Toothand Claw is not, by any means, the only e-store promising to bring us vintagelighting and home accessories – “vintage” is the buzziest of buzz words ininterior circles. However, the founders of this site, Andrea Websterand Jamie Carless, have a quirky aesthetic honed in the subcultures of thefashion and music scenes, so their take on the vintage look is refreshinglyoriginal. The period they deal in – 1920s to 1970s – may be familiar but thepieces are not: forget clean-lined, midcentury Scandinavian modernism andthink stylised 1950s lamp stands made from brass and pottery (midcenturymodernist American 1950s Thunderbird lamps, £165) and boudoir chicleatherette stools (1950s Chesterfield-style waisted stool, £90; third picture).
Thesite is divided into nine departments ranging from “Art and Objet” through to“Living Room”, via “Barwear”, “Bedroom/Bathroom”, “Dining/Tableware”, “Gifts for Her”, “Gifts for Him”, “Kitchen” and“Lighting”. However, this is not a place for targeted shopping – notmany consumers would arrive at the site knowing they wanted a 1930s tie pressfor example (£35) but having seen those decorative nautical stars and sectionsof inlaid burr walnut veneer, few would be able to resist adding it to theirbasket, especially during the festive season.
The1930s Odeon art-deco decanter and shot glasses (first picture, £85) and midcentury glass andcopper coffee set (second picture, £60) would also make ideal gifts. This latter piece was madeby German glass manufacturer Jena Schott Mainz, who was instrumental in theBauhaus movement and produced heatproof glass for teapots designed by WilhelmWagenfeld – facts to be discovered by clicking on “open item description”.Background information is a vital part of the vintage shopping experience andthese product biographies have been written with considerable care. Webster andCarless clearly know and love their specialism.
Virtualvintage stores often never quite capture the dusty charms of theirbricks-and-mortar siblings but Tooth and Claw, with its low-lit home page anddistinctive voice, comes pretty close.