Congo Ice Bucket (Teak, 1955)
In recent months, Jens H Quistgaard has quickly risen to become one of my favorite designers. Last week one of his most famous designs, the “Congo Ice Bucket”, came up for sale on Ebay–not a rare occurrence–but this one caught my eye. The “buy it now” price was a fair $120. Unfortunately I could not come up with a valid reason for spending $120 for an ice bucket, especially considering the decades of water damage seen in the poor quality photos the seller managed to post. He obviously just got it from an estate sale and was looking for a quick sell, so I made a low ball offer of 50 bucks, and he actually accepted it. My faith in Ebay is restored!
The teak ice bucket was inspired by the hulls of viking ships.
Quistgaard revived an old method of barrel-making for his teak ice buckets, and in the process rescued a barrel-making factory in Jutland from going out of business.
What I think sold me on this ice bucket was that I believe it’s one of the earliest versions that was made. It’s marked made in “Danmark” as oppose to “Denmark”, labeled “staved teak”, the IHQ signature instead of the JHQ and it sports an early version of the Dansk “Ducks” logo. (The ice bucket wasn’t yet tailored to the American market). The bucket itself is the larger sized version of the ice bucket standing 19″ tall, I’ve read these taller ice buckets are much harder to find.
The bucket arrived last night in a pretty sad state, but armed with my teak oil, steel wool, and paper towels I think I managed to bring it back to life.