Sunday, 12 June 2011

Thrifted last week........

.... some slightly surprising things.

Last week the charity shops seemed a little disappointing and expensive, so I found myself leaving my thrifting "comfort zone" and looking at stuff I might pass by on a better day.
Thinking about it, I guess this means I have a hard time leaving empty-handed!

I often see Hornsea Heirloom about, mostly over-priced due to the "Hornsea" name, I think. It's kind of nice, but I don't particularly feel the urge to buy it.

This Flour jar was sitting at the back of a shelf and was quite dirty. The wooden lid is good but the rubber seal has perished, meaning it's no good for storing flour any more. It was marked at £1, and I was attracted to the lettering (I love fonts).
I brought it home and cleaned it, and was happily surprised to find it was in perfect condition, so it's now sitting on a shelf in my kitchen waiting to be filled with something.
Every time I pass it by I notice the beautiful lustre of the glaze on the raised parts of the pattern, contrasted with the equally beautiful matt finish of the darker parts of the pattern. It has completely won me over and now I'm wondering if this is the start of a new collection.

Another trip outside my thrifting "comfort zone" happened when I spotted these Holkham "owl" mugs at the back of a different dusty shelf in a different dusty shop. They were also dirty, which made them look very unappealing, but at £1 for the pair I decided to buy first and think later.

I'm so glad I did. Like the Flour jar, they have grown on me, and have gone from "weird, ugly shaped things - what was I thinking?" to "beautiful, tactile, wonderful pieces of modern design" in the space of a few hours. Am I particularly shallow, or does this kind of thing happen to other people?

I'd always known these as "Holkham Owl mugs", but doing a bit of Googling today I found a very interesting article about the Holkham pottery which included this :
Wilton Elston, who trained in Stoke on Trent, was managing and designing items for the Pottery. His designs were brilliant, and apart from the large number of flower vases he designed, he created mugs in relief for practically every cathedral in England. One of his most successful designs was the Elizabeth range —named after the fifth Earl’s wife—and was inspired by the ‘hole in the pebble’ that is often found on the beach. The mug, jug, teapot and sugar bowl were all cast with the handles incorporated into the piece, creating a very modern
look for the time. More than a million of the mugs were made.
This sounds so much like the "owl" mugs, though sadly I can't be sure as there was no picture.
I love the "hole in the pebble" idea.

And finally, something useful.
This 50p Starbucks water bottle was brand new with its original tag. Lovely colours, lovely pattern, and something that will definitely get a lot of use in the summer holidays as my family seems to drink gallons of water.


  1. Oh my opinion changes on things I've bought all the time - at least yours went the right way. Better than looking at something you thought you liked and saying 'what was I thinking?!' If a million of those mugs were made I've never seen any. I really like them though - I love that retro green glaze

  2. Hi, I saw the pic of the Hornsea flour jar on Mum's blog and had to come over. I love Hornsea and have a jar collection too. Adore those owl mugs, never seen anything like them. Fabulous buys. xx

  3. Your finds are wonderful this week. I love the owl mugs, very jealous... xx

  4. I have a few Hornsea Bronte canisters. I actually like ugly! But those owl mugs are just beautiful. Thanks for introducing me to Holkam.