Folding slide projector

OpenHanimex ‘Mini’ folding slide projector
made in Sydney, Australia c.1950s

This neat little projector folds out to show slides in both 16mm and 35mm slide formats. It has a P-Rokkor 2.5/40mm lens and uses a 75watt lamp; I have it on good authority that replacement lamps are still available. The projector works a treat – it’s been checked over by an electrician – and has an ‘automatic’ slide feed to allow you to load two slides at a time [!!] It comes in its original box, which sadly has been mended with masking tape.

Perfect for your next slide night or to add to your burgeoning Hanimex collection. I am reluctantly parting this projector- it’s a beautiful as well as a functional object. [I may have mentioned that I have nine [9!] slide projectors.]

The Mini is for sale: $AUD145

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Martin Boyd ramekins

Martin Boyd ramekinsMartin Boyd ramekins
made in Australia 1950s

The Boyds are a famous Australian family of artists. Martin Boyd was the ceramist in the family – and his pottery started in Cremorne, Sydney in 1946. The pottery was in operation from 1946-1964, with 1957-58 being the peak production period.

All Martin Boyd pottery is made [and signed] by hand so there is a slight variation between any pieces in a set. The pottery is instantly recognisable from the edge band of uncoloured glaze that always separates the two toned pieces. The colours are quintessentially 50s.

This set of four ramekins is in excellent condition – it has never been used. And if Boyd ramekins are your thing, I also have a set of six ramekins with their matching plates also posted on the blog.

This set of four ramekins is for sale: $AUD80

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MCP peony vase

MCP peony vaseMCP peony vase # 256
made in Sydney, Australia c.1950s

MCP [Modern Ceramic Products] started production in the 1940s, in Redfern, Sydney. The simple geometric forms of the vases have a very modernist styling – and each vase has a highly textured exterior finish in white which contrasts with the smooth internal glaze. This two-toned aesthetic meant each vase could be made in a range of iterations- albeit along the 50s spectrum of baby blue, pastel pink and pastel yellow.

This fabulous vase is in the white texture /pastel pink combination. I have added some flowers to show how it works- it would also look great with four different flower selections in each of the quadrants. You might like to see my original MCP collection…review it in the SOLD tab above…for other examples of this beautiful pottery.

I do love Sydney pottery of the 50s and 60s and find it very hard to part with them. Modernism in pottery is becoming increasingly hard to find…but needs must.

The vase is in excellent condition and is or sale: $AUD85

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70s reproductions

Kitchen scales & Robbie the robotThe Salter scales, cast iron, made in Staffordshire, England 1970s
Robbie the robot, tin toy, made in China 1970s

I am generally not a fan of reproductions. But occasionally, I find reproductions that play homage to the original without trying to pretend to BE the original. Those reproductions I can live with.

Here we have a Salter scale, cast iron, made to an exact mid 19th century likeness, but with a handy modern addition- that being it’s an accurate weighing machine. I use it for weighing parcels and letters to figure out postage costs – and it looks fabulous on the hall table too.

Robbie the robot first appeared in 1956 in the film ‘Forbidden Planet’. Then he appeared as a tin toy, made in Japan, which is now sought after and extremely collectible. Then in the 70s the same maker re-issued the toy [although now made in China!] with a hilarious warning on the box : “For collectors only, not suitable as a toy.” My how things have changed. For that line alone, I think Robbie is worth having around.

60s souvenirware

60s souvenirware60s souvenirware
made in Australia

Welcome to Laurieton, a coastal town on the north coast of NSW. Home – at least in the 60s – to bowls and pelicans!

This collection features salt and pepper shakers in the shape of – bowls- with ‘Laurieton N.S.W.’ written in gilt on the sides, and a pelican figurine [somewhat out of scale.] In the world of souvenirware- scale and technical detail wasn’t always a priority. Cheap, kitsch souvenirs that you can give away as gifts to prove you actually WERE in Laurieton was what it was all about.

Souvenirware is increasingly popular amongst collectors. Those once tacky, cheap souvenirs are having a renaissance, with kitschiness celebrated and embraced. That’s certainly why I love it.

This set is for sale; $AUD35

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Retro Australian nature books

Retro Australian nature booksPeriwinkle Colour Series
published in Melbourne, 1960s

Six books by John Child, part of the Periwinkle Colour series:


Trees of the Sydney Region, 1968
Wildflowers of the Sydney Region, 1968
Australian Insects, 1969
Collecting Specimens, 1969
Australian Alpine Life, 1969
Australian Sea Shells, 1965.

The books were published by Landsdowne Press in Melbourne, printed and bound in Hong Kong. They all have the same cover design: white font on a striking photograph; quite funky in the 60s. There were some fifteen books in the Periwinkle Colour Series, with John Child writing 9 of them. Still to collect are:
Australian Spiders, Australian Seashore Life and Australian Rocks & Minerals

The books are in a used condition [the botanical ones by me!] showing signs of prior use. For collectors of vintage Australian naturalist books, this set of six books is for sale: $AUD60

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Halinamat ’300′ slide projector

Halinamat 300 slide projectorHalinamat 300 slide projector
Empire Made [Hong Kong] 1962

It’s been a while, but here’s another slide projector. The count is now 9- I have nine slide projectors. I love the forms of these machines- the funky fonts on the front- and the fact that you can use them for slide nights. What’s not to love?

I also like that this Halinamat was made in the 60s- when ‘Empire Made’ referenced the British Empire and was code for Hong Kong. Along with its general funkiness, the projector has a bakelite side arm, on-off switch and electrical plug : it just gets better and better!

And the specs- this baby comes with an Anastigmat coated, f2.8/100mm lens, and is semi-automatic. Semi-automatic means you have to push the button on top to move to the next slide- full automation didn’t eventuate until the 70s.

I really, really, really don’t need nine slide projectors…this one is for sale: $AUD85

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Vintage buttons

Vinage Australian buttonsBakelite and casein buttons
made in Australia c.1930s-1940s

Continuing the domestic arts / casein products theme, here is my collection of bakelite and casein buttons.

On the plate in the middle of the image are bakelite buttons that were salvaged from old clothes in the 30s [think Depression Era] and saved for re-use on new clothes. I bought these buttons from a very old lady who had done the salvaging, but never quite got round to the re-using. The buttons on the cards are casein with some on their original card [note that the brown buttons by Walkers are ‘boil-proof’!]

Vintage buttons are quite collectible- and remain quite functional too. This set is for sale: $AUD45

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Swallow casein knitting needles

Swallow casein knitting needlesSwallow casein knitting needles
made in Australia c.1950s

I learnt to knit using casein knitting needles- casein being an early 20th Century plastic product- they are renowned for being smooth, flexible and comfortable to use. Swallow has been making casein knitting needles since they introduced them to Australia in 1894. Casein is a milk-product, used in cheese making [and – obviously plastics] and as such these knitting needles are biodegradable- an early example of a recyclable product.

Casein lends itself to being coloured with dye- and these lovely 50s knitting needles evidence all the colours possible. Some of these needles were my mother’s- she bought them new in the 50s [some were never used and still have their original packaging] and the rest are additions I’ve found along the way. My stash of casein needles is now quite large! Together with my stash of tortoise shell knitting needles [see earlier posts] I could be considered somewhat of a knitting needle hoarder.

I prefer to sell the needles in groups of 20s- but if you are interested, let me known the colours and sizes you are after in an email.

20 pairs casein knitting needles for sale: $AUD70

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Bessemer white series

Bessemer white seriesBessemer White Series
made in Melbourne, c. 1970s

Bessemer products – made from melamine – were made by the Nylex Melmac Corporation which started production in the mid 60s. These beautiful pieces were designed by Lionel Suttie-an industrial designer-and were produced in Melbourne until the mid 70s.

It’s interesting that Mr Suttie is remembered as Bessemer’s lead designer: this was the first time that condiment or tableware made from plastic [melamine] was thought to be worthy of design – that the humble mass-produced sugar bowl could make a design statement. And this set of three- two lidded condiment containers and a jug- is rare in that it is white and has never been used.

This set can be used as intended- melamine is a strong plastic resistant to scratching and the set is ‘as new’ – or they can form part of a funky 70s display. I have teamed them with a hand-woven white and green raffia oil bottle- also c. 1970s- as a visual contrast.

Think the Beatles White Album [1968.]  Think the white Bessemer series; for sale: $AUD55

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