Sitting on a contemporary Danish teak tray, this small group of tableware and cutlery are typical of Scandi homewares very popular here in the 1960s. The stonewares were made the Finnish firm Arabia and are in their Ruska design, whilst the cutlery is by the Swedish company Gense and are from their Focus De Luxe range originally designed by Folke Arstrom in 1955.
Ruska made a full range of tablewares for the breakfast, tea and dining table. When originally sold, they were fairly expensively priced and I recall buying pieces for my eldest sister’s wedding in 1968 – I couldnt afford many! Ironically, a generation on, sets frequently turn up modestly priced in charity shops – as did our own. Gense were and remain top quality makers, their Focus De Luxe range proving award winning, and indeed was named a design classic of the period by a leading US newspaper.
They both display well with Danish made teak wood wares, this condiments set with smoked glass oil and vinegar containers and mixing bowl being a good quality example. Russells were not the only UK manufacturer to be influenced by Scandi design: the electric mantelpiece clock below made by Smiths is a classic example.