Retro kitchen appliances

Ice-o-mat, Can-o-mat, Dia ice pailIce-O-Mat, ice-crusher
Can-O-Mat, can-opener
Dia, ice pail.

This collection is perfect for the retro kitchen. Look at all that gleaming chrome!- offset nicely by the clean, smooth white plastic and funky black graphics. It seems that in the 50s ‘O-Mat’ was a shortened form of ‘automatic’.

The Ice-O-Mat is wall-mounted, and one puts ice cubes into the top, turns the handle left or right to produce different sized ice, then squeezes the central knob to open and pour out the crushed ice. A terrific invention! No home should be without one!

The Can-O-Mat is likewise wall-mounted. It’s by Artisocrat, by Monier – so now you can have both ice-crushing and can-opening functions on your kitchen wall. Space-saving and functional…welcome to the space-age!

The Dia ice pail rounds out the collection. It is stainless steel, insulated, and comes with its original ice tongs.

All three pieces are in top-top working order, ready to go to work [or just look fabulous] in your kitchen.    For sale: $AUD85

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Carnation champagne flutes

Retro champagne flutes
made in Australia, c.1950s

I’m rather fond of these kitsch decorated champagne flutes – the gilt rim and base helping somewhat to offset the rather garish carnations. The glasses were won in a golf tournament by my partner’s brother- and they had pride of place in the family’s display cabinet for many, many years. I don’t think they were ever used to imbibe champagne…they were considered far too precious. They were for display [and admiration] purposes only.

The set now needs a new home – I’m imagining a nice mid-century modern drinks cabinet…where they can be taken out from time to time to drink champagne. Or beer. Beer would also be good.

For sale: $AUD55

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Glomesh bling

Glomesh purse, 1960Glomesh purse,
made in Sydney, 1960

Glomesh is an international brand that makes these instantly recognisable ‘chain-mail’ handbags and purses in white, silver and gold. The company was founded by Hungarian immigrants Louis and Alice Kennedy in Bondi, in 1958. The company continues today, without much variation from the original design ideal.

I am not a handbag person – BUT my sister is. She has a thing for Glomesh. It’s the tactile and blingy nature of the bags –a reaction she shares with many. Naturally I support her in her Australian-made ideal.

This is a very early purse- in gold- which has an internal label: “GLOMESH, Made in NSW, Australia”, which marks it as such. A few of the gold plates at the base are worn and a bit bent, but the purse is entire and its lining is intact.

This is a piece of Glomesh history: and it’s for sale: $AU45

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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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Old Australiana tins

Old Australian tinsAustraliana tins
made in Australia, 1960s

For your amusement/delight, this post is dedicated to the collection of tins. And many- many-many people do collect tins. I didn’t set out to collect them- but the kitschy images on these three totally sucked me in.

We have two old biscuit tins and a sweets tin.

The ‘Australian Wildflower Series’ tin is a Brockhoff biscuit tin, made in the 1960s. There were 2 lbs of biscuits in there- and after the biscuits were eaten the tin could be used for storing all manner of things.

The ‘Koala’ tin held 1½ lbs of Arnotts biscuits- back in the day when Arnotts was a wholly owned Australian company [ie: the 1960s.] A recent tin sold on Ebay for $61. These things are hot right now!

And the ‘Budgie’ tin held sweets made by Gibsons, in Perth.

All the tins have well preserved images on the front- and the lids and hinges are all in working order. The tin inside has discoloured in places, due to age; but I gather that’s what you want in these things. Too sparkly bright might mean it was a reproduction tin- and nobody wants one of those!

The three tins are for sale: $AUD75

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60s snow domes

60s Sea World snow domesDolphin snow domes
made in Australia 1960s

A pair of novelty snow domes from Sea World, circa 1960. The dome on the left- bizarrely- has dolphins on a see-saw in a [once] snowy blizzard; the dolphins on the right are performing on stage AT Sea World. Ah – the 60s – when souvenirware was cute AND surreal.

Snow dome collecting is now such an established and well-known past time that I thought there might be a special name for such collectors- but alas no. Snow domes have been around since the Eighteenth Century and were originally for advertising; by midcentury they were the well known half dome with snow blizzard and associated with holiday destinations and souvenirware.

Any snow dome collector would love this pair- novelty snow domes are quite sort after – or – start your snow dome collection today!

The dolphin snow domes are for sale: $35

Pates posey vase

Pates posey vasePates posey vase
made in Sydney, c 1940s

This posey vase was made by Pates Pottery, which operated out of Belmore, Sydney from 1946 -1990. The deco styling of the vase is deliberate, although it was made much after that period; it seems nostalgia for things past [and styles familiar and remembered] has always influenced pottery makers.

The drip glazes used by Pates were applied by hand, and the vases came in mottled shades of pinks, yellows, and green & brown- indeed it is this mottled glaze that instantly identifies this vase as a Pates vase. The vase is also stamped on the base “Pates Potteries Sydney Australia.”

This lovely green and brown vase is perfect to display wattle – the joey figurine is just along for the ride.

Pates Pottery collectors rejoice: this posey vase is in perfect condition and is for sale: $AUD75

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Coffee bean spoons

Silver-plated coffee spoons,
made in England 1940s

This boxed set of coffee spoons features a celluloid ‘bean’ on the end of scalloped-bowled spoons. The spoons are stamped EPNS for Electro-Plated Nickel Silver. Nickel is the base metal onto which the silver is plated.

The celluloid ‘beans’ are brown, and somewhat realistic; the way to determine newer [= less vintage] coffee bean spoons is the beans are all manner of colours, and usually made of glass or plastic. Green beans I get [that’s the natural colour prior to roasting] but blue and pink beans are hardly authentic!

The silver plate is somewhat rubbed from some spoons – a tendency found on all EPNS cutlery that’s over seventy years old. So these spoons should be used for display purposes only.

The spoons come in their original box; and are for sale: $AU45

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Kathie Winkle

Kathie Winkle ‘Calypso’
made by Broadhurst, England 1963

I am a huge Kathie Winkle fan: she produced over one hundred patterns for Broadhurst between 1958 and 1975. During this period, Kathie Winkie produced ironstone china with silkscreen printed decorations, with a hand-painted underglaze.

[So far on my blog: I have examples of: ‘michelle’, ‘calypso’, ‘corinth’, ‘kontiki’, ’newlyn’, ‘rushstone’, ‘electra’, ‘kimberley’, ‘taskent’, and ‘renaissance’.] I am becoming a kathie winkle nerd.

AND- while my family collected the ‘Rushstone’ pattern [c. 1960], my partner’s collected ‘Calypso’- produced in 1963.

So – this is a Calypso collection: a large oval platter, four side plates, four bowls, and four condiment bowls. Don’t you love how the condiment bowls extracted the dominant motif from the main design? These are probably my favourite part of the collection.

The Calypso collection is for sale: $AU220/ [13 pieces]

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#50sstyle dress jewellery

This is a collection of 50s Australian dress jewellery:

  • two ‘souvenirware’ bracelets featuring Australian fauna and flora,
  • six tie pins.

The bracelets feature various flora and fauna on faux mother-of-pearl backgrounds, whilst the tie pins have real mother-of-pearl. Some of the tie pins are gold; others are ‘imitation’.

The bracelets were sold as souvenirware on a cruise ship in the 50s- when the ship pulled into a harbour city these were available as mementos – or gifts- for the folks back home.

The tie pins were a 50s staple for the elegant suited gent: not only did they hold a tie together- they signalled prestige: the size, the styling, the gold…think ‘Mad Men’ – then think the humble Australian equivalent!

The bracelets are for sale: $AU35, and the set of six tie pins: $AU125

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