Vintage on the Web – May 2016

Another month is drawing to a close and this year feels like it whooshing by in a flash. Are we really nearly in June? At least in England (until today!) it feels like summer is definitely on its way, but I’m keeping everything firmly crossed for a couple of weeks time when I go back to the fantastic Dig For Victory event that the sun will shine down on us. My oh-so-summery dress is now complete and I really, really want to debut it at this event, I even have my entire outfit picked out. Does anyone know of any great wizardry to make sure the rain doesn’t come?! Oh yes, anyway, on to this month’s Vintage on the Web!

Ernst L Freud 1930s House, London

For Sale – Ernst L Freud 1930s House, London

I’ve found my dream house! Isn’t it gorgeous? I spotted it on Wowhaus a few weeks ago and instantly had to go and have a nose at all the photographs. Ignore all of the modern features, especially that kitchen, as I would rip all of that out and make it very 1930s Modernist inside. I mean seriously, if I had £5,350,000 to spend on it, I’m sure I’d have a few extra pounds lying around for a complete renovation!! And besides, it has an indoor swimming pool!

However, this is such a classic Modernist design by a very well renowned architect, so you can understand the price. Ernst L Freud was an Austrian architect based in Germany and the son of the infamous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. He fled Berlin during the 1930s and moved to St John’s Wood, London where he secured a number of commissions for private houses and blocks of flats around Hampstead, including this one. The Freud Museum, which honours Sigmund Freud and his family is nearby too.

For more photos have a look on the estate agents website here. It’s also worth having a nose around the street where it’s situated on Google Maps because the whole street is filled with 1930s houses, although most are red brick, rather than the white smooth rendered facades. Just click on this link to Google Maps and head down the street. The Ernst L Freud house is number 21, although you can’t really see it due to the tall bushes in front of the house.

1920s exercise illustration

Exercise Advice for Flappers, in Gorgeous 1920s Prints

A lot of people have spotted this article for a gorgeous 1920s illustrated book that gives exercise advise to young women, I’ve seen it pop up on my Facebook feed several times, but I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. The title ‘La Culture Physique de la Femme Elégante’ or ‘Physical Culture of Elegant Women’ sounds so much more appealing than today’s fitness DVD titles such as Super Body Workout and Body Buff (sorry Davina). This book is much more likely to entice me off the sofa!

Each beautiful illustration has been hand painted in thick gouache paint before being printed for each copy of the book. This technique, called Pochoir Print, was often used in fashion plates and proved very expensive due to the manual labour it entailed. However, the result is stunning and each illustration is so beautifully vibrant and in a style that was absolutely classic in its time. I’d love to read the text that went along with these.

Coty Advert from The New Yorker 1938

Vintage Ad Browser

I’m probably the last person to come across the Vintage Ad Browser, but oh yes, what an archive! If you’re interested in social history then I highly recommend spending a bit of time on here because you can research just about anything. You want to know what dog food was available in the 1930s then go to the Animals section, or you want to find out what toys were popular for boys in the 1950s then go to the Toy section. Perhaps its hair products from the 1920s you’re interested in, then head to the Beauty and Hygiene section.

You can even have a look through hundreds of adverts for Christmas presents, decorations and food ideas. Have a good look through the pre-1980s ones and be amazed at the oh-so-gender-appropriate gifts they believe you should be buying for your other half. Who fancies a G.E. Home Freezer as a gift on Christmas Day?

Art Deco Fireplace from 20th Century Fireplaces

Twentieth Century Fireplaces

I owe this wonderful find to Mim at Crinoline Robot. She knows me well! If you’ve been visiting my blog for a while you’ll probably know that I’m turning my 1800s home into my very own piece of 1930s heaven. I have an open fireplace in the lounge and hadn’t even thought of adding a surround to it, but when Mim alerted me to Twentieth Century Fireplaces my mind went into overdrive. Needless to say, at over £1000 each, I’ve managed to talk myself out of it now because there are so many other, more important, things I need to spend my money on first, such as curtains!

This doesn’t stop me admiring these gorgeous reproduction and original period fireplaces though, all very reminiscent of the ones from the 1920s and 30s. I’d have a really hard time choosing which one to go for, I love the one I’ve featured above but there are so many beautiful designs. I particularly love the arched ones, like the Adelphi asymmetrical fireplace, and each design can be put together in your choice of colours. One day!

1920s house apron - Inside Aimee's Victorian Armoire

How To Make A 1920s’ House Apron

This gorgeous sewing how-to comes from the latest sponsor of my blog, Inside Aimee’s Victorian Armoire blog. It immediately grabbed my attention because I really want to make myself a new apron to use in my kitchen. The one I have at the moment is bright red with large white spots all over it and really doesn’t go with the colours of my newly installed kitchen. I’d love to make this 1920s one in cute floral 1930s pattern with all the lovely detailing in bright yellow. I’m now on the hunt for some the perfect fabric.

If you do head over to Aimee’s blog, check out her latest post which shows a quick and easy way to make a really gorgeous one hour 1930s top. I’m definitely adding this to my long list of things to make too. Yep, that’ll be more fabric researching then!

How It Feels To Become A Woman Voter- 1911

How It Feels To Become A Woman Voter- 1911

Lastly is great post from the Wearing History blog which shows an article that was featured in McCall’s Magazine in May 1911. It explores the observations made by a female voter in Washington State, USA of the behaviour of other women during the voting process during her first time of casting her vote. It’s actually quite an eye opener. We all think of women charging to cast their vote for the first time after being given their right to do so, but as it would appear in this article, it wasn’t all ‘Burn the Bra!’ and ‘Girl Power!’.

Please click through to the Wearing History blog to read it in full.


Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. A lover of all things old, especially the 1930s, seamstress, crocheter, maker of hats and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.


  1. Vintage Ad Browser is highly addictive. It’s also rather refreshing to see adds for weight gain (“I have plenty of dates since I’ve gained 10 pounds”). Not sure about the vacuum helmet (to prevent baldness) though . ..

    • Yes, they really did come up with some weird and wonderful inventions in the past. I’m sure I will go back to the archive again and again.

  2. Hello Cate x love the article about the house, very Hercule Poirot!! Have you visited a village called Silver End in Essex? This is where Crittal Windows where made and the whole place was built by the gentleman himself for his workers. I’ve not visited it yet but hope to this year. I also want to go Dig for Victory show but it’s a long way from me here in sunny Honeydon Bedfordshire!!

    • I’d never heard of Silver End but I’ve just had a good look at it on another blog. Oh, I would love to go there and have a nose around. It sounds like it was created on typical Modernist ideals, to create an all encompassing community with everything they need on their doorstep. Thanks for sharing it with me.

  3. Oh, I definitely need to check out the Vintage Ad Browser! Those fireplaces are so beautiful! It’s really a dream of me to get a home with a fireplace someday.

    • I’ve had a couple of homes with fireplaces but as I have a real phobia about fire I never lit them! I know it sounds stupid but I always imagined the chimney catching fire!! xx

  4. What a jaw-droppingly amazing house, and I do love vintage ads.
    I’ve been looking for a magic formula to keep the rain away too, but unfortunately no luck so far. The Dig for Victory event looks very tempting. I’m going to Wales for my holiday that week, so hopefully the sun decides to make an appearance. xxx

    • Oh it would be wonderful if you did come. I know Sarah at Porcelina Precious is going too, so do let me know if you end up going as it would be lovely to say hello! xx

  5. I had never heard of that ad browser site, or seen the exercise advice, I’m so behind on everything and out of the loop generally!
    Hope to see you at DFV, we are probably just going for a day now as we’ve both been poorly and camping might finish us off!!

    • Don’t worry, I always feel behind the times too! Sorry you’ve both been poorly, that’s not fun. We’re still not sure which day we’re going to DfV, it really depends on the weather. I’m determined to wear my new yellow dress, so the sunnier day will be the one we choose! Hope you feel better soon xx

  6. hi cate
    what a wonderful house and fireplace
    I haven’t seen the exercise plan but it looks a lot more glamourous then the gym

  7. I’ve spent a happy time looking through your links – loved Aimee’s top.

  8. Awesome links and images – that fireplace is jaw droppingly gorgeous. It’s probably a good thing, for the sake of my pocketbook, that our home doesn’t have a fireplace, or else I might be forgoing some rather bare necessities to add one of them to our humble abode. ;D

    Big hugs & happy weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    • Yes, it’s been really hard to talk myself out of buying one for my house. But I must, I must! xx

  9. I do love the flapper exercises illustrations. I didn’t know about the vintage ad browser either. I can see that getting a fair bit of use!

    • Oh, I’m glad I’m not the only one! Sometimes I feel like I’m the last to discover things like the Vintage Ad Browser. xx

  10. Hehehe, those fireplaces sure are tempting. After years of scrimping, the Mr and I are able to get what we like for our house (within reason – no mink throw rugs 😉 ) and it’s lovely. Our house is Victorian more than deco in feel, though, and the fireplaces wouldn’t work for us. We did buy a staggeringly pricy handmade marquetry mirror in Granada on holiday.

    • Yes, I’ve got to that stage now, it’s so good to get rid of the cheap Ikea furniture in my lounge and replace it with genuine 1930s pieces. It takes hell of a lot longer to get than just walking into a store and picking what you want but it’s the discovering the perfect piece that gets me all excited! It’s great to just splash out on something you really love and I can’t wait to see the mirror, that sounds amazing. xx

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