I took them out of the bag, and found the most gorgeous and amazing set of golden flax-colored napkins. My photographs do not do them justice:
They were never used and are in absolute mint condition. I could not help but take them home, and that was before I knew anything about the designer. I knew that they were napkins ("servetter" is similar to the French "serviette") but I could not fully translate the Finnish label with Google's language tools. So I turned to my bloggy friend Ulla for help (by the way, she showcases some fabulous stuff for Vintage Thingies Thursday). She kindly translated the label for me, and pointed me in the right direction regarding the designer and manufacturer.
Dora Jung, a famous and important Finnish textile designer who worked for the manufacturer Tampella from 1936-1941 and from 1956 to 1972. This lovely set was made between 1970-1973. She designed textiles for home use, but also designed and weaved linens for churches and made artistic displays for public works projects. You can see more examples of her textile design work here, including the pink version of Valmu and an incredibly wonderful peacock napkin that she designed a little earlier.
Ulla assures me that no tablecloth was designed to match this set of napkins, and if there had been, I would surely want one. I also love her "100 Roses" tablecloth and napkin set, as many of the items I collect feature tea roses:
However, I have the sneaking suspicion that her tablecloths are fairly rare and are probably out of my reach. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston recently acquired three of her tablecloths. Of course, her large commissioned tapestries fetch thousands of dollars. Several were sold by Christie's a few years ago.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of Vintage Thingies Thursday. All in all, this was truly a fortunate find! Readers, I'd love to hear what you think about Dora Jung's work!
100 Roses and Dora Jung photos courtesy of Finnishdesign.fl.