Delfts Blue

Delfts Blue salt & pepper shakersDelfts Blue salt and pepper shakers
made in The Netherlands 1960s

I don’t know much about Delfts Blue or the mad keen community that collects it, but when I saw this pair of salt and pepper shakers- hand painted, with DB marked on the base, I snapped them up.

This is souvenirware from the 60s- I found through research- made in The Netherlands. The shakers, made to resemble a traditionally dressed Dutch man & woman, also came in windmills, clogs, tulips and other stereotypical Dutch garb. They are quite crudely made and painted but I gather that is part of their vintage charm.

The shakers come with their original stoppers, and look never to have been used- they are in excellent condition. And they are for sale: $AUD45

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Swanky swigs

Australian swanky swigsSwanky Swigs
made in Australia c.1950s

These glasses are ‘swanky swigs’- and they are collected by my partner. Originally the glasses held Kraft products and had a metal lid: then Kraft hit upon the idea of decorating the glasses in a range of themes- so making the glasses collectible. The term ‘swanky swig’ was coined to denote the [obviously] swanky glass from which one swigged! Each design came in six bright colours to form a set; an early innovative use of repurposing.

These swanky swigs have a distinctive Australian theme: eucalyptus flowers & gumnuts, and waratahs. They are getting harder to find now- I think because the glasses were considered fairly kitschy when first produced and many glasses were not kept. But for nostalgic collectors- nirvana consists in obtaining a complete set of six. If anyone has the dark blue and yellow gumnut glasses- I need to talk to you!

Upcycled stool

Upcycled 50s stoolUpcycled 50s stool made in Australia Following from my last post, here is an upcycled stool by Trish. Like the garden tables, the stool has had the original paint finish removed, anti-rust and two new coats of matt black enamel paint applied; and new rubber feet installed. The crappy timber top has been replaced with a new laminated timber seat; very crisp and very modern! The timber has had several coats of polyurethane to seal/waterproof it. The stool is now so groovy you could use it as a table or a stool. Or a piece of industrial sculpture. I’m thinking now I should have styled it with a vase of flowers on top. The upcycled stool is for sale: $AUD125 – or email me to look at Trish’s entire range of upcycled 50s furniture. Buy Now

Upcycled 50s garden tables

Upcycled 50s garden tablesUpcycled 50s garden tables
originally made and then upcycled in Australia

This is Trish’s new interest- restoring 50s and 60s garden furniture. These steel-framed tables – built robustly to take outdoor weather conditions- are the perfect size for interior spaces in contemporary homes. This pair of would make fantastic side or coffee tables.

50s garden furniture typically combined the restrained modernism and perfunctory design of metal work- with a jaunty curlicue or two- to signify the outdoor environment. The lower grill is great for coffee books or magazines – I’m not sure what the original purpose would have been- garden hose storage?

The tables have had the original paint finish removed, anti-rust and two new coats of matt black enamel paint applied; and given a new glass top [safety glass with bevelled edges.] New rubber feet complete the transformation.

I think they are terrific- the dimensions are perfect for an apartment or inner-city house.

The pair of tables are for sale: $AUD225

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Random retro assemblage

50-60s random assemblageIlford audio tape box c.1960s
Kewpie doll c.1950s
Cast iron switch plate c.1950s
Table marker c.1960s

An assemblage of retro things united by a scale//shape//colour theme; small, square, blue, black and white. And text.

All made in Australia, 50s-60s.

All four items were bought individually- waiting for some companion piece to make a collection. They are all still waiting…but while waiting…I like the collage they make together.

That’s the beauty of a retro collection…even while waiting to complete a collection – mixing and matching elements makes for an interesting – and ever changing- spectacle.

This weird and wonderful collection is for sale: $AUD75

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60s art glass

70s green glassware60s art glass
made in Australia

I don’t as a rule collect ashtrays- but my partner picked up this lovely, chunky green ashtray whilst trying to find a piece to retrofit an upcycled 60s side table- where the glass ashtray was missing. Alas- the ashtray didn’t quite fit –but- to quote her: “you don’t have to use it as an ashtray- it’s just a great dish”.

So- let’s repurpose this 60s ashtray as a chunky glass dish, and team it with some fabulous 60s wine glasses. All good! All green- and all 60s. Art glass from the 60s is becoming very collectible- even if in a former life it was an ashtray.

This 60s green glass collection is for sale: $AUD55

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Industrial vintage

Metters 'Beacon Light' oven doorMetters ‘Beacon Light’ oven door
made in Sydney c.1930s

Metters Limited, Australia made cast iron ovens in Adelaide from 1891, expanding to a Sydney foundry in 1920 – when the ‘Beacon Light’ ovens were made. Metters items are now very collectible- thanks to the ‘Kooka’ ovens featuring a kookaburra [and the synonym cooker / kooka.]

This old oven door has signs of rust but was rescued from a Council clean-up by a friend of mine: she recognized the intrinsic value of the 30s cast-iron door- and piece of history. No longer part of a functioning oven, this piece is a beautiful reminder of our industrial past.

Mount it on a wall; team it with a bit of Eucalyptus; use it as a door stop or a book end- this relic has a myriad uses. And is a fabulous piece of vintage Australian kitchenalia.

The Beacon Light oven door is for sale: $AUD95

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Hecla jugs; 1930s

Helca electric jugs [1930s]Hecla electric jugs
made in Melbourne, Australia c.1930s

These electric jugs have become very collectible: they have their swinging lids [one bakelite, one ceramic] and electric elements & bakelite plugs all intact- in fact the man I bought the brown mottle jug from was using it for his morning cuppa.

Hecla produced all manner of electrical appliances from 1918- until they were bought out and manufacture moved overseas in 1984. Jugs with art deco styling- such as these- are now much sort after.

I like that the jugs can boil water, be situated as a decorative object, or an impromptu flower vase. And I like that the humble ceramic jug has become a much sort-after collectible.

The pair of jugs are in great condition [entire, working, electric cords included] and are for sale: $AUD145

60s perpetual calendar

Pineapple perpetual calendarPerpetual calendar
made in Hong Kong, 1960s

Ah, the sixties. When no subject was too prosaic to provide a backdrop for a perpetual calendar. The Sunshine Plantation grew and continues to grow pineapples – a symbol of hospitality for some, and of wealth for others.

Recently the humble pineapple has become somewhat of a style icon, adorning everything in interiors from large format pictures to timber-turned bedposts. So I present to you- a perpetual calendar and two toothpick holders from the 60s. And a real pineapple for comparison purposes.

Add to your burgeoning pineapple collection, or begin one with these beauties. Every desk needs a perpetual calendar- and every office a toothpick holder converted to thumb-drive storage. You just can’t have too many pineapples!

The perpetual calendar is for sale: $AUD45 [toss in the two toothpick holders for free.]

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The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments for Children, 1956The Ten Commandments for Children
Rand McNally, 1956, USA

The Ten commandments- stars Charlton Heston as Moses on the cover, and is ‘edited’ by Mary Alice Jones. I didn’t think Biblical editing was encouraged- but this was 1956. Someone had to explain adultery to children.

And this is what Alice writes:

“It’s God’s plan that a man and a woman should love one another and make a home together and rear children. The father and mother and children have other friends……..who they like and enjoy. But the members of the family care for one another more than for any other friends….”

And so avoids the subject of adultery altogether. The accompanying picture shows a 1950s father reading the newspaper with mother, sister and brother playing a record on the floor. [At least I surmise that’s his wife…might be just….a good “friend”.]

I have teamed this fine tome with a kewpie doll – Australian- from the same vintage, mid 50s. She seems suitably embarrassed to find Charlton’s movie image doing duty on the cover and that Alice has edited the Ten Commandments.

The book is for sale: $AUD25 [noting that it cost 49 cents in 1956!]

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