Being a collector is a wonderful thing. Finding that valuable item that when purchased was just an anonymous yet interesting piece.
Being a seller of collectables is even more wonderful. Emersing yourself in history, and items of interest can be a real eye opener…even when you don’t expect it. And sometimes without knowing it, you find something that is truly valuable and sends you into a dilemma.
Recent finds have ticked these boxes. The cream Paloma mink with stunning leather buttons (read about it here)
and the Hermes scarf (read about it here) were fab
but not as fab as this……
Last week was one of those weeks when you stumble upon lots of greatness. We found a 70s rocket lamp, a 1930s kitchen cupboard and this tea set by Midwinter.
It’s black and white design reminded us of the Homemaker range. Stylish, simply drawn with a true 1950s shape. Images of flowers and dragon flies, sketched in what seems like pen and ink.
It is called Nature Study and was designed in 1955. It is in the Stylecraft shape popular in the 50s.
But, now for the interesting part. It was designed by Sir Terence Conran when he left college. For anyone not in the know, this is the founder of Habitat, one of the most influential retailers of the 60s and 70s. He and his brand helped to revolutionise our homes in a time of great optimism and fun.
We have 4 teacups and saucers, 4 side plates, a cake plate, sugar bowl and amazingly a teapot. And they are IMMACULATE!!!
So, as ever the dilemma begins. Do we keep or sell? They will only go up in value (more than they are already worth). But if we keep them we would be too scared to use them. Languishing in a cupboard isnt exactly enjoying them is it?
So watch this space…they may well be on a website near you soon!
In the late fifties/early sixties I gave a few pieces of this design as a birthday present to my beau before we married. They still bring back happy memories of that time, setting-up home, haunting Conran’s first Sloane area wonder-shop, followed by Tottenham Court Road, stores galore, and later in the great Heals next door. Most of the china was relinquished before our move to LA in 74, but still have a couple of vintage plates and dish to show my grandchildren that gift to their late grandfather. And a lesson that good design remains good design irrespect of passing fashion. Good luck to you and your endeavours – even more important with the environment in mind.