Miniature toby jug

Miniature toby jug [Japan, 60s]Miniature toby jug
made in Japan, 1960s

This miniature jug hails from the 60s- from the time when Japan was a leading ceramic maker and was busy knocking-off old worldy antiques. It was at this time that the masses / new middle class were discovering antiques- and not being able to afford the real thing, were buying ‘new’ fakes by the millions.

This jug purports to be a pirate; it is hand-painted if somewhat crudely; you’d never mistake this for a real toby jug. The pirates’ hat has been cleverly fashioned to contain the pouring lip, and it looks as if he is roguishly looking up at it.

Start your fake toby jug collection today: the jug is for sale: $AU15

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50s Australiana kitsch

Gambit Ware 'Ceramique' Australiana leaf platesGambit Ware ‘Australiana’ leaf plates
made in Australia 1950s

Here is another part of my collection: anything botanically themed always gets me in. Add to that these plates were designed and made in Australia- celebrating our unique flora in the post war period. AND this is ‘Ceramique’ – an early melamine material that was developed to revolutionise ceramic – it would ‘never chip or break.’

The stylised plates came in simple pastel colours, but were quite botanically detailed- they include wattle, banksia, kurrajong, mulga leaves- to name a few. The simple colouring meant that each leaf shape was reproduced in six colours- so one could buy a set of six ‘for display OR kitchen purposes’!

This image shows another part of my collection- at last count I had 50 plates. Plates with their labels intact are worth significantly more. The Ceramique has certainly lived up to its name- there isn’t a chip or a crack on any of the plates, although colour fading has occurred on a few.

Kitschy – yes. But 50s Australian kitsch- I love it!

This selection of Gambit Ware is for sale: $125 [13 pieces]

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40s souvenir ware

40s souvenir, clock & barometerClock and barometer souvenir
made in Australia 1940s

I’ve featured quite a bit of Mulga wood on this blog: . and a fair bit of kitsch. Often Mulga wood and kitsch go hand-in–hand, as is the case here. Mulga wood was used in 1940s souvenir works as it is a hardwood –unusual in a native from the wattle family – and was considered ‘export quality’. The timber is cut and arranged to show off its famous bi-colouring, as is the Australia-shaped base of this 40s souvenir.

The clock- with alarm and glow-in-the-dark numbers and hands, is paired with a barometer [working; naturally it’s in Fahrenheit] and a gilt koala. The wind-up clock is functional- but I can’t attest to its accuracy. But a barometer and a clock and a gilt koala all on an Australia-shaped Mulga wood base? Doesn’t get much better!

I’ve teamed the souvenir with a Bushell’s tea jar from the same era. The rusted lid adds another brown tone, and the glass picks up the glass on the clock and barometer.

The Mulga wood souvenir is for sale: $AU45

Green spotty pottery [sold]

Green spotty pottery, 1950sGreen and white spots
made in Australia c 1950s

This is the third installment of my friend Maisie’s Australian spotty pottery collection- first was black & white spotty, then blue and white spotty- and now – green & white spotty. Maisie sure loved the spots!

This collection is a funky 50s shaped bowl with matching jug and spoon. The spots are raised areas of glaze rather than merely an applied shape in the glaze.

Like the previous spotted pottery- these pieces are unmarked. This isn’t unusual for 50s Australian pottery- and while literally thousands of spotty pieces were made it is increasingly difficult to find these pieces. The pieces are all in good condition with only minor crazing to the exterior. I have had great success reducing crazing on ceramic pieces by sitting them in a bleach solution overnight – very effective when the background is white or a light colour like these pieces.

This collection is for sale: $AUD65

Koala canisters

Kraft koala canistersKraft koala canisters
made in Australia 1980s

More glass kitchen canisters! These are made by Kraft, and are in the shape of koalas. Originally sold with Vegemite or Peanut Butter, the form of the koala is much more apparently when the glass is filled with any kitchen food stuff [lentils spring to mind- only because they seem so hipsterish- as two of the koalas – with the red lids- are knitting.]

These canisters were made in the 80s; they have plastic lids [which are still air-tight and good for storing stuff]; canisters made in the 60s and early 70s had metal lids which weren’t so practical for re-use. Like the canisters below, the lids came in all manner of colours to make it easy to tell the jars apart. And they came in two sizes: as here, where we have one smaller size and two of the larger size.

The set of three canisters are for sale: $AU75

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Glass kitchen canisters

Glass kitchen canisters 1950sGlass kitchen canisters
made in Australia 1950s

Here is a selection of some of the glass kitchen canisters that I have collected for use in my kitchen: these are the ‘spares’. The thick, square glass canisters were originally filled with nuts or sugared almonds, and sold at Christmas time in the 50s and 60s. The plastic lids come in all manner of colours, and are still good and air-tight. So beautiful and functional!

I like that you can see how much sugar/flour/tea is left in the glass canisters, and now I associate red with ‘lentils’, blue with ‘couscous’, and green with ‘green tea’. This colour coding is a great idea!

I also have a selection of glass canisters with black bakelite lids- these only seemed to come in black- and they date earlier, probably the 40s.

The canisters are for sale: $AU20 [coloured plastic lids] and $AU30 [black bakelite lids.]

Art deco Pierrots

Art deco pierrots from the 20sSitzendorf Pierrot pipe rest dish, made in Germany 1910-1920
Klimax Pierrot ceramic citrus juicer, made in Japan, 1920s

Here we have two Pierrots- one from Germany, the other from Japan, but both hailing from the 20s. The Sitzendorf porcelain pipe-rest dish has Pierrot reading a newspaper, as you do. Sitzendorf began porcelain production in 1760 and continues today; this dish has the double-crossed ‘S’ crown logo on the base, and is impressed with the no: 25044. Sitzendorf [or to give it its full title: Sitzendorf Porzellankfabrik Gebruder, Voight, AG] is now highly collectible.

Next to the paper reading Pierrot is a citrus juicer- sadly missing its jug. Perhaps you have the jug? – It was made in a simple lemon or orange shape, with appropriate colouring. This Pierrot is handpainted, and is impressed with a ‘K’ on the base- encased in a circle of tiny dots. Klimax, a porcelain factory in Japan, is most well-known for its handpainted Samurai and Geisha tea sets, and lustreware. Despite missing its jug, the juicer is still quite functional and the two Pierrots together make for a nice art deco ensemble.

The Pierrots are for sale: $AU75 [Sitzendorf] and $AU55 [Klimax]

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Pyrex Agee [sold]

Pyrex Agee 3" condiment bowlsPyrex Agee ‘Coloured Pyrex’ 3” bowls
made in Australia 1952-1959.

How collectable is Pyrex right now? Crazy collectable, that’s how! I had been quietly collecting the ‘Coloured Pyrex’ series for a while: I like the harlequin colours, the stackability and use in the kitchen. They come in three sizes [3”, 5” and 7”] and six colours. I had an oversupply of green 3” condiment bowls so posted them for sale. They were quite literally- snapped up.

The ‘Agee’ was Pyrex manufactured in Australia. These 3” condiment bowls are stamped “PR 234, Agee Pyrex, Made in Australia” on the base. And that’s another thing to look for: Pyrex colours that have deteriorated after being in a dishwasher- or a Pyrex bowl that has done heavy duty and has colour worn from the base. The interior of the Agee is glass; the colour is applied to the exterior, so it’s food grade – and so if any wear happens, it happens to the exterior base.

These beauties are in excellent condition, with no wear. And a fantastic green to boot.

This set of 3 green condiment bowls sold for $AU25

party like it’s….1950s

50s Melbourne tray and Glamaware teapotsMelbourne bar tray, made in Hong Kong, 1950s
Glamaware anodised aluminium teapots, made in Australia 1950s

Welcome to 2017. And welcome to my retro ideal.

This is a fantastic bar tray, featuring a rather [re-touched] photograph of Melbourne in the 50s. Oh! The glamour!

And a pair of Glamaware anodised aluminium gold teapots, never been used. More glamour! The handles and knobs are bakelite. The anodised aluminium is gold! Bling and functional- that’s my kinda 2017.

Welcome in 2017 with some bar ware, and some good ol’ fashioned tea ware. Best of both worlds!

The tray is for sale: $AU25 and the teapots: $AU45
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Happy New Year!

30s bakelite telephoneHappy New Year!

As we say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in 2017, a sneak peek into my personal collection. Or- the bit of my personal collection I am keeping.

I became interested in resin, and experimented with making jewellery and door pulls. This in turn led me to research and learn about plastics- and during this research I became interested in bakelite. You know the rest of the story: I now collect bakelite.

This is an old bakelite phone from the 30s- made in Australia- bought recently. It needs restoration, and I have Greygate No.5 Polishing Paste on hand to do it. This polishing paste was developed to restore bakelite on phones for the GPO in the 50s – and it’s still made today. Bakelite itself is still in production- in the manufacture of light switches and electrical components, so the restoring paste is also still made.

The phone can also be restored electronically – if one wished to use it as a landline. And- it has a little drawer for phone numbers in the front – a wonderful design, if somewhat whimsical.

Happy New Year to all re:retro readers & followers! And here’s to much retro in the future!