Browsing around my favourite junk shop in Notting Hill at the weekend, I chanced upon these rather sweet 1950s style salt and pepper shakers. With a speckly grey background and a handpainted design of stylised, angular fish I thought they were typical of the 1950s. Turning them over, I saw the bases were nicely inscribed 'Lorenzen Lantz Nova Scotia'.
Ernst & Alma Lorenzen first began potting as a hobby in New Brunswick, Canada, in 1945. Demand led to a shop the following year, and in 1949 they moved to Lantz. As well as appealing domestic and decorative wares which increasingly collectable in Canada, they became known for small and finely modelled mushroom sculptures. More valuable than the rest of their wares, these regularly fetch over $300.
I 'm sure my salt and pepper shakers aren't worth anything near that, but I do think the £6 I paid was a bargain. I believe in using antiques and collectables for the purpose they were made for, where possible, so they now grace my new kitchen table. I'd love to know how they came from chilly Nova Scotia to a currently rainy London!