Furniture, Herman Miller furniture, Eames designs, Davis Allen, Jens Risom, Adrian Pearsall, Florence Knoll, etc…

Glass:
American: Blenko – Wayne Husted, Joel Myers, John Nickerson / Greenwich Flintcraft – Tom Connelly

Scandinavian: Nanny Stills, Lindestorm for Kosta Boda

Italian: Empoli region glass, Seguso, cased glass

Pottery:
Lisa Larsen, Joanna Price, Fat Lava, Bitossi, Raymor imports, Marcello Fantoni, Rosenthal Netter imports, Alvino Bagni, etc..

Kitchenware:
Cathrineholm, George Nelson – Florence for Prolone, Paul McCobb

Jewelry:
Ed Wiener, Betty Cooke, Sam Kramer, Henning Koppel for Georg Jensen, Henry Steig, Burkee, Art Smith, Ruth Radakovich, Svetozar (Toza) Radakovich, Russel Secrest, Ronald Pearson and may others known and unknown

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28 Comments

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  1. I’ve bought several pieces of Joanna Price Studio Pottery, and can send pictures. Any info on her would be appreicated. Getting ready to list on eBay, and they are unbelievable! Tamara

  2. I have a Raymor vase which I believe was designed by Bagni. As I know virtually nothing about his work (other than what I’ve read on your blog), I don’t know if the piece I have is rare or not. I cannot find any Google images of it, at least. Are you interested for me to send you photos?

    • It would even be hard for me to say if it is “rare.” Bagni produced a massive amount of work for American import companies, both Raymor, Rosenthal-Netter and then Anthropologie during a 40 year plus career. (In addition to work sold retail directly from his studio.) At best I could tell you only if I’ve ever seen anything similar from Bagni. I’m just far more familiar than most people with his body of work – but by no means an expert. The only pieces I count as “rare” or exceptional would be pieces that are obviously one-of-a-kind studio pieces, pieces that required exceptional time/skill and therefore couldn’t be repeatedly replicated on a large retail scale. (The best example of this type of work on my blog is the large wheel-thrown black/blue sky vase.) However, in the scheme of the American market these pieces are small in number. Most of his designs were done in limited numbers that average anywhere to 100 to 1,000s. The most mass produced type of work he did seems to be for Rosenthal-Netter, because I encounter the same designs replicated frequently. (Same is true for Bitossi work for RN) For Raymor he did do smaller editions and more creative daring types of designs. I’d be happy to take a look at your piece and give you my opinion or any background information I might know.

  3. How do I send you pictures? My mom is moving and she gave me 2 pieces (vase and cookie jar) that have ‘Raymor’ stickers on them.

  4. Best way to contact you with photos for your blog?

  5. Oh wait…see you have purposely no email. Email me at fourtytwoakfourtytwo@gmail.com (but use numbers instead of the fourty two being spelled out. Put up this way to avoid spam.) Just want to send you some pics for your archive and ask your opinion on a lamp. Thanks.

  6. We were taking down glass bottles in a EXTREMLY high window sill in our house. They have been there since we bought it. There was one piece we have thought was so cool for so many years now… I did some research and it is a Thomas Connley 1163 in perfect shape with the top!!! it is the large (19 inch) honey brown. We had no clue, just thought it was space age looking! Let me know if you would like a picture… I think we will sell it on E-bay because we have three kids and had to hide it so it wouldn’t get broke!!
    Let me know what you think!

  7. I meant Tom Connelly (Grenwich Flint Craft) .. sorry for spelling!

  8. michael williams January 19, 2014 — 6:58 pm

    I have a signed RA Smith piece. If you are interested, please contact me.

  9. I have a Russell Secrest necklace with an Owl pendant. It is signed Secrest Sterling and looks of his style but I can find no info of this owl pendant. It has an interesting look and nice weight. Any info and values would be greatly appreciated. Thank You J

  10. Thank You for the lovely article on the Greenwhich Flint Craft (GFC) #1163. I actually have 2 blue w/ stopper(s) . Also has the label(s) !

  11. Today I brought home my favorite piece which my Dad had purchased in 1964 and came home searching the internet for Raymor and came across your site. This piece still has the Raymor Tag, R1960, Raymor Italy 1471 GAG then some numbers which appear to end with 71 BAG. It is an Armadillo approximately 16″ long 11 1/2 ” tall with colors of blues, greens and purple. Just wondered if you have ever seen one of these. Be happy to send pictures if needed.

  12. Do you know anything about an Raymor Ceramic Armadillo. My Dad purchased in 1964 it still has the Raymor Tag R 1960 with 1471 GAG and some numbers preceding BAG. I did finally find a picture today where someone had pulled a picture off of ebay and put it ont pinterest but of course no info. I believe it is an Alvino Bagni. Apparently it must not have been a favorite piece since I can find nothing. Perhaps you know more.

  13. hi, fantastic blog, thanks. i believe i just purchased a raymor vase. it’s painted to look like wood with a very fine brown lined glaze and a flower design up the front. the flowers are very cool — each flower is made of many tiny pieces of pottery. they almost look like they were made with ice cream sprinkles. happy to send photos and would love your take. i cannot find a similar style amongst any of raymor’s designs. thank you!

  14. Hello, I just stumbled across your blog while researching a Raymor piece, possibly Bagni, I was considering buying (ok, confession: I bought it!). I just wanted to tell you how helpful and informative the information I found here was. Thank you!

  15. Brilliant!!

  16. Hello, I also found your site while researching a Raymor piece. It is a large ashtray, Rimini blue it think, stamped Italy with the #7508. The Raymor tag is also attached, and the number on it is 2653. On the bottom of the tag it say BIT. The tray is approx. 10 inches square. It has 7 squares and triangles with fish in them and what looks like a glass glaze of some sort. Thanks. I would have attached a picture, but that wasn’t an option. Thanks again David Mckinley

  17. Marvin Oleshansky December 7, 2014 — 7:07 pm

    I have a large collection of Raymor pieces which I add frequently to my Instagram feed and hashtag as #wabisabiceramics. I also have probably 500 pieces of mid century German pottery (pre 1970, mostly hand thrown and hand decorated) and even more mid century Japanese mingei pottery (Hamada, Shimaoka, etc. and sculptural ikebana vases). I am slowly archiving my collection and would be happy to collaborate on researching any of this material.

  18. Hi there,
    I see in your photograph, a lot of beautiful Blenko. If you are ever interested in selling the lilac / mulberry / amethyst 588, I would be very interested. By the way…which “purple” is it?
    ThanksTerry

    • Hi Terry, good spot on the 588 and it is Mulberry. I need to take another photo of my glass collection next time I do a big clean since it’s certainly grown since that photo. The 588 decanter is probably my husband’s favorite piece of Blenko in the house so I doubt I’d could get him to part with it, but it that would change I will email you.

  19. Hey!

    Sorry to bug you (collectively) but…I’m getting emails from members but have yet to be able to actually log into this site…is there a web master? No matter how I try to log in, create new account…etc. it does not work.
    No password has ever worked either.

    Would like to sign up for site, any suggestions?

    • Hi: I’m not sure I understand. The blog is public, when you say “sign up” do you mean to get notices for new posts? Are you having trouble seeing posts? (Sometimes posts can be set to private accidentally.) When you say create an account, I’m assuming you mean a wordpress account? Please let me know and I’ll do my best to solve it. If its a wordpress tech issue though I may not be of much help.

  20. Oy! Username: ****** ( thi seems ok)
    Re: Password: no password Ive ever entered has worked. Cant post !! Cant upload pics, ask questions. Yes I can look at all the fab fab pics but cannot interact with users in this site. Like minds and collecting interests are great which is why I am interested.
    Do I need wordpress for anything?

    Oh………THANK YOU!!!! for your response, it is so kind.

    • Hi:
      I’m not aware of any other way to interact besides comments. I do have the feature that I have to approve comments before they are posted, but that’s basically because of stupid spammers I don’t want clogging up the site. I’ve discussed creating a forum with my partner, but wasn’t sure there would be enough interest. (At that time it would have been a forum linked to this blog, because WordPress didn’t offer such tools.) Things have changed and I’m not sure what features WordPress currently offers in that dept. but I’ll look in to it. I would definitely like a way for people coming here to share pics and communicate with each other so I’ll see if there’s anything wordpress offers that would allow that or improve the ability for people to communicate here I’d gladly do it. As for the password issue, I can’t figure that out – besides login into a wordpress account I’m stumped. It’s got me thinking maybe wordpress has other features that require passwords to use, but I don’t think they would be on my little blog site. I’ll look into it and see what I can find out. I appreciate you asking about this. I really wasn’t sure if there would be the interest or even the people out there that would justify adding more features or a forum. It really doesn’t take a lot of people 10-40 really passionate people can certainly become a great resource when working together.

  21. Hello,
    I read your post re: the Jewell Haley abstract painting that you acquired from the sale of her estate. I too, found a large painting, posted on eBay and purchased it about 4 yrs ago. I LOVE the painting, but from what little I’ve found out about her typical paintings re: subject matter and style, I have to wonder if it actually WAS painted by her or possibly one of her students works that she had at her home. You see, it’s not signed/dated ON the painting like an artist would typically do. It has “Model 97” written on the back and the name “H A L E Y” written in large, light brushstrokes, vertically down the back of the canvas. It is of a African-American man in nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist, sitting in a chair and holding a barbell. The subject and background are somewhat abstracted and the composition and colors are wonderful. I can send a photo of it to you if you’d like. I’m not looking to sell this painting. I just thought that since you have a one by Ms. Haley, you might want to see another that MAY also be by her. It’s definitely painted in a more contemporary style and fits VERY nicely in my mid century inspired home. 🙂
    J.morehand@gmail.com

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