create-a-kit

Torro create-a-kit,
made in New Zealand 1960s

Here’s New Zealand’s answer to lego : create-a-kit. It’s new in box, never opened, with instructions for making houses, and robots, windmills and the like. It was made by Torro [Toys of Tomorrow!]

I like the images and font on the box, as much as the idea of making a primary coloured house of the 60s [the instruction images are hilarious – so retro!] I had a quick check to see all the pieces are still inside – and some of the bricks are still connected to the manufacturers frame.

The create-a-kit is for sale: $AU65

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Dirty Dogs of Paris

The Dirty Dogs of Paris,
Lithograph by Boris O’Klein, Paris, 1930s

This is a framed souvenir print from Paris, in the 30s. The lithograph – featuring dogs each with a “human personality”, was hugely popular and printed [and hand-coloured] in the thousands. This one was bought to Australia as a gift in the late 1930s, and apparently was much admired and giggled over, due to the risqué scene. Oh those French artists!

Boris O’Klein [real name Arthur Klein, a Russian emigre] was an illustrator and artist in Paris, but he was most well-known for his Dirty Dogs print series. Boris [1833-1985] lived to a ripe old age, and the Dirty Dog prints were still being produced in the 70s, albeit by protégés and not Boris himself.

The print is signed ‘Chacun son tour’ [“each turn”]- Copyright by O’Klein, Chamarandle [S.&O.] Eauforte orginate. It’s still in its original frame and glass, and the hand-colouring is as vibrant as the day it was painted.

The print is for sale: $AU75

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Studio Anna kitsch-fest

Studio Anna wall plates & salt and pepper shakers
made in Australia 1950s

I am particularly drawn to kitsch pottery that has landscape or botanical images…so souvenir ware from the 50s is right up my street! I have posted Studio Anna pottery previously- you might remember that it was situated right near where I now live, in inner-Sydney.

This very kitschy souvenirware was very popular in the 50s – and then it went out of fashion [in a big way] in the 70s and 80s. Rightly so, the appropriation – and kitschisation- of indigenous motifs was debated and condemned. Now, in this post-modernist era, enough time has passed and enough discussion ensued that we can now look on these very dated images with fondness and nostalgia.

The wall plates have a hanging device on the back, so they can be – hung on a wall; here the cities of Adelaide and Albury are celebrated.  The salt and pepper shakers celebrate Moree. A nice start to a Studio Anna collection.

This collection is for sale: $AU80

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mid war publications

The First Day of the Holidays
Ginger’s Adventures
Ladybird publishing, England 1942.

Mid war publications- Ladybird books published in 1942 – The First Day of the Holidays, and Ginger’s Adventurers. Both featuring animals – dogs and penguins.

Both books are in excellent vintage condition… and are for sale : $AU30
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Terra Ceramics ‘Patio’

Terra Ceramics ‘Patio’
made in Australia, c.1965

Terra Ceramics was a pottery run by Bernhard Fiegel, a Dutch-trained potter who immigrated to Australia after the second world war. Like much of my Australian collection, the pottery was in Ashfield [and then Greenacre]- very close to my own locale in Sydney. His pottery produced art pieces, under both the names Terra Ceramics and Terama. The pieces were hand-worked in shape, and then handpainted.

Terra Ceramics was proudly Australian, but I think you can see in these ‘Patio’ pieces, and in another collection ‘Daisy’ featured on this blog, that Fiegel’s Dutch heritage is evident in the motifs. Very modernist, and together with the asymmetrical shapes – very funky and very 60s!

The pottery produced art pieces from the early 60s to the early 80s, so was in production for less than twenty years. This set comprises a teardrop plate, a wall pocket-vase and a pair of – funky-shaped plates. Like many pieces produced in Terra Ceramics in the early days, these have a simple ‘Patio’ backstamp.

All pieces are in excellent vintage condition, and are for sale: $AU75

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70s Australiana

Crystal Craft trivet, made in Australia 1970s
Wiltshire ‘Vogue’ cutlery, made in Australia 1970s

Crystal Craft has become uber trendy for collectors: it is a resin-covered fabric that originated in Queensland in the 70s. This is a super 70s trivet- just look at the forms and colours! And it is great that the piece has it’s original sticker on the base.

The ‘Vogue’ cutlery was designed for Wiltshire by Stuart Devlin- famous for his other work designing the images on Australian coins [all native fauna & flora.] This was his day job – but once those coins were minted I think he gave up his day job! The cutlery are ‘new in box’ never opened or used, and in great condition.

I styled these two items together – I love the 70s colours! – but am happy to sell them separately: $AU35 each.

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50s candlesticks

50s candlesticks
made in Australia

Here is my burgeoning brass & timber candlestick collection. You’ll note they all have the same candle [important stylistically] but the only things that unite the candlesticks is the material and the age.

Admittedly, the second one is timber veneer on top of timber, but timber is timber [especially in the 50s!] The first candlestick is ecclesiastical [came from a church]; and the last two are teak, fashioned after Danish pieces. All made in Australia! – another element that unites the collection.

This could be the start of a great collection – or just be four stylish candlesticks to adorn the dinner table. The candlesticks [sans candles- they are from Ikea!] are for sale: $AU55

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Barometer [sold]

60s barometer,
made in Tasmania, Australia

This is a fabulous wall barometer- and temperature gauge- made from blackwood timber, in the shape of Tasmania.

The barometer was a wedding gift to a couple in the 60s – and has faithfully recorded the air pressure [barometer] and air temperature [thermometer] since then. I particularly like the fonts used for the barometer – it is very old school, where each condition has its own curlicue lettering: ‘stormy, rain, change, fair, very dry.’ That last one is -of course- referring to wit.

In excellent working order, and ready to hang, the barometer is for sale: $AU45

1940s glamour

1940s beaded clutch & chokerGlass pearl beaded clutch and choker, made in Japan c.1940s
Midwinter lamb figurines, made in England 1946-1953

This beautiful clutch and matching choker belonged to my friend Susan’s grandmother. Susan’s grandmother kept them safely in their original box, bringing them out only to wear on special occasions. The beading detail is delightful, and is entire [one lady owner!]- I can just imagine the outfits that this ensemble would complete.

At first glance, the beaded clutch and choker and the lamb figurines are an unusual pairing – but both are of the same era. And both hint at joyous and exuberant occasions!

WR Midwinter [Burslem, Staffordshire] is famous for its small, appealing animals- it started producing in 1910 and is still producing today. These frolicking lambs –produced between 1946 and 1953- are now quite collectible. And a pair is better than a single. [I saw a single on Ebay for $55.]

The glass pearl encrusted clutch and matching choker is for sale: $AUD155
The Midwinter pair of lamb figurines : $AUD75

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Apple Blossom

Carlton Ware ‘Apple Blossom’
made in England 1937-1950s

I may have mentioned before that I am drawn to botanical themes- and that I may have amassed a fair bit of botanical related items due to being a landscape architect. Well- here’s more proof.  An ‘Apple Blossom’ plate in one two colours in which it was produced- yellow and green.

The floral embossed motif ‘Apple Blossom’ was part of Carlton Ware’s Salad Ware Range, produced from 1937 to the 1950s. Apple Blossom was the most popular of the floral ware produced and over sixty different items were made : seen here is a medium-sized plate – I also have a large, medium and small plate, a footed bow and a sugar bowl.

Carlton Ware is very collectible – you may have seen my previous post of the Wild Rose jug [also part of the Salad Ware range]- but like all collectibles its popularity waxes and wanes. Us purists, of course, collect what we like and are unswayed by popularity. And I like botanical themes on my pottery!

The plate is in excellent condition for pottery that is over seventy years old. For Carlton Ware collectors and mad keen botanists alike–this plate is for sale: $AU25

[PS: As for the swallow- I am waiting for the other two of the original trio to turn up. In the meantime, s/he is doing double duty as a styling piece.]

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