CathrineHolm Mid-Century Enamel Wonderfulness

Published on January 14, 2010 :: 8 Comments

As I have mentioned here before, I love vintage CathrineHolm enamelware.  For me the forms, colors and patterns totally evoke the whole mid-century vibe – kitschy and fun, and at the same time clean and elegant.  All I have to do is catch a glimpse of a bowl or pan, in a pile of ordinary kitchenware at a thrift store or in an auction lot, to make my heart beat a little faster.

I have a bunch of it photographed and ready to go on ebay in the next couple of weeks.  I took these group shots to share with you here.



I realized that I know next to nothing about the origin of these classic wares.  So I did a little research.  (Really, just a little.  But enough to get you started if you are curious.)  What I found was a designer named Grete Prytz Kittelsen, who was responsible for much of the iconic CathrineHolm pieces.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen

She was the granddaughter of the great Norwegian designer Jacob Tostrup, born in Oslo, Norway and educated in Paris as well as the Art Institute in Chicago. Renowned for her work with stainless steel and enamel for Cathrineholm, her design has brought her numerous awards. Her jewelry designs in silver are particularly desirable today. Her success as a designer is no surprise given her family tradition in the field. Grete and her husband Arne Korsmo were a major factor in the rise in popularity of Scandinavian Modern design in the 1940s and onward.

Now I am dying to find some of her jewelry designs.  I love the enamelware, but it is not as rare as some things.

I found this article on that made me laugh.  The author, Michele Foley, is talking about her love for mid-century cookware and says, “It seems appropriate to start with Cathrineholm of Norway since my first purchase was a single blue stockpot from its Lotus collection. Not surprisingly, Cathrineholm is the gateway drug for many enamel cookware collectors.”  So true (as a result of it not being the rarest thing in the world) and such a witty description.  She then links to leiferik2008′s amazing collection of photos on flickr.  Totally worth a look.

Through my friend Scott of ars longa (he of the impeccable taste in chairs) I found a flickr group dedicated to Cathrineholm designs.  More wonderful eye candy.  Like this:

enamel on flickr

(Find this gorgeous photo and more in studiosmith’s photostream)

So if you haven’t started your CathrineHolm collection yet, you can buy some from me on ebay.  I’ll let you know when its listed.

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  • Camille D. Wilson

    I LOVE your article – fun and informative! I JUST discovered Cathrineholm and am HOOKED! I included a link back to your post from my blog:

  • berylmullineux

    I have had a set of cathrineholm enamelware since the 1970 still using them and the spalds

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  • Barry A. Smith

    Be nice to have a link back, Hilary. Thanks. The image is here.

  • Hilary

    Done. Sorry, and thank you.

  • 5101jmkw

    I have seen a Cathrinholm enamel bowl on ebay that they describe as being from Sweden. Was it also made in Sweden or is this a seller’s error.