Kitchenalia is the recent term coined for the collecting of kitchenware, kitchen appliances and kitchen equipment. Basically anything useful and not so useful used in and around the kitchen.
This feature will highlight a few of the areas of collecting and names and we will be featuring further areas in future articles and features.
Pictured is a corkscrew called “Anna G.” by Alessi.
The area is wide ranging from storage jars to kettles, from salt and pepper shakers to modern design classics by Italian design company Alessi, and from 50s kitchen styles to bakelite.
Perhaps one of the most enduring pieces of kitchenalia to stand the test of time is the humble kettle. The onset of domestic electricity put paid to the maid heating pans of water over a hot stove – instead one could simply plug in and the use of the basic whistle attached to the spout would allow the housewife plenty of time to get on with other chores rather than wasting time watching the kettle boil!
Pictured right is the world largest teapot that is capable of holding some 1,024 cups
click for more on the Worlds Largest Teapot
Top houses would have the best examples designed by the likes of Georg Jensen who when he died in 1935 was described by the New York Daily Herald as “the greatest craftsman in silver in the last 300 years”. A Jensen kettle today could cost anything from £3,000 ($5,000) -£6,000 ($9,000) depending on design and provenance.
Slightly cheaper and from the Arts & Crafts movement which is again back in vogue thanks to collectors which include the likes of Brad Pitt and Steven Spielberg, are examples by Dr Christopher Dresser. Copper examples by this designer were revolutionary in taking a practical machine like a kettle and making it a stylish accompaniment to any kitchen. Stark, sharp and stylised handles were Dresser’s trademark and examples cost £1,000 ($2,000) -£10,000 ($17,000) today.
Cornish Ware Storage Jars
The famous blue and white banded pottery was common feature of the British Kitchen throughout the nineteenth century and in now in the twenty first century it is as popular as ever. Although many companies have produced Cornish Ware designs the most famous and collectable name is that of T G Green Pottery. The actual origins of the Cornish name lie with T G Green, and although the style has become associated with the South West of England, it was in fact produced at the T G Green pottery in Staffordshire from the 1920s. The actual pottery itself dates back to the late eighteenth century.
Pictured left is a T G Green jar featuring the word STARCH.
To collectors the names on the jars are of great importance and with the same jar being worth far more with different wording on. Common names such as flour, rice, tea are less valuable than rarer names such as cinnamon and apricots. Cornishware Storage Jar Price Guide and Value Guide
No breakfast is complete without toast and this traditional meal has seen toasters develop radically over the years. American mechanic Charles Sheite developed a spring device operated by a thermostat which ejected toast at a set time, but many of the earliest models saw the thermostats fail and is wasn’t until the 1930s with the Toast-O-Lator that toast could be done without being burnt. Today with the drive for retro electrical it’s arguably the Duralit chrome toaster that is the most popular. Whilst it’s extremely expensive new, older versions which may well need a bit of doing up can be picked up for around £60 ($90) -£80 ($150).
Italian design company Alessi specialise in kitchen and household items such as corkscrews, bottle openers, salt and pepper pots, cake stands, boxes and containers.
Many Alessi products are based on traditional classic designs, but many of the newer items being produced combine work of top designers, humour, and functionality. “Nutty the cracker” (pictured right) is a great example, designed by Stefan Giovannoni is a simple nutcracker. Nutty’s ears turn to crack the nuts. As with all Alessi products, the quality is excellent and as the products are meant to be used it is possible to replace worn parts.
Many of the sort after antiques of today are those items which had an everyday use. This combined with an increasing awareness of design make Alessi a potential collectable.