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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hans Bølling

Hans Bølling (1931- ) originally attended an Art and Handcraft School to become an advertising designer but decided some years later to study architecture at the Royal Danish Art Academy.

Bølling designed villas, government buildings and apartment complexes, as well as furniture, but he is probably best known for his 1954 design of The Duck and later its offspring the Duckling.

His teak animals and human forms are highly collectible, including Oscar the Dog, The Optimist and The Pessimist. The Mermaid figure, has been re-released by Architectmade.

From and

Oscar the Dog, 1953

Duck and Duckling, 1959

The Mermaid, 1960

The Optimist and The Pessimist, 1963

Rolling cart

In the following video from 2011, Hans Bølling explains how his animals and human forms came about. - greatdanefurniture

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

West German pottery: Ü-Keramik

Ü-Keramik, also known as Üebelacker Keramik, was started by Johann Üebelacker, a tin maker, in 1909 in the small town of Ransbach-Baumbach and was originally intended to be a metal foundry.

The company began to produce ceramics in the 1950s, most of which were exported to Austria and Scandinavia.  Art director Heinz Hommerich developed a rich red selenium glaze in 1954, the first to be mass produced in Germany. While toxic in very large quantities, selenium is a necessary micronutrient for animals in small amounts.

Ü-Keramik pieces were generally made of white or off-white clay and were usually only marked on the bottom with the form number and height separated by a slash (/), also called a solidus or a virgule. Foil stickers were also used, in addition to a company logo on the bottom on some pieces. The logo had the u-umlaut in a circle, looking very much like the iconic pop culture symbol of the smiley face.  The quality of the pieces ranged from mediocre to excellent. The line is best known for its chimney shapes 

Ü-Keramik went bankrupt in 1990.

From, and

My Ü-Keramik vase - ginforsodditiques - Paola Cecca - 20thCenturyEurope - RetroMungo - Retromania1331 - vintage2like - FabulousModerns - TheLavaLounge - RetroFatLava - RetroFatLava - RetroMungo - RetroFatLava - RetroFatLava - vintage2like - RetroMungo - Retromania1331 - Veryodd

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Scandinavian glass markings

If you are new to collecting Scandinavian glass, here are some sample markings that might help you identify pieces when you run across them in the wild.

Ekenas vase by John-Orwar Lake

John-Orwar Lake signature

John-Orwar Lake signature

Holmegaard vase by Per Lutken

Per Lutken signature

Peter Svarrer vase for Holmegaard

Peter Svarrer signature

Michael Bang vase for Holmegaard

Michael Bang signature

Timo Sarpaneva Festivo candle holder for Iittala

Timo Sarpaneva initials - judyjudyjudy00

Monday, July 28, 2014

Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry (1929- ) was born Frank Owen Goldberg in Toronto, Canada. A naturalized citizen of the United States, he graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Architecture in 1954 and began his career in Los Angeles with Victor Gruen Associates. He also attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design to study urban planning. When he returned to Los Angeles, he worked briefly for Pereira and Luckman before rejoining Gruen, where he stayed until 1960.

In 1961 he and his family moved to Paris, and he worked in the office of Andre Remondet. While living in Europe for a year, he studied the work of LeCorbusier and Balthasar Neumann. In 1962, Gehry moved with his family back to Los Angeles and opened his own firm.

Gehry's most famous postmodern designs include the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. In addition to his career in architecture, Gehry designed furniture. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he produced the Easy Edge series of chairs, made of corrugated cardboard. Fearing that his reputation as an architect might be affected by his furniture design, he took the chairs off the market after only a few years.

In the 1980s he returned to furniture design, creating Experimental Edges furniture, and in the 1990s he designed a collection of bentwood chairs for Knoll, and in 2004 he designed the Superlight chair for Emeco.

Gehry has received many prestigious awards, including the Pritzker Prize in 1989.

From,, and

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Guggenheim Museum - Bilbao, Spain

Wiggle side chair

Contour chair

Carumba chair

Superlight chair

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Wong House

The Wong House (Case Study House #28) was designed by California architects Conrad Buff and Donald Hensman, also the designers of Case Study House #20, and was built in Los Feliz in 1968. The house is 2835 square feet with two bedrooms and three baths. It boasts wood beamed ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views.

It was formerly owned by celebrity Scarlett Johansson and her then-husband Ryan Reynolds. The couple purchased the house for $2.9 million and sold it several months later for a profit of $600,000.

From and