A friend recently asked me how I choose items for the apartment. I didn’t have a very good answer–and I still don’t, but part of one is this: As most people are with clothing, etc. I am drawn to certain brands and more broadly to certain countries’ aesthetics. After making a mental list, I realize you could probably describe my tastes as very Eurocentric. I’m also drawn to a wholelottathings that are all very much out of my reach because of their cost. Let’s just say I have a long list of bookmarks in my web browser of the *sale* sections of various modern housewares companies. Sometimes a purchase is knee-jerk–this is true particularly for estate-sale or thrift-store finds for obvious reasons. Other times I have admired an item for a long time before finally going for it (and/or saving for it). Much of the time though, I want something or I get something because it just goes nicely with something else that I already own. This is why I get myself into color ruts. Many of you know of my love for red. There was a black phase (over. so over). Here is an instance where two lovely greens were brought together:
These are a great size; each fits in the palm of your hand. I love to serve sorbet in them. Made of metal, they can be placed in the freezer to chill which makes for an even better treat. I wish I had a picture of the raspberry sorbet (Talenti’s Roman Raspberry) we ate in them the other day. The color combination was amazing.
From what I have found, they are either actual Cathrineholm bowls or decent enough knockoffs; they lack any imprint on the underside as many pieces from the actual line would have. This is not that important though–I didn’t buy them for resale purposes. I think I paid somewhere between $0.25 and $1 per bowl… a bargain either way. You can see more examples of Cathrineholm designs on Flickr. An older post from H is for Home also details a bit more about enamelware, its Norwegian origins, and offers more photos of Cathrineholm pieces.
So… this brings me to my point. I own these bowls. Yesterday I found this at the downtown Minneapolis Salvation Army Thrift Store:
Having easily figured out the maker of my bowls, right away I wanted to learn of the possible origins of my new green pot. This has not been so easy (I haven’t found anything exactly like this), but I have a few clues. I think the wooden handle is teak. Scott Lindberg of sllabs studios identified a similar red enameled pot as a Jens Quistgaard design (1956) part of the Dansk Købenstyle line. He even found it in Bloomington, MN (to the immediate south of Minneapolis). This gentleman had one advantage over me… an actual manufacturer’s mark with designer’s initials. No such markings on mine. Plus, the lid bears no resemblance to the typical Købenstyle lids.
Will we actually cook with this pot? Another blog author is horrified by the idea. Enameled cast iron, of Le Creuset fame, is fantastic for cooking in because of the wonders of cast iron; enameled steel apparently wins no awards for even cooking, conduction, etc. The important question for the moment is: is it lovely and squatty and nice? Yes. I like to think we might at least serve food in it. Perhaps it would make a nice planter…
Oh! The price? $1 (that includes tax…). Can you identify this pot? What would you do with it?