Cathrineholm Collector’s Guide (Especially for the Lotus Fans!)

You never forget your first—the first time you see a piece of Cathrineholm enamelware. Mine was a royal blue teapot with white lotus leaves, and I was in love.

I wanted to learn more about these mid-century collectibles, but the Wikipedia page was blank. BLANK! So I did an internet deep-dive, scoured eBay listings and checked out a stack of library books.

Here’s what I learned about the history of Cathrineholm and how to collect the popular lotus enamelware today.

Note: This article contains affiliate links. See my disclosures for details.


History of Cathrineholm

The first thing you need to know: Cathrineholm was not a person. Yep, there’s no “Cathrine Holm.”

Cathrineholm was a factory based in Halden, Norway. It started as an ironworks around 1827, before transitioning to the more modern enamelware in 1907 and eventually closing down around 1972.

Tower of Cathrineholm lotus enamelware with coffee pot, saucepan and casserole

As an enamelware company, Cathrineholm produced a variety of dishes over the decades. Their most popular line hit the market in the 1960s: the mid-century modern lotus series.

That Magical Lotus

“White as porcelain—harder than steel!” said one advertisement.

These colorful dishes came in a range of mod colors adorned in lotus leaves. Swoon.

Stack of Cathrineholm bowls in blue, lime and pink lotus - photo by Courtney Mitchell
Vintage kitty with stack of Cathrineholm lotus bowls in blue, lime and pink (photo credit: Courtney Mitchell / @modmama77)

People have loved these for decades. But you know who didn’t love them? One of the designers.

The primary artist behind Cathrineholm’s lotus enamelware was Grete Prytz Kittelsen. She designed the dish forms and colors, and Arne Clausen designed the iconic lotus leaf that the factory added to them.

Kittelsen wasn’t bit by the lotus fanatic bug. When she was interviewed in the early 2000s for the book Grete Prytz Kittelsen: The Art of Enamel Design, she had this to say:

“I still don’t like the pattern used most frequently on items produced in the mid-1960s, Lotus. Oh, God, how I fought against those lotus leaves then!”

– Grete Prytz Kittelsen

Even though she never cared for the lotus, she was happy to see that vintage Cathrineholm pieces were still in use.

Collectors can take their pick between the solid and patterned enamelware that she created for Cathrineholm. And that was only a portion of her career as a prolific designer in the Scandinavian modern movement.

You can learn more about Kittelsen in this book and check out the online tour of her mid-century home (not a lotus to be found).


Collecting Cathrineholm Enamelware

Luckily for collectors, there are lots of Cathrineholm fans preserving and reselling the vintage enamelware. Here’s what you need to know to start and expand your collection.

Check the Condition

The Cathrineholm factory polished the enamel coating off the top rim of its enamelware to help prevent chipping. While there may be minor wear and tear after 6+ decades, it’s possible to find pieces in excellent shape.

Big chips and scratches should come with lower pricing.

Inspect the Lotus Shape

If you’re buying a lotus piece, inspect the design closely.

You’ll notice the authentic lotus shape is wider toward the top and narrower on the bottom, like a leaf or petal.

Cathrineholm coffee pot displayed with Nordicana book in mid-century modern living room

I’ve seen some knockoffs listed for non-knockoff prices, claiming to be authentic. You can usually spot the reproductions when they have a lotus shape that is widest in the middle, more like a coffee bean.

Look for a Complete Piece

Sometimes the casseroles are missing a lid, the saucepans are missing a handle, or the fondue sets are missing a burner stand.

They might still be worth adding to your collection, but they should be priced accordingly. You can see what came with each piece below.

Logo or No Logo?

You’ll find the Cathrineholm logo on the bottom of some dishes, but not all. The ones without a stamped logo came with paper tags, which are occasionally included in a listing.

It’s OK if you don’t see the logo. Look for the classic forms and colors of Cathrineholm, in enamel-coated steel (or aluminum in the case of the canisters and spice cans).

Cathrineholm Lotus Color Chart

So. Many. Colors.

There are lotus dishes in black, brown, pink and nearly any color of the rainbow except purple. I have confirmed that all of the colors in this chart exist within the lotus line, though some are very uncommon.

Cathrineholm lotus color chart showing the available colors

Most of the lotus dishes have white petals on a single-color background, or single-color petals on a white background. Some come in the two-tone options of lime on lemon or turquoise blue on sky blue.

The French blue is incredibly rare, but I have seen that electric color. The more common blues are turquoise (like a country blue) and royal (like a cobalt or navy).

If you come across many red pieces, you might notice there is a dark brick red and a lighter cherry red. There is also a true orange, as well as a red orange that people sometimes mistake for red.

You won’t have a problem spotting the yellow.

Yellow and white Cathrineholm teapot and butter warmer at LookModern store in Portland
Yellow teapot and butter warmer at LookModern in Portland.

The greens are more complicated.

Avocado is the common medium green. Olive is the darker kind of army green. And butterscotch is a light yellow green that goes by many names, including mustard green, tan, beige and wheat.

To further complicate things, there’s a rare lime green, and a two-tone lemon lime.

Can you tell which green is which in this photo? From left to right in the second row, it’s butterscotch, olive and avocado.

Collection of Cathrineholm scampi dishes in multiple colors - photo by Alexa Greaves
Rainbow assortment of Cathrineholm scampi dishes (photo credit: Alexa Greaves / @lexalulaa)

Not every piece comes in every color or combo.

Many of the brown pieces only have white lotus leaves on a brown background, but not the reverse, with the exception of the omelet pan. Black on white pieces are very hard to find and might have only been samples that were not mass produced.

According to an old Cathrineholm color chart, there might also be a vibrant apple green, a beige that’s lighter than the butterscotch, and an additional blue, but I couldn’t confirm that.

Cathrineholm Lotus Dishes

These are the dishes Cathrineholm produced for the lotus series. Some of these also came in other patterns or solid colors.

Bowls, Plates & Platters

  • Bowl: 6 sizes (approximately 4-inch, 5.5-inch, 7-1/8-inch, 7-7/8-inch, 9.5-inch and 11-inch)
  • Dip Set: Wood serving tray holding a matching set of three snack bowls
  • Plate: 3 sizes (approximately 7-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch); has large lotus leaves that nearly meet in the middle to form a complete flower
  • Scampi Dish: 8-5/8-inch serving dish; has small leaves along the rim with enamel handles on either side
Cartoon sketch of Cathrineholm bowls and plates

Some bowls have big lotus leaves, stretching nearly from the bottom to the top of the bowl, while others have smaller lotus leaves along the rim of the bowl.

Outside of the lotus line, some bowls came in the stripe design seen below, which pairs well with the lotus.

Cathrineholm bowls in multiple sizes and colors displayed on shelves - photo by Alexa Greaves
Colorful display of Cathrineholm lotus and stripe bowls, including the two-tone lotus options (photo credit: Alexa Greaves / @lexalulaa)

You might find vintage porcelain plates with small lotus petals along the rim. Those could be from Lyngby Porcelain, a Danish company that licensed the lotus pattern.

Tea Kettles and Coffee Pots

  • Teapot: 2 sizes (1.5-quart and 2-quart); stout, cylindrical shape and metal handle over the top
  • Coffee Pot: 1.5-quart; wider on the bottom, with black plastic handle on the side
  • Percolator: 8-cup; tall cylindrical shape; has lid and aluminum percolator insert
Cartoon sketch of Cathrineholm tea kettles and coffee pots

The coffee pot also functions as a tea kettle and is sometimes listed that way online.

Isn’t she a beauty?

Cookware

  • Saucepan: 3 sizes (1-quart, 1.5-quart and 2-quart); has lid and long handle
  • Casserole/Dutch Oven: 7 sizes (1-quart, 2-quart, 2.5-quart, 3-quart, 3.5-quart, 5-quart and 8-quart); has lid and short handles on each side
  • Lasagna Pan/Oven Dish: 14 x 9-inch; has optional stand
  • Skillet/Frying Pan: 2 sizes (8-inch and 10-inch); has lid and long handle
  • Omelet Pan: Has long handle and no lid, with a little spout on one side and lotus leaves inside the pan instead of outside like the other cookware
  • Chicken Fryer: Often called the stock pot, this piece is indented along the bottom, with a lid and two short handles on each side; originally it came with a deep fryer basket inside
Cartoon sketch of Cathrineholm cookware

The lasagna pan sometimes has the lotus petals just on the front and back, and sometimes all the way around the sides as well. The stand was an optional add-on, so a lasagna pan listed without the stand isn’t necessarily incomplete.

Cathrineholm brown and white lotus lasagna pan with stand in front of mid-century painting
Think of all the tasty dishes that were served in this lasagna pan! Pictured with a painting by my great grandma, Charlotte Locke.

Fondue & Warming Sets

  • Lotus Fondue Set: Rounded trapezoid/gumdrop shape with lid, long handle and burner stand; optional tray add-on
  • Viking Fondue Set: Spherical shape complete with lid, burner, stand and tray
  • Butter Warmer: Stout little dish with handle; optional warming stand to place a candle below
Cartoon sketch of Cathrineholm butter warmer and fondue sets

The space-age-y viking fondue set was advertised with the lotus line, even though it doesn’t have the typical lotus pattern.

I imagine they included it because it looks gorgeous next to the lotus. You can find additional Cathrineholm dishes with the viking pattern to match.

Cathrineholm black and white fondue sets - photo by Alexa Greaves
Cathrineholm lotus and viking fondue sets with original stands (photo credit: Alexa Greaves / @lexalulaa)

Cathrineholm fondue pots are sometimes sold without the stand, or with a generic replacement stand.

There are also fondue fork add-ons that occasionally appear in listings.

Other kitchen Supplies

  • Canisters: 4 sizes in complete set; made in Japan with aluminum (source)
  • Salt and Pepper Shakers: Conical shape with narrow top
  • Spice Cans: Cylindrical shape with lip near the top to fit in rack; optional 1-, 2- or 3-tier spice rack add-on; made in Japan with aluminum
  • Ice Bucket: 2 sizes (3.5-quart and 4-quart); has lid and handle
Cartoon sketch of Cathrineholm canisters, shakers, spice cans and ice bucket

Other Patterns and Solid-Color Enamelware

There’s a whole world of Cathrineholm enamelware beyond the lotus.

As mentioned, there are the viking and stripe designs. There’s the square design commonly called the flag, as well as the Saturn ring and Celebration stripe designs, among others.

It’s also possible to get the brightly colored enamelware, sans pattern. Try searching for Cathrineholm Holland or Cathrineholm Galloping Gourmet for solid colors.


Where to Buy Cathrineholm Pieces

You can start your collection right now if you want to drop some dollars online. Vintage resellers are stocked with Cathrineholm, but the price tags and shipping costs can be hard to swallow.

  • eBay: They have a big selection rotating through all the time.
  • Etsy: Choose from a number of options, as well as Cathrineholm-inspired jewelry, decor and other reproductions.
  • Facebook Marketplace: For now they have less of a selection but seem to have slightly lower prices, and you can avoid shipping if you buy locally.
Cathrineholm and Dansk mid-century modern enamelware display at LookModern store in Portland
Cathrineholm and Dansk enamelware at LookModern in Portland.

To score a better deal, you need patience and a hunter’s spirit—or just plain luck—to track down Cathrineholm on the ground. Here are some places to look.

  • Antique Stores: This is your best bet for finding Cathrineholm offline, since many carry mid-century wares. Antique stores might be pricier than garage sales, but they are typically cheaper than online sellers.
  • Garage and Estate Sales: You’ll probably find a deal if you can manage to locate Cathrineholm at a garage or estate sale. Increase your odds by looking for sales at 1950s, ‘60s or ‘70s houses that are more likely to be stuffed with mid-century goods.
  • Thrift Stores: I keep searching for that once-in-a-lifetime score at Goodwill. Maybe someday!

Location plays a role, too. I’ve heard Cathrineholm was more popular in some parts of the country than in others. If your region is lacking in mid-century antiques, hit the road.

Mid-century modern enamelware display at Midtown Mod store in Portland
Orange and butterscotch casseroles nestled among other collectibles at Midtown Mod in Portland.

You can also join a Facebook group like this one to buy and sell Cathrineholm products and learn more about mid-century enamelware.

Cathrineholm Pricing

These days, I’d be thrilled to find a piece of Cathrineholm enamelware in good condition for under $50. They are high-quality dishes, and there’s a limited amount out there, so you have to decide what feels comfortable for you.

The best way to find the going rate for a piece is to do an advanced eBay search showing only the sold items. That way you can see what people are actually paying right now. The prices fluctuate wildly for different colors and dishes.

These are my personal guidelines for lotus shopping.

  • Under $50? Buy it. If you like it and it’s in decent condition, this is a great price online, and I’d expect it to be on the lower end at a garage sale. I still see people finding pieces under $10 at thrift stores all the time…lucky souls!
  • $50-100? Consider it. If you love it and it’s in good condition, this is a fair price online. There’s a big selection within this range.
  • Over $100? Maybe pass on it. Unless it’s REALLY special. The $100+ listings might be worth it to someone looking for an exact color to complete a collection.

Some pieces would be very difficult to find under $100 online. For example, I think my husband ventured into the “over $100” category to track down this coffee pot for my birthday. Totally worth it.

Cathrineholm orange and white coffee pot with houseplant and mid-century cat

It’s a question of whether you’d rather spend more time or more money collecting Cathrineholm.

Personally, I love the hunt! With some time and weekend thrift shopping, I hope you can collect and preserve these pieces without refinancing your house.

Cathrineholm Lotus Alternatives

In addition to the Cathrineholm products, there are other places to score a lotus. Some companies licensed the authentic lotus pattern to use on their dishes.

Deka Plastics

This plastics company produced cheerful plastic bowls in bright colors with the lotus. Perfect for your next potluck!

Lyngby Porcelain / Lyngby Porcelæn

This Danish company used to make porcelain lotus-ware. You might be able to find their vintage dinner plates, teacups and saucers with the pattern.

A Lyngby plate has small lotus leaves along the rim vs. the large leaves on Cathrineholm plates.

Lucie Kaas

Hold the phone! This Danish company is selling new lotus dinnerware NOW! They worked with Arne Clausen’s family to create this product line, so you can stock your whole kitchen.

North American shoppers can also order Lucie Kaas lotus dishes from this U.S. reseller or this Canadian reseller.


How to Display Your Cathrineholm Collection

Stack of 9.5-inch and 4-inch Cathrineholm lotus bowls in butterscotch color

A few ideas…

  • To stack the bowls by size with the biggest on the bottom, smallest on top, you can put something in each bowl to hold up the smaller bowl above.
  • You can put the bottom bowl upside down to hold the smaller bowl above it.
  • Alternatively, some people stack smallest on the bottom to biggest on the top, so the little bowls hold up the big bowls.
  • The plates can make a glorious gallery wall using invisible hangers, or you can prop them up with display stands on a shelf or countertop.
  • Cathrineholm products look beautiful with other mid-century enamelware and dishes, especially organized by color.
  • Search #cathrineholm on Instagram for endless inspiration.
Mid-century modern shelf display with Cathrineholm coffee pot and Eames book

Your hutch or floating shelf is the perfect spot for a Cathrineholm display.

Or for a smaller collection, try placing pieces in their natural environment throughout the house. I have a coffee pot on my stovetop, a lasagna pan on my air fryer and a scampi dish on my coffee table.

Cleaning Cathrineholm Enamelware

I mostly stick to soapy water and a soft sponge or cloth when cleaning Cathrineholm dishes. Be gentle to avoid scratching the enamel surface, and dry everything right away to prevent rust.

Cathrineholm cookware typically comes with these removable metal ring handles around the top. This is a common spot for rust to build up.

Removing the ring handles to clean Cathrineholm casserole and saucepan

Related: How to test your vintage dishes for lead

When I bring home a casserole or saucepan, I like to carefully remove the ring and give it a good cleaning. Dry it completely, put the ring back and try to keep it dry.

Just be very careful if you decide to remove and clean the metal rings. They are snug, and they can scratch the sides of the cookware. It’s something I don’t plan to do very often, but just as needed to stop the spread of rust.

Cathrineholm lotus cookware with blue saucepan and butterscotch casserole

There are more vintage enamelware cleaning tips here that you might want to try for tougher stains.

Keeping the Lotus Alive

While you’re working on that collection, there are still ways to add a little lotus style to your home. Check Amazon or Etsy for prints, mugs, towels and more fun reproductions.

Lotus Clock

Lotus Tote Bag

Nordicana Book

Did I miss anything? Do you remember seeing Cathrineholm in the ‘60s? Let me know in the comments!


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37 thoughts on “Cathrineholm Collector’s Guide (Especially for the Lotus Fans!)”

  1. WOW!! I loved reading and learning all this great info about the Cathrineholm collection. It is a great midcentury collection…and will be fun for you guys to “hunt” and “conquer” checking out antique and thrift stores. (you do never know what you might find..there are some real treasures out there!) I love the pieces you have gotten so far….what is or are the next ones on your radar?! 😉

    Reply
    • All of the Cathrineholm products are so beautiful and addicting. I’m obsessed! Up next I’m looking for the fondue sets, and I’d like to get some bowls and plates. Searching the antique and thrift stores is so much fun. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Hi Tara, Thanks for doing this writeup! I’ve been curious about Cathrineholm since I picked up an olive green bowl at a thrift store ($3.99!) about 10 years ago. It’s a little different and I can’t find others like it online. First off, it has no pattern at all, just green. It has a round metal (stainless steel?) ‘medallion’ in the center of the bottom of the bowl, with the company stamp in it. At the base of the bowl is a footer (not sure what to call it) that the bowl sits on. Have you seen these? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Sally, congrats on the great thrift store find! That sounds like the lid to the globe/viking fondue. The lid is a solid color, with the steel knob on top and the medallion inside. A lot of CH lids have that “medallion” stamp inside. You can see some pics of the separate lid in fondue listings like this one: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1079183939/vintage-cathrineholm-viking-pattern

      I’ve seen people use the lid like a bowl, it’s adorable! Or over time you might be able to find some more individual fondue pieces to complete the set.

      Reply
      • Haha – oh my gosh, it’s a lid? That never even occurred to me. Genius design, that it can serve as a bowl as well. Yes, that picture looks just like it. The only difference is the lip of the handle isn’t curved/curled like the picture; it’s a straight edge. I wonder if the rest of the set was sitting elsewhere on the shelf at the thrift store. 🙂 Thank you for solving the mystery!

        Reply
  3. Hello!

    I found a pink and white bowl at goodwill recently. It appears to be the second largest in the nesting set. Can you direct me to find out it’s worth? I’m new to this! Thank you!

    Reply
    • That is a lucky find!! The pink CH are very rare and often sell for a few hundred dollars. I would search “Cathrineholm pink” on eBay, and filter the search to just show “Sold Items” to get an idea of what they have sold for lately.

      Reply
  4. Keep your eye on the MOTHERLOAD of Catherine Holm enamelware plates, set of 8 and one server coming up soon on EBAY.

    Reply
  5. I wonder if U can help me resolve something. I bought a Club Celebration Norway red, white & blue 10&1/2″ frying pan with cover.
    I was told it is a Catherineholm product. I looked it up and it does not have her name on the bottom but Ebay & Etsy advertise the one I bought as Catherineholm Club Celebration. Is it or not? I’d appreciate your reply. Thank U so much.

    Reply
    • Hi Marsha, yes that sounds like Cathrineholm to me! The Club Celebration products I have seen do not have the Cathrineholm logo, but instead have Celebration Norway stamped on them. They were a special line of Cathrineholm enamelware, and you can recognize them as CH by the similar dish, knob and handle shapes.

      Reply
  6. Hello Tara: I have a Pot with indented base (1″ vertical indent). Looks like for a double boiler? The top handle and side handles are part of the lid and pot and not a stainless top handle nor wraparound metal handle handle for the pot. Both are the same color orange as the pot. 6.5″ High, 9.5″ wide, 13″ with the handles. I do not see any of these on the web and wonder if it is truely a CathrineHolms. Would love to attach a photo but not able to. Thanks Russ

    Reply
  7. What a great article. Love the history and wealth of knowledge that you provided. I purchased a lotus coffee pot with a wood handle. Do you was this someone’s homemade replacement? Or did it come like that?

    Reply
  8. In 1967 I bought a Casserole pot for my mom, from Carson Perry Scot in Chicago, It is the white with the green lotus blossoms, I have the pot and still use it. But I cannot find any markings at all on it. It looks exactly like what I have seen on ebay, but it is actually in much better condition! I don’t know why it is not marked. I don’t remember what it said on the box it came in. But anyway this will be passed down, as we all love this pot. If I had the money I would buy another one for grandkids.

    Reply
    • That’s amazing you still have it! Some of the Cathrineholm dishes had paper tags instead of permanent marks. Sounds like that might have been the case with your casserole. Such a beautiful heirloom!

      Reply
  9. Hi Tara,
    Thank you for you wonderful website.
    I trying to work out the origin of a stack of small enamelled baking dishes with bakelite handles, that are not marked. I got round ones and square ones. I have found the square version on line in a lot of different colours and they seem to be Cathrineholm Holland. I have the Grete Prytz Kittlesen book here but the dishes are not in that book.
    Is Holland referring to a model series name or the place of production? Are my dishes made in Norway or Holland? I can’t seem to find that information?
    Kind regards
    ARNE

    Reply
    • Hi Arne, it sounds like you have some pieces from the Galloping Gourmet line of Cathrineholm dishes made in Holland. Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet, partnered with Cathrineholm to release these dishes. The ones I’ve seen have been in solid colors, including “rounded square” bowls, casseroles, pans, butter warmers, and the baking dishes you mentioned with the Bakelite style handles. They are beautiful! It looks like Graham Kerr is using some of the Galloping Gourmet CH dishes in this video, along with the classic lotus dishes:

      Reply
  10. My mom and I found a medium pot, white with a blue stripe at the bottom in perfect condition for $5! After researching the pattern, I am not having luck finding alot on the set. It this a rare set by chance?

    Reply
    • So cool, great find! It might be from Cathrineholm’s Club Celebration line. Many of the pieces have blue and red stripes, but some have just blue stripes, and some have a whimsical Scandinavian pattern.

      Reply
  11. Tara, this is one of the best comprehensive articles I’ve read yet on CH. I have been collecting for about 6 years and I didn’t realize that there was actually an “olive” color! Thank you so much. I just came upon some Barbie sized replica’s that I ordered to display with my collection – they are so adorable! I found them on Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1322864873/7pcsset-dollhouse-miniature-16-mini

    In addition to my real-life collection, I have been working on a 60’s themed 1-inch scale dollhouse (about 1/2 the size of Barbie scale) and have made some miniature CH pieces (and I have bought some from other miniaturists as well) You can see some of them on my IG page here. https://www.instagram.com/amysretrominis/

    Thanks again for this article – it’s sooooo helpful!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Amy! I had a hard time making a complete list of colors, but these are all the options I’ve seen so far. I get the feeling that some of the colors just changed slightly from year to year, so one year the orange became more of a red orange, for example, because there seem to be slight variations within the main colors. I would love to get my hands on one of the pretty olive green pieces!

      All these miniatures are amazing on Etsy and your Instagram. I can’t believe how accurate the CH minis look. And I didn’t know about the lotus jewelry, so beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  12. Thank you for a great article !
    There was a factory warehouse outlet 2 miles away from me growing up. Everyone in town went to the sales twice a year. I have the 12” stockpot in excellent condition and can’t part with it. But my question is on my smaller pots … is it possible to get small rust spots inside on the bottom ?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Thanks, Lorraine! That’s exciting, it sounds like you have a beautiful collection!

      I’ve seen some CH pieces with rust spots, especially near the rim or where the enamel cracks. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’ve heard that Peek polishing cream can work really well for removing or minimizing the rust spots.

      Reply
      • Thanks!

        These spot are in the bottom of the pots, white inside so you can see them well, and almost look like an orange from a spaghetti sauce type splatter. Since it’s. It raised,
        Or cracked, guess it isn’t rust .

        Reply

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