Thursday, 3 May 2012

Collection. Plate Wall–Disco-Ball

To make up for the lack of architectural detailing in the hall, a mirror ball hangs ceiling; this is an object that was purchased for a previous house, so it is always interesting when you move home to see how, or if, furniture and possessions fit into the new environment. 
On the wall is a collection that began when I rescued a plate from a box destined for the charity shop, following my grandmother’s death and subsequent house clearance (image below). The plate collection is predominantly from the 50s/60s and in most instances cost very little, unfortunately they are getting harder to find, and sometimes I have to resort to just a saucer. On other occasions I am forced to buy an entire set, so it means we have an eclectic mix of odd numbered side plates! 


  1. What a wonderful crockery cloud!

    Your Grandmother's plate is especially evocative - the sophisticated air of the French woman as she promenades with her (probably French too) Poodle, as she is admired by the people-watchers sat outside the Cafe.
    It also reflects the en vogue aspirations of the time, the possibilities for European travel, and exotic adventures!
    It's interesting to hear how one rescued plate turned into a whole collection. Do you think you have stopped now or is there room for more? I'm thinking that your kitchen may hold lots of other additional interesting pieces too - !

  2. I love your description of the 'french scene' plate; I asked my Mum about it recently as I want to include it in the book and hoped she had some memory of it... apparently in her bedroom she had wallpaper just like the plate and assumed it had been bought to 'match'!
    In terms of the collection, it's still on-going, I bought a 50p saucer about a month ago, and I just add them to the wall (or cloud!) wherever they seem to fit visually.

  3. I'm sure just one roll of that bedroom wallpaper would fetch quite a handsome sum these days!
    Yes, matching items - although we still have matching items/sets etc., nowadays, I think it meant so much more in decades gone by ... the objects felt somehow much more precious, due to lack of availability, ranges and probably also costs too. There was the aspiration to have a matching set of items for the bathroom, bedroom, etc., and the satisfaction, and kudos that went with the acquiring of particular patterns and designs.
    I am quite glad to hear that the collection is still progressing - I like the idea that the cloud may change shape, or order through new finds! Exciting!

  4. Yes ‘matching’ sets – an interesting trend; (I had a friend who was one of three sisters, their mother was a keen seamstress and they were often made matching outfits; I do remember being rather envious when they all wore the same pink spotted flared trousers and crop top with black fringing ensemble). However I think today we are far more likely to buck the trend for ‘matching’ – and opt to (sometimes deliberately) mismatch – as my dining chairs and crockery selection will testify later on in the tour.

  5. What a brilliant tale, the ensemble does sound rather wonderful, no wonder you felt envious - I'd have definitely gone for that too. Though not sure I could carry off the crop top look these days!
    Yes, the philosophy of a contemporary matching set seems to have changed drastically, and can be seen as more down-market in some respects.
    The recent trend for vintage has pushed up prices of pieces from the 50's/60's especially - but the particular types of patterns and colours from designs cross-reference very well, so can be mis-matched and still look completely delightful.
    Though Cath Kidston has a lot to answer for these days, too.

  6. I was reminded of the matching set and its downfall recently whilst in a charity shop; there was an entire collection (everything from a large crockery set, tray, place mats, gravy boat, the whole works) of that 'classic' design called Eternal Beau (although I always thought it was Bow) - it was octagonal, and I think it first appeared in the 80s and seemed to be sold everywhere from Littlewoods to Argos!. Seeing this entire collection in perfect condition made me wonder how long it had taken the past owners to accrue, did they purchased it all in one go? or maybe it was received as individual items from their wedding list? No doubt this will soon be considered retro...

  7. OMG - I completely thought it was Eternal Bow too - as it's a ribbon with a bow in the middle - bizarre!
    Your crockery set story got me thinking of how many sets were produced - I couldn't help Googling, and found this interesting article that was in the Guardian last year charting the decline of Potteries in Stoke, and followed up by the recent series on TV.

    It states that:
    "In 1981, Johnson Brothers started to produce Eternal Beau, the bestselling earthenware pattern ever - an octagonal plate with a border of pale flowers and ribbons. "It was a fashionable shape - very nouvelle cuisine - but the pattern wasn't too scary," says Goodby."

    You are right P - it will be the retro item set of the future (and probably a not too distant one!)


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