Gorgeous Georges

I am always on the hunt for pieces to put in the Vintage Eve’s shop. It is rare that at least one day a week, usually Saturday, isn’t somewhat devoted to scouring thrift stores and estate sales for treasures. As you have probably noticed, I’m super drawn to mid-century modern. I love the lines and the mix of mediums used to create the look. One particular designer I’ve managed to collect a few pieces of is Georges Briard. I found another piece of his recently at the estate sale I referenced last week. I already have another one of his pieces for sale in the store. These are the two pieces.

Georges Briard Forbidden Fruit Pattern (available at Vintage Eve’s)
Georges Briard Relish Bowl with Attached Fork (available at Vintage Eve’s)

You can tell they are his because, well, they are signed, but also just because they look like his style as you get to know it. I was surprised to find out that Georges Briard is not his real name. His real name is Jakub Brojdo. According to Collectors Weekly he was born the Ukraine and raised in Poland.

Georges Briard Food Warmer circa 1960 (available at A Vintage Peace)

He came to the U.S. in 1937 to study at the Art Institute of Chicago. He did earn a Masters in Fine Art. He also changed his first name at that time to Jascha (Yascha) although I am not sure why. If anyone out there knows, please leave me a comment!

Green Garden Roasting Pan by Georges Briard (available at RLD Glass)

He served in the U.S. Army in WWII after which he moved to New York. Collectors Weekly says that he started painting metal serving trays and signing them Brojdo. So be on the lookout for those, they are quite a find! Because it wasn’t long after that his friend Max Wille hired him to create designs for him at the M. Wille Company. It was Max that thought up the name Georges Briard to mark his commercial pieces.  His “last name came as an inspiration at a dog show, the first was added to give continental flair” (Antique Trader).

Georges Briard Percolator (available at Sewing and Goods)

The reason for the name change is that it left his real name free for his real artwork. Georges Briard designs really caught on through the 1950s to the 1970s. He became an award-winning designer with his pieces selling in high-end department stores; Nieman Marcus, Bonwit Teller and others.

Georges Briard Lowball Glasses circa 1950s (available at Pickness)

He worked with many different glass companies, too. According to Antique Trader, he worked with Libbey and Anchor Hocking, upgrading items that would usually sell at the five and dime to then be pieces sold in Bloomingdale’s and other upscale retailers.

Georges Briard Ceramic Tray/Plate (available at Jill’s Fantastic Frills)

Some items that you can find with his designs are enameled cookware, wooden cheeseboards with tile inserts, bisque pieces, dinnerware and lamps. His designs can also be found on melamine dinnerware by Stetson.

Georges Briard Chip and Dip Set (available at Frieda’s Finds)

Brodjo received the Frank S. Child Lifetime Achievement Award given by The Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorators in 2004 to celebrate his contribution to the glass and ceramic industry. He died in New York in 2005 at the age of 88. He left a great legacy behind.

Georges Briard Melamine Plates (available at Artistic Floral Design)

That is the story of how Jakub Brodjo came to America and left his indelible mark on it as Georges Briard. It’s amazing what one can accomplish in a lifetime. I know that I love his pieces and their stylish mid-century modern aesthetic. I hope you have enjoyed reading about him and let me know if you have ever loved or found one of his pieces. Have a great week!

I will be partying this week at all the link parties on the right — check them out; all wonderful blogs!

Coddle Your Eggs

This weekend I found an estate sale around the corner from me. It was next door actually to one I had been to a few months back. I love going through those old houses; they have some really cool bones. This one had some unique features, too. There was a nice built in cabinet with sliding doors in the pantry. There wasn’t much left by the time I got there but there were some nice pieces. I found this neat covered aluminum buffet dish with a Pyrex divided dish inside.


BW Buenilum & Pyrex Covered Dish Found at Estate Sale

Also hidden in that sweet little cabinet were these egg coddlers. I have a set like them of my own except mine are Royal Worcester. I got these to sell at the Vintage Eve’s shop. They are Wedgwood and have the Wild Strawberry pattern on them from the mid-1960s. Aren’t they pretty! And useful!

Wedgwood Egg Coddlers (Available at Vintage Eve’s)

I like stuff that is useful and these are very useful. Egg Coddlers, near as anyone can tell were invented sometime around the end of the 1800s. The first time anyone seems to have seen these is when they were produced by Grainger China Works in the 1880s for Royal Worcester (Museum of Royal Worcester).

1930s Egg Coddler by Bauhaus Designer Wilhem Wagenfeld (available at Room 606)

Apparently, the first ones were made of earthenware and fired at a very high temperature. They had a flat cover, without the lifting ring that we are used to seeing on the coddlers and were plain white or simply decorated.

Set of 5 Early Victorian Egg Coddlers by Syracuse China (photo courtesy of Nick Haus Vintage Antiques)

According to the Museum of Royal Worcester, from about 1910 to 1928 these were listed in the Royal Worcester factory ledgers as “Premier Egg Cups.” They have a patent number of 561564. Their two most popular patterns were Worcester Willow and Pekin.

Adorable Egg Coddler circa 1960s (available at Lynnie McGoogins)

On the Museum of Royal Worcester website there is a useful list of marks to help date the Royal Worcester coddlers. Wedgwood coddlers have a different look than the Royal Worcester line. They have a smaller pedestal than the Royal Worcester and they have a more convex shape. Egg-Coddlers.com says that Wedgwood coddlers have a very distinctive lip that sticks out a few millimeters from the body. You can see that lip below.

Wedgwood Beatrix Potter Double-Egg Egg Coddlers (available at Gidget’s Vintage Finds)

The rings on the Wedgwoods are different, too. They have a thicker, flat piece of metal on the top where the Royal Worcester coddlers have more of a thin lifter ring. The Wedgwood ones also come in two sizes known as single and double. The double is 4 1/2″ tall and 2 7/8″ in diameter (Egg-Coddlers.com).

Royal Worcester 1-egg and 2-egg Egg Coddlers (available at Loose Ends Vintage)

Max Roesler or Rosler was another company that made egg coddlers. Their’s were porcelain with a flat porcelain lid that screwed on.

Vintage Egg Coddler (available at The Freckled Berry)

So what do we do with coddlers? We make coddled eggs! Butter the inside of the coddler, crack an egg into the coddler, screw on the lid and put it in water up to where the lid is screwed on. Boil it for about 5 minutes and you will have a nice soft boiled egg. You can add all kinds of things before you close the lid, bacon, cream, chives, salt, pepper and more. There’s lots of recipes out there.

Royal Worcester Egg Coddler (available at Birdy Coconut)
Royal Worcester Egg Coddler Instructions (available at Birdy Coconut)

Well, I hope you have learned a little about the egg coddler. They are unique little items. As always, I will be partying at the links on the right this week — take a second and check them out. Have a wonderful week!





It’s All in The Family

As I’ve been in business with my Etsy store, Vintage Eve’s, for about a year now, I’ve come across any number of pieces marked Johnson Brothers. Today I listed a pair of pretty square bowls done by the Johnson Brothers Company in the Minuet pattern which I love.

Johnson Brothers Minuet Ironstone Square Cereal Bowl (available at Vintage Eve’s)

These bowls are not just pretty but I like their squareness, too! They are also marked Ironstone. Although these particular bowls are from mid-century 1960s to early 1970s, Johnson Brothers started back in the late 1800s.

1900 Johnson Brothers Semi Porcelain Covered Soap Dish (available at Cooba’s Cool Collectibles & Antiques)

Collectors Weekly says that Johnson Brothers was started in 1883 by Federick and Alfred Johnson (so they really were brothers!). They were in Staffordshire which is known to have been a hub for pottery at that time. They wanted to produce a type of earthenware called “White Granite” and they marked those pieces “Semi Porcelain.”

Johnson Brothers Covered Dish Semi-Porcelain (available at From the Seller)

White Granite “looked like china but was as tough as ironstone” (Collectors Weekly). It turns out, however, that they were better known for their transferware than their White Granite.

Johnson Bros. Flow Blue Gravy Boat (available at Vintageway Furniture)

By 1888 their older brother, Henry, had joined the company. Collectors Weekly states that a fourth brother, Robert, opened a satellite office in New York. By 1900 there were 5 potteries altogether. With Robert selling the family pottery in America, the Johnson Brothers company went into the new century in the black.

Johnson Bros. Friendly Village Tea Pot (available at Little Log House Antiques)

Their transferware and flow blue porcelain (which is highly collectible) were very popular. They made excellent quality products but kept the mid-range price which ensured that most people could afford it.

Johnson Bros. Black and Pink Rose (available at Blind Dog Vintage)

The family continued to grow with the brothers’ sons joining the company followed by grandsons. During the 1920s, Johnson Brothers introduced a colored clay called “Dawn” which came in gray, rose, green, and gold.

Johnson Bros. Rosedawn (available at PoshPedestal)

Their  transferware continued, however to be one of their most popular products. The company is most identified with pictures of wild turkeys and scenes in their Historic America series. Summer Chintz was a popular pattern and Old Britain Castles, too.

Johnson Bros. Old Britain Castles Soup Bowl (available at Homecoming Dining Room)

During the Depression, they closed their original factory on Charles Street and took some time to modernize their factories. Their Friendly Village pattern became highly collected after World War II as were their Christmas Plates.

Johnson Bros. Christmas Pattern Divided Plate (available at All That’s Vintage56)

During the time of World War II, they continued to stay afloat with their American division. After the war, they opened plants in England, Australia and Canada to decorate, glaze and fire the pieces and they did well for quite awhile until about 1968 when, in a bid to stay competitive in the world market, they joined the Wedgwood Group.

Johnson Bros. Game Birds Small Bowls (available at Replacements4U)

The Wedgwood Group, according to ThePotteries.org website, includes the following potteries: Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd., Royal Tuscan,  Coalport, Susie Cooper, Johnson Bros., William Adams, J & G Meakin, Midwinter, Mason’s Ironstone China, and Crown Staffordshire China.

Johnson Bros. Chippendale Green Tea Pot (available at Treasures From The UK)

What I’ve learned over almost a year of blogging about my finds, is that if you don’t adapt, you don’t survive especially in the pottery business! Well, that is it for now on the Johnson Brothers. Thank you so much for letting me share with you!

I will be partying at the links on the right this week, if you have a second, check them out and have a great week!



Hot or Cold-A Peek at Thermos

As a vintage collector, especially one that likes to collect vintage kitchen items, I run across lots of vintage thermoses. The one below was one I picked up a month or so back. I like the orangey-ness of it.

King-Seeley Thermos Wide Mouth (available at Vintage Eve’s)

I also have this one that I pour any left over coffee in the morning into and drag to work with me. I add my cream so I don’t need to find a refrigerator at work and it keeps my coffee HOT all day. I always find it amazing that if I open it the next day, the coffee will still be, if not hot, at least warm. How cool is that?!

My Favorite Thermos

The Thermos started with the vacuum flask invented by James Dewar in 1892. According to the BBC, Dewar was interested in cryogenics. He was the first person to make liquid nitrogen. He needed a way to keep very cold liquids cold. He experimented with a number of designs before developing his double-wall glass flask. He removed the air from between the two walls creating a vacuum. The liquids stay cold because there are no molecules through which heat can transfer. Adding a silver lining to stop heat from being directly transmitted was an innovation in the final design. Amazingly enough, he did not patent the vacuum flask.

Thermal Vacuum Flask Refill (available at The Biscuit Castle)

Burger and Aschenbrenner out of Germany were the first to adapt Dewar’s invention into a commercial venture. They formed Thermos GmBH in 1904. Funding Universe says that the name Thermos came about as the result of a contest. Looking for a name of their bottle that could keep items hot or cold, they ran a contest. A resident of Munich, Germany sent in the name “Thermos” which was derived from the Greek word “therme” meaning heat.

A Group of Thermoses (available at Circa810)

The name was trademarked in 1907 in England by A.E. Gutman. Gutman got distribution all through the United Kingdom and other countries. At the same time, William Walker was founding the American Thermos Bottle Company (Funding Universe). Walker set out to make the name “Thermos” a household name.

Thermos Brand Maxwell House thermos (available at Treasure Covet Adore)

It didn’t take long! By 1910 a thermos signified a bottle that could keep liquids hot or cold for extended periods of time. Thermos products went all over the world. Peary even carried one with him to the North Pole and one was in the Wright brothers’ packs during their aviation experiments.

Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Lunch Box (available at Retro Toys and More)

Unfortunately, being a household name has its challenges. Other companies began to call their products “Thermoses.” Just like “Kleenex” and “Aspirin” had started as brand names, Thermos became known as any bottle that had a vacuum flask for keeping items hot or cold. It even showed up in some dictionaries (Funding Universe).

Stanley Thermos Lunchbox (available at Laura’s Last Ditch)

They did start producing other products such as lunch boxes with popular stars like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and tents, bottle openers, lanterns and more. In 1962 it was declared by a judge that “thermos” was a generic word that could be used by other companies as long as it wasn’t capitalized. So the actual Thermos brand name is capitalized. Aladdin was another company that used the thermos name in all small letters.

Aladdin Thermos Land of the Giants Lunchbox (available at CalloohCallay)


If you want more information about how the company restructured some more through the 1980s you can check out Funding Universe. So that was the story of how an incidental invention became a household word!

I hope you enjoyed this look at the history of thermoses. I will be partying at the links to the right all week. Please join me. And, as always, have a great week!

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