Children’s figurine #50s style

Lustreware duck figurine, 1950sLustreware duck
made in Japan, 1950s

Following the fantastic lustreware duck jug recently posted; here is another lustreware duck. This is also from the 1950s- this being a dressed duck, with waistcoat and topcoat – but – strangely no wings [seem to be demurely tucked under those clothes.] The duck would have been bought for a children’s room; these anthropomorphic animals were very popular as gifts for children in the 50s and 60s.

The lustreware is seen on the topcoat, and as with the jug, all this was hand-painted. I’ve teamed the duck figurine- which is quite large- 170mm tall- with a little duck cup orphaned from a children’s tea set, also made in Japan at around the same time. Though just how he will pick up that cup is anyone’s guess!

The duck figurine is for sale: $AU35

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Bessemer jugs

Bessemer jugs
made in Melbourne, c. 1970s

Bessemer products – made from melamine – were made by the Nylex Melmac Corporation which started production in the mid 60s. These beautiful jugs [and the subject of future posts, I have collected a lot of Bessemer!] were designed by Lionel Suttie, an industrial designer.

It’s interesting that Mr Suttie is remembered as Bessemer’s lead designer: this was the first time that condiment or tableware made from plastic [melamine] was thought to be worthy of design – that the humble mass-produced plastic jug or butter dish could make a design statement. These jugs certainly do that- they pay homage to mid-century modernist design and in the colouring, homage to the 70s.

The jugs can be used as intended- melamine is a strong plastic resistant to scratching and these jugs are ‘as new’ – or they can form part of a funky 70s display.

For sale: $AUD60

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60s Chinese silk brocade

Chinese silk brocade
made in Hong Kong, 1960s

This is a selection of Chinese silk brocade – brocade is a fabric woven with a raised pattern, typically with gold or silver thread. There are four pieces, and they all feature traditional Chinese motifs – albeit traditional as seen through the lens of the 1960s;

– red : 750mm wide x 2.75m long; with a flower motif
– gold: 780mm wide x 2.75m long; with a flower motif
– cyan: 750mm wide x 3.25m long; with a bamboo motif
– dark blue: 750mm wide x 2.75m long; with a crane and landscape motif.

I bought the fabric from a vintage fabric seller with the intention of making brocade kimonos/smoking jackets but must now concede I don’t have the time or inclination any more. The pieces are all in excellent condition [often vintage fabric can be faded at the fold lines or in creases] and are all long enough to make a full length kimono/dressing gown. Or a cheongsam – the traditional Chinese dress form that uses silk brocade.

The four pieces of fabric are for sale: $AU125

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Westclox

Westclox clocks :
‘Big Ben’ made in USA  c.1916
‘Baby Ben’ USA  c.1964
‘America’ USA  c.1932 and
Five Rams clock, made in china c.1970s

All clocks are wind-up, with alarms, in working order. Big Ben is missing a ring on its top, but I think it looks better without it. America is quite rusted, but it being made in the 30s it’s entitled to be. Baby Ben, being of a later vintage, has a funky 60s aesthetic and glow in the dark numbers and hands. Westclox are very collectible, with whole websites devoted to their identification, buying and selling.

Clocks look great massed together – just make sure you have three or more.  For sale: $AUD115

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Maplewood

J&G Meakin Studio plate
made in England, 1967

J & G Meakin Ltd was founded in 1851 when James and George Meakin took over their fathers Eagle Pottery, operating out of Hanley in England. Many potteries of this time – like Meakin- were located on canals- for ease of movement of raw materials into the factory- and finished products out of the factory to Liverpool; from there Meakin pottery was exported to all the British colonies, including America and Australia.

The company was amongst the first British pottery firms to experiment with modernist designs associated with the art deco period; and in the 19th and early 20th centuries, J. & G. Meakin were important, large-scale producers of good quality, ironstone tableware (‘White Granite’ ware.) This plate- with pattern ‘Maplewood’ is an example of White Ironstone, or White Granite pottery.

Made in 1967, the Maplewood dinner service features ‘permanent colour, with hand engraving’. The classic, abstract design of grey maple leaves on a pure white plate is highly sought after.

Alas- I only have one plate…but there are a myriad examples of 60s Meakin design: my ideal is to have a dinner service made up of each of the designs.

This plate is for sale: $AU15
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70s lucite napkin rings

Guzzini 70s lucite napkin ringsGuzzini Fratelli napkin rings
made in Italy 1970s

70s Lucite napkin rings for your retro table setting. Guzzini have been making tableware items since 1912 and in 1938 started producing items in ‘Plexiglas’- the Italian proprietary name for Lucite [or Perspex as it is known in Australia.] And Guzzini is still producing perspex items today.

These beauties come in their original box and are in great condition. The box has fantastic 70s graphics and the title ‘Allacciatovaglioli’ which roughly translates as napkin ties [‘allaccia’=tie and ‘tovaglioli’= napkin.]

The napkin rings have been photographed with a rather groovy 70s perpetual calendar which has been sold. I am always on the lookout for these calendars- I love them!

The napkin rings are for sale: $AU45

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Donald & Piglet

Donald Duck clock & PigletBayard Donald Duck clock, made in France c.1960s
Beswick Piglet figurine, made in England 1968-1990

This lovely Donald Duck clock is currently for display only – the clock mechanism still works but its time keeping is not exactly accurate. It could possibly be repaired- and it would be fun to see Donald’s arms holding red paint brushes move around the dial – but for my money, he’s quite adorable as he is.

The other issue with these clocks is…the hands are well known to fall off. In fact, if you find a clock with the hands still attached- you are doing well. So, I think since the hands are in a delightful twenty minutes to three configuration, all well and good.

The blue metal casing has some rust – and a tiny nick in the plastic dial ring between numbers 8 and 9 – click on the image to enlarge to see – both of which are a product of the clock’s age. This particular Donald clock is now quite rare in that it has little plastic feet in place of the more commonly produced metal pedestal rest.

All vintage Disney products are now very collectable. Donald’s friend Piglet, by Beswick, is no exception. He has a ‘gold’ back stamp indicating he was made by Beswick, under license for Walt Disney Productions. Figurines with a gold back stamp are more expensive than those with a mere brown back stamp. I have seen gold back stamp Piglets for sale for over $150! And for a fella with such a forlorn face too!

Piglet is in excellent condition; both items are for sale separately or together.

For sale: Donald Duck clock: $AUD75, Piglet : $AUD75 or both: $AUD125

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Elischer pottery

Elischer ramekins & vaseElischer ramekins & vase
made in Melbourne, Australia 1950s

Most of my collection comes from Sydney potteries – but Elischer is a Melbourne pottery which commenced in the late 30s and continued until the late 80s. Elischer was a Viennese sculptor who turned to pottery when he immigrated to Melbourne. These pieces; three ramekins and a small vase, are in the typical 50s colourway of black, tan and cream but employ atypical organic, asymmetrical forms.

I have one other Elischer pottery piece in the collection – very different to these pieces- a Four Seasons Whiskey jug. By the 60s Elischer was making commercial bar ware and had moved away from the more experimental pottery seen here.

None of these pieces is signed – I have deduced from research and the matching colourway/asymmetric forms that all these pieces are Elischer. They are for sale: $AUD80

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Hornsea!

Hornsea ‘Heirloom’ jug
made in England  1976

Hornsea pottery is SUPER collectible right now: this is a jug from the ‘Heirloom’ pattern.

Hornsea Pottery started in 1949 in England and finished production in 2000. In 1970s John Clappison designed the successful – and now very collectible- series ‘Heirloom’, Saffron’ and ‘Bronte’ patterns.

Each of the designs has a repeating pattern in different colours: Heirloom is sepia & charcoal, Saffron is tan & orange and Bronte is sepia & green. I have featured the Bronte pattern previously on this blog- a set of kitchen canisters; and also more Heirloom; cups and saucers and cake plates.

I kinda like the idea of having an entire set made up from all three patterns; they look so good together. Start your Hornsea collection today with this terrific jug- in excellent condition- for sale: $AU15

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Bonzo trinket tin

Bonzo trinket tin, 1930sBonzo tin
made in England, 1930s

Bonzo the dog was the first cartoon character created in England, by George Studdy in 1922. Bonzo has been reproduced in a myriad ways since those early comic books- from figurines to kitchenalia and of course, in tin. You might be familiar with the very popular salt and pepper shakers, which have “I’m Salt” and “I’m Pepper’ emblazoned on two upright Bonzos. Bonzo paraphernalia has been in and out of fashion since the 20s – and I’m pleased to say he is coming back in again.

I have researched this Bonzo tin – it is unmarked- but have been unsuccessful in ascertaining the maker. I do know from other collectors that this is a Bonzo trinket tin [rather than, say, a sweets tin] made in the 30s.  It has a little wear to the hand-painted finish and some rust but is still air-tight for the keeping of trinkets.

I also have a Bonzo napkin ring [see post below.] So now I have two Bonzo pieces a fledgling Bonzo collection has started. Not that I need another collection – it’s just those kitschy large eyes on the very 20s-looking dog that gets me in.

The Bonzo tin is for sale: $AU75

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