Enamelware finds

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:

While at the Lansing Volunteers of America Thrift Store as a Michigan State student, I discovered a set of four green enamelware bowls. 

Enamelware Bowls

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.

Detailed View

So… this brings me to my point. I own these bowls. Yesterday I found this at the downtown Minneapolis Salvation Army Thrift Store:

Enamelware Pot with Lid

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.

Alternate ViewTeak Handle DetailAlternate ViewDetail

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?


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3 comments on “Enamelware finds”

  1. julia 21 January, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Maybe it would work for things like making yogurt where one just needs to keep it warm?

    Or…hmmm…if it’s airtight, using to keep things fresh (chips, crackers, etc.)? Or for teabags? Or…bags of flour/other bulk items? (I.e. using it like a tin, I guess?)

  2. Martha 21 January, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    I’m not sure it could be described as airtight. I saw a post somewhere else of a plant in an enameled pot…

  3. Carol Parshall 7 February, 2009 at 12:59 am

    The first thing I thought of when I saw it was, “Fondue pot!” Its bottom looks very much like the bottom of our Dansk fondue pot, circa 1968 or so. Our pot, which also has a teak handle, is shaped that way on the bottom because it sits on the upper ring of a cast iron frame, the lower “level” of which holds a can of sterno, which keeps the contents of the pot warm. That’s my thought, FWIW. if you want, I could take some pix of our pot and send them to you.

    (I got to your site in a circuitous manner, from looking at Bohus sweaters, to twinsetellen, to you. Loved the pix of the little owl!)

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