Thursday, 28 August 2014

De Porceleyne Fles - View Of Delft

Over many year I have bought and sold many decorative tiles marked on the back with a stylised pot and the word "Delft" -- but they weren't the tin glazed delft blue & white pottery that many old time antiques dealers used to sell; but brightly coloured 20th century patterns with a tubelined effect, a bit like Moorcroft.

... and here is an example that I have just bought.

....and here is the mark.

These tiles are not uncommon and are regularly seen on stalls at antiques markets in the UK. However, unless on a specialist applied art stand , they are always left unattributed or anounced as "they're delft, mate!!".

Even after the smallest of research you would established that they were made by the Dutch firm De Porceleyne Fles in the town of Delft in the Netherlands. This whole group of wares are refered to as "Cloisonné tiles" and were made from 1907 until as recently as 1977.

The view depicted on my tile is of Delft itself and the towers from the left are; The Oostpoort (Eastern gate), Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and the Oude Kerk (Old church).... so I guess this is a view from the north?

Another famous Delft art connections is Johannes Vermmer (1632-1675) of the "Girl with pearl earing" fame. He lived, painted and died in Delft and remains there to this day as he is buried in the Oude Kerk. Here is his study of the Oostpoort and painting of the town.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Electra Zinn - Kallmeyer & Harjes

 "Electra Zinn" --  a maker that I was aware off but knew nothing about and had never owned anything by them !!! .... until I bought thi pair of silver plated beakers decorated with an extremely stylised foliate pattern -- pure "Austrian Secessionist" ... But who were Electra ???

 Actually not made by a firm called Electra but by the German firm Kallmeyer & Harjes of Gotha as part of their "Electra Zinn" range of art metalware and dating to c1900-10. Established by Philipp Harjes (1860-1933) and Hermann Kallmeyer in 1887; this large factory employed up to 500 people in 1909 making a diverse range of metal ware both industrial, domestic and decorative. Their decorative wares are scarce and are rarely seen in the UK.

The company marks seem to be an eagle with wing spread looking back over it's left shoulder, but it seems that only the pewter art wares are marked with "Electra". I have not been able to trace any of their copper or brass decoratives wares to confirm this.


Interestingly I found pictures of this ordinary pewter dish decorated with a weak art nouveau design marked "electra" but with a makers mark GKFAF ? which doesn't fit the name Kallmeyer & Harjes? From the pattern number, this dish is probably earlier; so I wonder if the Electra brand was bought by Kallmeyer & Harjes, thus acquiring an arty decorative line without the expense of development ??

Any information is welcome and these beakers are for sale (at the time of posting) on my website;

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Birmingham Guilds Tray

Here is another recent purchase, an unsigned arts and crafts copper tray decorated with a punched pattern on the outer rim. This caught my eye amongst a miriad of junk at a recent sale, It looked familiar but I couldn't quite recall the maker - for the money asked I just bought it. Attribution could wait, as I was sure that I would recall the name.

I could see from the construction that it was well made, planished with a hand rolled rim - all the hallmarks of a skilled maker - but no visable makers marks.

.... and then it came to  me !! it by The Birmingham Guild Ltd; of course it's obvious, those punched rim patterns and the crisp almost art deco forms are almost their signature. A few searchs of Google images quickly took me to a website selling a virtualy identical tray -- SEE below and theirs is signed with a stamped mark, which just confirmed the attribution.

Seen at

 "The Birmingham Guild Ltd" were the last flourishings of the "Birmingham Guild of Handicraft"; a company established c1890 as part of the Birmingham Kyrle Society. With Arthur Dixon and Montague Fordham as directors. They remained active into the 1950's and were still shown in directories as "The Birmingham Guild Ltd., Architectural & Decorative Metalworkers" of Grosvenor Road West and Sherbourne St. .

At the time of posting my tray was forsale at

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Eduard Hueck Edelzinn - Art Nouveau

This recent purchase reminded me of another quality but largely unknown (to Anglo's) German company who produced some well made bold art nouveau design pewter in the period from c1890 to c1915.

Decorated with stylised leaves forming a cartouche on the front, which would be ideal for a monogram or dedication. This example was not signed with a makers mark, but I had just sold a similar item that was fully marked on the underside with a moulded circular mark. This confirms thats the range of ware were called "Edelzinn" and that the shape number is 1847.

Metallwarenfabrik Eduard Hueck, to give them there full title, was established c1814 in the German town of Ludenscheid and still exist today, but no longer produce decorative art wares. Their art nouveau and secessionist designed ware are in my opinion the most pleasing. Several leading and well know designers are associated with them and it is known that Albin Muller (1871-1941) produced several design, which are marked with his AM monogram (see below).  Peter Behrens (1868-1940) and Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867-1908) are thought to have also designed various pieces for the company.

Typical marks seen and in age order - left c1890 and right c1905

two more examples that I have recently sold.

At the time of posting the top ewer is forsale on my sales website