Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Going Dutch

As you'll know if you are on this site, one of my passions is West German ceramics of the 1960s & 70s. So much so, that I wrote a book about it... Well, I've now just 'discovered' Dutch ceramics, having acquired (at no great cost!) a rather appealing cube vase by Pieter Groeneveldt, and a Scheurich look-a-like by Van Woerden, with a rather good grey-blue glaze. I know next to nothing about either company right now, but I'm researching them both and in doing that, I have found an amazing variety of incredibly appealing Dutch pottery. I get the impression that many of the studio and smaller factories were hit when the likes of Scheurich, Ruscha et al from Germany flooded the Netherlands with their production, but some seem to have survived - albeit producing smaller amount of items. Nevertheless, these seem to have lost none of their charm, appeal and feel for (sometimes adventurous) Modern design. They're also a lot less expensive than many of their counterparts in other parts of the world. Although I doubt they'll ever reach the heady heights of Hans Coper and Lucie Rie, this is market to keep an eye on, me thinks.

Friday, 1 September 2006

Agatha Christie

I've just had a fascinating telephone and email conversation with the curator of Greenway House, near Brixham in Devon, who was seeking some advice. Currently owned by the National Trust, it was the family home of Agatha Christie who is known, of course, for her crime novels. It appears that she was also a keen collector, amassing collections of silver, Tunbridgeware, Mauchlineware and art. Amongst the objects on display is also a collection of British and Scandinavian studio glass - including a number of items from Mdina Glass! It's difficult to say whether the 'Mistress of Mystery' herself collected the Mdina pieces (she died in 1973), as her son and daughter also added to the collections started by their mother. Perhaps Hercule Poirot could be called upon to investigate?
If you're ever in the area, why not drop in and have a look? It's certainly made me renew my (embarrassingly) lapsed National Trust membership. Find out more about
Brixham House here.