"Tretchikoff achieved what Andy Warhol stated he wanted to but never could because of his coolness." - Wayne Hemingway I'd like to share some interesting scans of my Tretchikoff catalogue from 1960, sometime after his first major U.S. shows but before the release of some of his more famous artworks such as 'Penny Whistlers' and 'Miss Wong' Frost & Reed were the distributors for Tretchikoff prints in the UK and must have done a good job as he remains one of the most commercially successful artists ever. This particular brochure was left with 'Treasure Trove' in Newquay, Cornwall, happily still trading as Cornwall Galleries. There's an order page inside back cover, designed to be filled in and torn out, happily it never has been and still has the shop stamp. Here are the scans.......
It's interesting that no framing options are included. Did these come with a standard frame or were the retailers expected to frame them themselves (hence the framing variations and different labels on the back of the same print)? We usually have several vintage Tretchikoff prints instore in our shop Space in Harrogate, UK. Call for more info 01423 709941. We currently have an original glazed copy of the brochure cover picture'Lost Orchid'instore.
Here's the second Frost & Reed Tretchikoff catalogue produced in 1962. This has caused a little confusion as I've seen my, earlier, brochure attributed to 1962. Tretchikoff had experienced huge success in the few years inbetween so it's reasonable to assume the earlier brochure is a little rarer. Feel free to comment if you have any more information, thanks.
The late 1960's were a heyday for 'out-there' design. The psychedelic music. fashions and artwork of the underground scene inevitably spilled out into mainstream design and were incorporated into everyday products. English Ironstones Beefeater plates are a great example relatively easy to find today
Have a look at the full range here.. Psychedelic Bull Plates. There was a very prehistoric looking fish range too! Today, though, we're looking at two remarkably similar ceramic ranges that seem to have had their own spin off cartoon series.
In 1967 Villeroy & Boch released their Acapulco design into the wild...a pattern so eyecatchingly bright and vivid it's become an iconic image in the world of retro. The shape, by Ludwig Scherer, had been used before but the design, by Christine Reuter inspired by a Mexican holiday, was something new, and here it was available in cups, saucers, coffee pots and even kettles and fondue sets.
Gorgeous, aren't they? Although, I can't help thinking, would you want to eat your dinner from one of these plates? The line was revived in the 1980's (with a brown base mark instead of blue) and has recently been redesigned and made available again as NewWave Acapulco
Around the same time (well, you know, perhaps just a little bit later!) , Lord Nelson Pottery in the UK, were producing Gaytime, another huge range of white china with a psychedelic bird and flower design.
A coincidence? Probably not, the name of the designer has been lost to time and the pottery long since closed but this is easily the funkiest thing they ever did in their long years of production. A few years later in the early 70's, this happened...
Crystal Tipps and Alistair was possibly the weirdest cartoon ever. A young girl with huge purple hair and a mini dress and a big grey double jointed dog. Created by Hilary Hayton and Graham McCallum they got up to various adventures every 5.40 for 50 episodes from 1972 with the colours and styling making Magic Roundabout look like a Party Political Broadcast. Regular friends were a trippy bird and butterfly bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Acapulco design, especially when hiding in the vegetation shown here in a tie-in book. Are there designs around now that will so fondly remembered in 50 years time? Here's the birds together (I've thrown in a Carlton Ware money box for good measure)
You can't know everything. The more research I do for the goodies we find for Space the more I realise how little I know
This caused me a little confusion so I'll put it out there for any others as slow as I am!
Kai Kristiansen is a well known Danish furniture designer who worked through the 1950's and 1960's very much in the style of what we now call Mid Century Modern.
Here's a great page with examples of his work Kai Kristiansen
Kari Christensen is another Dane, less well known but, amongst other things, a designer for Royal Copenhagen in the 1960's being responsible for a large part of their retro styled Aluminia range. Here's the lidded jar that led me to her and a link to it on our site Kari Christensen Jar
Plus one is a man and one is a woman so that's different too
There is also a (Canadian?) graphic artist currently working called Kari Kristensen and a sci-fi artist called Kari Christensen and....well maybe it's just an artistic name?
A very cool jacket we've just got in has prompted a little research. This, very groovy, swinging sixties, striped jacket is from Pygmalia a shop that opened in 1965 in Manchester. It was owned by Tony Bookbinder (aka Tony Mansfield) who was the drummer in 1960's group The Dakotas and brother to Elkie Brooks. Other pop stars mentioned to be behind the store in various places are Eric Stewart (10cc and The Mindbenders) and Graham Nash and Tony Hicks of The Hollies. It's important to recognise that the swinging sixties weren't just happening in Carnaby Street, all over the country small boutiques were popping up selling the latest fab gear, mens as well as womens. These often had a big name behind them, George Best's boutique on Deansgate perhaps the best known. There's a great clip of it at the beginning of Jack Rosenthal's 'The Lovers'
A great, rarely seen film now, I love the way it shows the 1960's and 1970's as groovy and grim in equal measure.
We've been lucky enough recently to pick up a huge collection of vintage tile topped tables, almost certainly the largest in the UK and whilst cleaning them up and doing a bit of studying it became obvious that there's not a huge amount of definitive information out there. Here's an attempt to compile what info there is, to iron out any contradictions and to clear up a few misconceptions. I'll also post a few links to some of the gems we have available. Check out our Vintage and Retro Furniture on our website Let me also say that we welcome additional comments and corrections! Lets start with one of the more common names you'll see - Adri (Adri Belgique) A Belgian firm active mainly through the 1960's. Their tables are usually signed, with the manufacturers name rather than any of the several designers they must have used judging by the variety of their abstract patterns.
Photo's from 1stdibs and Pamono As any name or signature is painted on before firing the tiles, it doesn't always come out as legible as on the table above. What would be the chances of identifying a name from the four blobs on one of the sailing boat tables below? The base of these tables, incidentally, is very common to Adri, straight squared chrome legs attached to a black metal base.
This pair highlight one of the attractions of tile topped tables, with each one being individually hand painted no two are the same. Notice the differences in shading and lines between the two. It's conceivable that the image was designed by an Adri employee and the two tables painted by different artists. Signatures on tables add to their value as they give a little provenance, some of the most sought after designs carry the name of Belarti. Here's a couple of examples
Tables with this name tend to be on good quality chrome bases and feature abstract, colourful designs which could easily pass for modern art. In fact, though the signatures tend to be consistent, the designs can vary wildly. Is it possible that, in fact, they were designed by more than one person?
Although many sellers will confidently state that tiles were designed by a Belgian artist named Juliette Belarti, it seems actually that there was no such person and that the name was short for 'Belgian Artists' and created by a ceramicist named Julien de Covemaeker who had a studio in Ostende, Belgium.
Other items we have in store only cause further confusion. Compare the table Denisco tiled table on the right with the one below, signed Belarti. Unless there was some flagrant copying going on, it seems highly likely that the same artist painted both of these. Denisco (or DeNisco/De Nisco) was an Italian ceramicist though the 60's/70's
Although there are several DeNisco tables to be found (with huge variations in style and signature) very little information is to be found as to the person behind the art. Could Belgian Covemaeker posing as Belarti be designing for an Italian firm while posing as DeNisco?
One particularly sought after design is often referred to as the 'Starburst' pattern, a Belarti specialty as seen on the signed example on the right (sold recently on Roomscape) We have a stunning example of a Starburst tiled table pictured above This particularly gorgeous table is signed Vigneron a tile making firm whose only other examples of tile art I've found are embedded into sideboards rather than tables. So did Belarti/Covemaeker design for Vigneron?
One interesting point that can help with identification is that the tile makers weren't generally also the base makers. It's probable that whoever originally sold the tables would have commissioned the tiles and bases separately and married them independently. This would explain the frequent confusion with similar styles and varying signatures If you can't identify the tiles, flip the table over and see if there's a mark or label on the base. Here's an example where the base is made by, still trading, Belgian firm Metakor. The table itself, whilst presumably also Belgian, has a still unidentified signature.
You can't win ''em all!
Stepping away from Western Europe for a moment, the Scandinavians had their own take on tile topped tables, typically more understated and usually using wood instead of steel. Here's a gorgeous Danish example designed by Tue Poulsen for Mobler. Details HERE
..and our earliest example, an English Conran designed table bought in 1956. More details HERE Thanks for reading, let me leave you with an invitation to contribute or correct any errors via the comments Here's two final images of tables we have instore and online which whilst beautiful and even familiar, are both unsigned and remain stubbornly unidentified! Details HERE and HERE
Breaking news..........this is an image from a 1968 Belarti catalogue apparently showing an image of the man himself. Any further information most welcome!