vintage: candle holder from hanova of pasadena

Hanova of Pasadena Enamelware candle holder

This funky candle holder was purchased by my mother somewhere in Wisconsin (probably in Madison) sometime in the early to mid-70’s. I remember it hanging on our back deck.

Our deck was a magical place: it ran the length of our house and overlooked a large backyard, complete with a rock garden, a tree swing, a crabapple tree, tons of tulips, perfect peonies populated by ants, and small vegetable garden where lettuce thrived and rhubarb stood sentry. All of this was perfectly maintained by my parents. Our backyard abutted The Woods, in comparison a wild and scary place, where there were raspberry thickets, several trails, and weird “hippies” wandering out of them at strange times. The fact that The Woods contained bears is either 100 percent true or 100 percent false: maybe there had been sightings or maybe this was just a way to keep me, my brother, and our friends from going down into them too far, un-attended.

The point is that our house was a modest ranch from the front, but in the back it was kind of an unexpected wonderland. Our deck presided over all of it. I could pretend the deck was a stage and the trees of The Woods were my audience; they were always quick to give a standing ovation. I could recline on the lounge chairs to sunbathe with my mother, like her, balancing those teeny-tiny sunglasses over my eyes. I could wave down to my father as he made short work of the grass on his riding mower. Before my parents divorced, we ate out on the deck most nights of the summer: steak my father had grilled, and salad my mother composed from that day’s garden pickin’s.

Hanova of Pasadena close up

Throughout it all, this blue candle holder hung from an over-hang located above a huge rectangular bin my mother jokingly called “the coffin.” This was built with wood by my father and held all the patio furniture and cushions during the winter months. In the summer, the coffin’s white smooth surface double-timed as a perfect serving area for hors d’oeuvres when my parents were entertaining.

The candle holder was one of many unique items with which my parents decorated our home. I didn’t give it much thought…until I saw it again as an adult. In an attempt to clear out her basement last year, my mother offered it to me along with several other items. It took it gladly and with reverence. And gradually, I have fallen in love with it, both for its sculptural quality and for the little slice of our family’s past that it represents.

Hanova of Pasadena

The foil sticker, though somewhat compromised by age, led me to an internet search. This is apparently enamelware made of steel produced mostly in the 60’s and 70’s: the splotchy or bubbly glaze is typical of Hanova of Pasadena, which also produced planters, bowls, plates, etc. You can see a lot of different styles and colors of this great enamelware here. It hasn’t been easy to find out too much about the company: except, in response to a post on the wonderful A La Modern website, someone wrote in saying that Hanova was her father’s company and that it was a hobby of his in retirement.

That’s about all I know. I love that it’s made in the USA. I love that it’s blue (my mother’s favorite color) and love how it looks in our 1965 home. We have it above our fireplace (though we tried it out in several other locations until deciding on this one).

Hanova of Pasedena Enamel Candle Holder above fireplace

Do you happen to have any Hanova? Do you know anything else about it?

This post kicks off a new “vintage” section here at the home tome (see categories in the header above). In the coming months, I am going to feature some of our favorite finds from yesteryear.

29 replies

    • Thank you re:retro – my mom does have a good eye – a stroll through your blog tells me that you have a great eye yourself!

      Yes, we are digging it above the fireplace – doubtful that we’ll ever light the candles though, since they’re so close to the brick and we don’t want to discolor it…

      Thanks for visiting ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yes, the Hanova red glazes and green glazes are also really cool – I can see them in your MCM jewel. I like the crackly nature of them. Would love to know more about the company – doesn’t seem like this stuff was in production too long…feeling lucky to have one! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yes, do more vintage-ness Suzanne! I KNOW you’ve got some treasures. I was going to declare a “vintage month” but then I realized I’d probably want to draw it out a lot longer than that – I will not be hemmed in!

    • Thanks Alex – got some good topics on deck here. Stay tuned for a piece on my dining room chairs from yesteryear (I am just waiting for a bright enough day to take a good pic of them! It has been so rainy and gloomy here…)

      Looking forward to your new newness at the new domain…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. just wow. i LOVE that piece. it IS beautiful and i love the color, too!! so glad your mother hung onto this one. what a great hand-me-down. and i live in pasadena!! ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for sharing your great piece with all of us. i’m going to keep my eyes open for hanova!

    • Thank you S&S! I bet there is a lot of Hanova still floating around Pasadena? Now that Iโ€™ve done a teeny bit of research on it, it seems pretty distinctive and easy to spot. Let me know if you stumble upon some. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Great post Jocelyn!!! So honored to be able to live with the piece. Every time I look at it, it represents the brilliance of my mother-in-law, Barbara Cox – her true vision, style and contemporary elegance – many, many thanks Barbara!!

    • Thank YOU for appreciating her style: She is lucky to have such a kind son in law and she knows it. I have always admired her panache – hope I can maintain it as much as she has in her later years. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. What a cool story and fun memory to have in your home. It looks really pretty against the white brick of your fireplace and I’m sure it will be a great conversation piece. Has your mom seen it up in your place yet? I’d be curious to hear what she thinks of it’s new home. Thanks for sharing.

  4. That candle holder is awesome, and what wonderful memories attached to it. That deck sounds like it was awesome, but minus the weird “hippies”.

    • Ha! I know, they were just harmless guys, but it was weird to see them emerging from the woods and walking across our lawn. As a kid, it certainly added to the mystery/fear of the woods.

  5. Mmm. Your deck-story made me nostalgic for my own parentโ€™s deck. Although we didnโ€™t have bears, my brother was chased by a raccoon once. And if you didnโ€™t wear shoes youโ€™d end up digging splinters out of your footโ€ฆ

    When you were a kid, did your parents actually light the candles, or was it more just for decor? The color and the style look perfect over your fireplace. Clean and simple but different.

    • Oh, the splinters! The wildlife! Getting chased by a raccoon – probably funny in retrospect but terrifying at the time.

      Yes, my parents did light the candles – it was hanging far enough out from all the walls, and low enough from the overhang, but I am sure they kept an eye on it, too. At least in this location, I doubt we’ll ever light the candles (which I think is a shame, but…)

  6. How wonderful that it’s now in your home and displayed with such style. I love the memory of little things that were always “around” our house when I was growing up. Your mom obviously had a good idea for unique and beautiful items. It’s perfectly displayed on it’s own against the white brick. It stands out and demands attention. It certainly got mine. I LOVE IT!
    I’ll definitely enjoy the new “vintage” section. What a treat!

    • Thanks Stacey! Yes, it sure wouldn’t have stood out as well against regular color brick (though that would probably be more in keeping with the 60’s/70’s in some way…)

      It is amazing how much meaning objects can hold…and what stories they can stir up. Your house certainly seems chock full of meaningful pieces (not to mention the whole place itself!) ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you so much for the info – excellent detective work! I spied my double candle holder in one of the vintage brochure pix ๐Ÿ™‚ Really appreciate you sharing – it really is beautiful stuff. It’s interesting how it transformed/evolved over the years (i.e. the stripes and the birds, AND the aliens!)

  7. I have an alien! Actually, my Grandfather, Erwin Prust, one of the founders gave it to me when I was young! I’ve honestly never seen any more except for what my Mother has. I’m guessing that Rebecca got the brochures from my Uncle as he used to work at the foundry! I so love how the popularity is growing – in my family as well – my oldest has also become a Hanova addi… collector ๐Ÿ˜‰ and will pass on the pieces that she acquires as family heirlooms. Keep collecting everyone!!!

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