織田コレクション ロゴ Oda Collection Logo

Episode 4

200,000 yen just for the pot. One by one, it took 20 years collecting almost all items.

Gertrud Vasegaard
Capella (1975)

“Capella” is a newer serios among Vasegaard’s work. Older ones include “Tea Set (1956)”, “Gemma (1962)”, and “Gemini (1962)”, among which Mr. Oda says he likes Capella the best. Since it was only made in small quantities by Royal Copenhagen, it was difficult to find it on the market, and Mr. Oda had to spend a lot of time and money to collect them.

The first thing I found was the Pot.
It was 200,000 yen at “Lystig” in Kita-Aoyama.

“If this series come in, be sure to let me know.” I don’t know how many years I had waited since I sent a photo from the 200-year history of Royal Copenhagen to the antique shop “LYSTIG” in Kita-Aoyama and asked them to contact me when it came in. One day, I got a call saying “a teapot had been found” and this was the first item in my collection of Capellas. The tableware series “Capella” designed by Gertrud Vasegaard in 1975 was influenced by Japan, and while it has a modern Scandinavian design, the shape of the handle of the pot and the use of rattan etc. You can feel the harmony in the interior.

Plain white vessels are not decorative, so the only way to make them stand out is the shape. If you look closely, this teapot has a slightly oval shape and is not flashy at all, but its skin is white with a slight gray tinge, almost like white porcelain, and is indescribably beautiful. Speaking of white, the white of “Domino” is also beautiful. A lustrous, deep ivory white that is likened to the smooth skin of a woman. There are many words for white in Japan, but the Alaskan Inuit, who live in snow and ice, have 150 expressions, such as “glacier white”, which is an image of a glacier.

The reason why there are few “Capella”
Because “modern” is considered as a risk.

Even if designer thinks this design is good, it often happens that it does not go on sale if it doesn’t follow the direction of the manufacturer, or even if it does, it is produced in small quantities. Royal Copenhagen, which manufactures “Capella”, has the best selling “Blue Fluted” by Arnold Krog, who laid the foundation for the company, and like many famous European kilns, they tend to avoid modern ones. Meissen is almost non-modern. Therefore, the “Capella” was also short-lived and expensive because it did not hit the market. For manufacturers, it is precisely because there is a series that earns money that they can go on adventures, but that’s why modern is “dangerous”. This is probably because Europe has a deep-rooted culture of respecting old things. In England, even older cars are taxed less.

I had only seen that “Capella” in print for a long time. The first time I saw the real thing was at the Design Museum in Copenhagen. This was the only time I’ve seen a pot and creamer, a cup and saucer, and a casserole. After I got the pot, a copywriter friend who has a hobby of researching daily necessities from Northern Europe told me, 2That store in Denmark sells casseroles and plates!” I did’t have credit cards, so I asked my daughter to buy it for me. In this way, I gradually purchased one item at a time, and it took 20 years to complete almost all items.

The display of daily necessities should be in a group.
That’s why I collected the series.

Daily necessities are designed by a single designer in various variations according to the purpose, and it is worth seeing when it comes together as a whole. I want many people to see the diverse designs at the exhibition. The splendor of “daily necessities with artistry” cannot be conveyed by exhibitions like works of art.

When choosing what to exhibit, I always draw a freehand map of the venue. Based on the exhibition list selected according to the theme, I check the dimensions of each item, which chair, which table goes where, lighting here, daily necessities here, and so on and I adjust all of them and decide.

Even if it’s uncomfortable to use, it’s ok.
You can say love is blind (laugh).

I use the furniture and lighting from the collection at home, but I can’t quite use the tableware. Because if you break it, you will never get it again. That’s why I end up buying multiple things that I want to use (laugh). Easy to use? It doesn’t matter. I like it even if it’s uncomfortable to use.

Of course, when I lead them to an exhibition, I ask them to handle with special care. Kay Bojesen’s coffee service set (P.213) in the catalog of this “Nordic Design Exhibition”. I have bitter memories of this. When I came back from one exhibition, the mouth of the pot was missing. I couldn’t help it, so I searched for a broken set at an auction in Denmark and bought it again. Vasegaard’s tea set (P.250) also had a broken handle when I unpacked it after I finished renting it. This is the saddest thing about tableware, and it’s hard to prevent that from happening. We are devising such as making a special box so that it will never break. Come to think of it, the dozens of packing materials that Nippon Express brought in this time, sandwiched between cushions, were good. Both the tools and the skill are truly professional work. The cotton futon wrapped in Japanese paper was also convenient, so I asked for it and left it for the next time.

Actually, I started collecting daily necessities
before I started collecting chairs.

People tend to think that my chair collection has expanded to include everyday items, but the fact is, it’s opposite. Since I graduated from University and joined Takashimaya, I have loved tableware and bought it often. After all, there are many Scandinavian products, and the Dansk pot that I exhibited this time is one of them. The bread plate for breakfast that I still use at home is from Norway’s “Porsgrund”. I’ve been using it for over 50 years, so the pattern on the plate is worn out, but I like it because it’s just the right size. I’ve also been using the movable Italian lighting under the atrium of my house for 50 years while fixing it myself.

When I was newlyweds, I found a Danske fondue set in town. I don’t hesitate to buy a good one, but when I saw it, it was 50,000 yen to 60,000 yen with the warmer set. I remember spending all the money I had at that time, and I was sweating hard to see if I could barely have enough money, but I was able to buy it. After that I kept buying it because it was “beautiful” and the number gradually increased. And since I decided to pursue the path of a researcher, my collection continues to grow due to my sense of mission.

March 6th, 2023 Centpure (Higashikawa)
Interviewer: Kano Nishikawa

After the interview

This photo was taken when I interviewed Mr. Oda for the first time. The date was the summer of 1991 and the location was CondeHouse. It seems that Mr. Oda is holding the water droplets on the glass with a handkerchief. That’s so him! (laugh). It’s been over 30 years since then. He teaches me the importance of living a mindful life every day. Even now, there are times when I am taken back by what he said when he gave me a foliage plant. “Plants need a little bit of love. Don’t be without it.”

Copywriter Kano Nishikawa
After working at a design office in Tokyo and Sapporo, I started working as a freelancer in Asahikawa in 2001. Until now, I have been involved in the production of advertisements for local companies and organizations, including Asahikawa Furniture. I have known Mr. Oda for about 30 years through my work.


Episode 5: I happened to meet what I once gave up 30 years later. After all, God is watching.


Life at Oda’s Residence — 織田邸の暮らし



Copyright © Oda Collection Organization


Life at Oda’s Residence


A collection of memories by Mr. Noritsugu Oda 12

Copyright © Oda Collection Organization