Housie

Housie game, NZ, 1959Holdson Products Housie,
made in Auckland NZ, 1959

The game of Housie is called Bingo in the UK- players fill in numerical spaces on their boards as a ‘caller’ randomly produces numbers and calls them out. A win is made when any line is filled vertically, horizontally or diagonally.

Yawn. Sounds tedious to me – but look at the beautifully made housie board, and the numerical discs are stamped timber. And the graphics on the box…beautiful.

The box has its previous owner’s name ‘Cantwell’ inscribed on it – and a price tag of $2:50. My- how prices have changed!

Etsy and Pinterest are replete with artistic repurposing of Housie boards and numbers- what could you make of this collection?

The Housie game is for sale: $AU40

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Slide projector #9

Halinamat #300 slide projector [1962]Halinamat 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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Gempo pottery

Gempo mugs [1970s]Gempo mugs
made in Japan 1962-74

These mugs feature the abstract, large –faced form that marks all Gempo pottery. They are also particular to the 70s; with stylised features, and the stoneware pottery glazed in rustic creams and browns. We’re in the 70s folks!

I have featured Gempo egg cups [a family featuring nan & pop, mum and dad, and children] and a Gempo money box [Leo the Lion] previously. Now we have three mugs – a hippo [spotted]; elephant [with trunk as the handle] and koala [wearing dungarees.]

As the 70s becomes more collectable, so these stoneware pieces are becoming sought after. It was something that I did not predict, but have been caught up in.

The three mugs are in excellent vintage condition and are for sale: $AU45

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50s School Readers

Longmans Colour Geographies [GB. 1956]Longmans Colour Geographies
printed in Great Britain, 1956

Units 1 to 5 of the Longmans Colour Geographies, these are school readers from the 50s.

Unit 1- Coasts of Britain
Unit 2- Farms of Britain
Unit 3- Towns of Britain
Unit 4- Industry in Britain
Unit 5 – London.

Made and printed in Britain by William Clowes and Sons, Ltd; these readers show signs of water damage and sticky pages. But the text! and the illustrations! All fascinating.

The readers would make a great art project- or – are simply collectible as a snap-shot of English education in the 50s. The images alone are worth framing- quintessential 50s illustrative descriptions of an England that was.

The readers set is for sale: $AU40

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Industrial cred #70s style

Peak Voltmeter [1971]Peak Voltmeter
made in Japan, 1971

A birthday gift, because my family know I love old instruments, bakelite knobs and original leather cases. Oh JOY! This Voltmeter has it all. It even has its original leads for – you know- voltage testing. I’ll be doing some fine voltage testing, let me tell you.

Old scientific instruments were not designed to be beautiful- just functional. But somehow the very precision with which they were made lends them a wonderful beauty. This piece adds serious industrial cred to my entrance hall. I notice that children when they visit are drawn to it – to play with the knobs [as I do myself. Seriously good fun.]

The Voltmeter is not for sale: I include it here to encourage the collection of these fabulous old instruments – now getting harder to find, they are becoming collectable due to rarity.

Retro Italian souvenir images

Retro Italian souvenir images [1950s]retro Italian souvenir images,
made in Italy 1960s

This collection was inspired after I visited Italy. It comprises a c.1960s Venice guidebook, 60s postcards in book form from Venice, Roma and Florence and 60s souvenir film slides from Rome and the Vatican.

The souvenir guide book is in excellent condition and is quite funny to read with its mangled English. The souvenir postcard books have never been used and are still complete – the old retro photographs are very stage-managed and have been colour-touched in that delightful 60s era style.

The souvenir slides have never been opened, and I expect they will have that lovely rosy patina of all old slides. They could be viewed using one of the Haminex slider viewers, posted below!

The Italian souvenir images are for sale: $65

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Cast-iron shoe last

Cast iron shoe last [1920s]Cast-iron shoe last
made in Australia c.1920s

This is a ‘dual’ cast-iron cobblers shoe last- there are two different shapes on which to stretch and shape leather to make shoes. Cast-iron was used as it maintains its shape when in contact with wet leather and the mechanical stresses of stretching and shaping shoes.

Nowadays these heavy items are used as book ends, door stops or simply as decorative industrial forms.

There is something very satisfying about repurposing an industrial antique- giving it a new purpose and lease of life- and the functional design of the last means it is stable either end up.

Pictured here with a pineapple- the shoe last lends gravitas to anything!

The cobblers last is for sale: $AUD45

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Bunnykins

Bunnykins egg cup [1940s]Royal Doulton ‘Bunnykins’ egg cup
made in England, c.1940s

Bunnykins is very collectible; I would say we are nearing peak Bunnykins collectability. Having grown-up with Bunnykins I would say that its collectability is completely due to nostalgia.

Produced by Royal Doulton – and on every child’s christening present list from the 60s-80s – there are literally millions of people who know Bunnykins from their porridge bowls, plates, cups and saucers and egg cups.

This egg cup has two bunnies playing horn and drums –as they are wont to do- and on the back is a bunny with red overalls, putting on a green overcoat and a green cap.

The egg cup is in excellent vintage condition – and is for sale: $AU10

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Gem Iron

Gem Iron [1940s]Gem Iron, made in Australia c.1940s

This is a beautiful cast iron ‘gem’ scone baking tray. Gem scones were popular in the 40s, and were more like rounded sugar cakes than the scones we know today. The cast iron made for an even heat, and the baking trays – while easy to produce – were expensive to buy. Consequently the gem iron was carefully and loving cleaned and greased after every outing, and so many have survived in good working order. Suffice it to say, with the right recipe [and the internet proliferates with them!] one can continue to pump out gem scones today.

I have styled the gem iron with a couple of kewpie dolls – these are reproduction kewpies, but the originals were made around the same time as the gem tray. If you are a non-cook like me- you might like to use the iron to showcase small items. It has a multiplicity of uses!

The gem iron, being cast iron – is super heavy. This is one part of my collection that is not suitable for posting – pick-up from St Peters in Sydney only. If you like the kewpie dolls, I’ll throw those in as well!

The gem iron is for sale: $AU40

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Autumn

Kathie Winkle 'Autumn' jug and bowlKathie Winkle, Broadhurst
‘Autumn’, made in England 1960s

I love Kathie Winkle designs and have collected to date: Taskent, Calypso, Kontiki, New Lyn- and now Autumn.

Kathie Winkle produced over a hundred designs…so I am just scratching the surface.

BUT- now that Kathie Winkle is re-issuing the most popular designs of the 60s – in this next century- with all that new technology affords…

…I find that I love these vintage pieces all the more lovely.

The ‘Autumn’ jug and sugar bowl are for sale: $AU35
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