30s Mickey Mouse

1930s Mickey Mouse napkin ringMickey Mouse napkin ring
made in Japan 1930s

How fabulous is this hand-painted Mickey Mouse napkin ring? Here he is in his early Disney rendering- all rat-like but with his trademark big ears. Mickey first appeared in 1928 [in Steamboat Willie] and this napkin ring was made not soon after.

I found Mickey in a collector’s sale lot of napkin rings and bought the lot because Mickey was there. Mickey is in great condition with only a little wear to the hand-painting on his extremities- ears and nose. He is very collectible- as is any vintage Mickey Mouse item. Mickey’s from the 30s and 40s are now highly sought after.

Mickey is shown here with a bakelite spice canister and a sweet tin from the 30s…they were made in Australia but since Mickey is a universal icon, I don’t think that matters. Mickey is for sale: $AUD75

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Red bakelite s&p

Bakelite salt and pepper shakers
made by Marquis, Nally, Eon in Australia, c.1940s

I have previously posted bakelite salt and pepper shakers – twice- first in a grouping of green examples and then in a grouping of multi-coloured examples. Here we have a collection of red s&p. They were made to be included in the picnic basket- an everyday object made in a newly-developed plastic- that wouldn’t break in the great outdoors.

I am very fond of the ingenious design of the first two shakers – the top and bottom separate to reveal the two shakers; and you can see that the screw-on bases were often different coloured bakelite. These shakers were made by Marquis; and are impressed with ‘cat 729’.

The next pair of shakers were made by Nally: they are quite distinctive with black bakelite screw lids; and the last set of shakers- although not marked, are by Eon.

For bakelite collectors, and salt and pepper shaker collectors- you know who you are!

For sale: $AUD115

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Viewmaster Junior Projector

Viewmaster Junior Projector, 50s, USAViewmaster Junior Projector
made in Portland, Oregon 1957

The first Viewmaster was made in the 1930s by William Gruber, who was fascinated with Nineteenth Century stereoscopes. He partnered with Sawyers Co. to produce viewers which debuted at the 1939 World’s Fair.

This ‘Junior’ projector was made in 1957 – at the same time all the classic bakelite hand-held Viewmasters were made. These were called the Model C Viewer and were made from 1946-1955.  But while the hand-helds view reels in stereoscope, this projector- using the same reels- projects in monoscope. The projector is cast metal and bakelite, and has a similar level mechanism to advance the reels as the hand-helds, and all reels made are compatible. The projector comes in its original box, which is in good vintage condition.

Along with this fantastic junior ‘toy’ [every child in the 50s wanted one!] come a great range of original 50s reels. The range from Australia themes [“5010 The Great Barrier Reef”, “5121 Adelaide & Vicinity”] to American themes [“291 California Wild Flowers”, “157 New York City”] and for some odd reason, a single Movie Star themed: “Gene Autry and his wonder horse Champion”. That’s a real corker!

The Junior Projector is for sale: $AU120. For a full list of the reels, please email : reretroblog.gmail.com

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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.]

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!

40s kitchenalia

Fowler Ware jug & Ibis condiment setFowler Ware jug, made in Australia 1940s
Ibis ‘lotus’ condiment set, made in Australia 1940s

Fowler Ware created industrial pottery in Glebe, Sydney commencing in the 1840s. After WWII, Fowler Ware moved to producing pottery for the domestic market : their pudding bowls and jugs were so popular that they opened a second pottery to cope with the demand. I have posted quite a few Fowler Ware jugs – this one is had that quintessential 40s rounded body shape, and is in a drip glazed green- rather than the more usual solid glaze colour.

Ibis bakelite is hard to come by: not a lot of it was made as the small factory in Melbourne only operated for a short period between the wars.

This is a condiment set, with stand; the salt and pepper shakers have been fashioned as stylised lotuses. The openings for the salt and pepper is a recessed screwed section hidden under the stand. [This set has now sold.]

The Fowler Ware jug is for sale: $AU45

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sUNBEAM bEATER mIX

Sunbeam Beater Mix, new in box, 1972Sunbeam Beater Mix
made in Australia 1972

How often have I used a Sunbeam Beater Mix to make pavlova? A million times. How often have I used it to make anything else? Not so much.

So – when I came across this beauty- new in box, I had to have it. It’s been checked by an electrician and it is oked for pavlova making.

It’s a fabulous 70s yellow colour, on black bakelite. Oh so 70s. The blurb on the box describes it thus: “portable, lightweight, with three powerful speeds- and – ejectable beaters!’ Really- you had me at ‘ejectable beaters’!

So- for all your pavlova / other beating needs [remind me again – what they might be?] the Sunbeam Beater Mix is for sale: $AU75

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Christmas kitchen canisters

Kitchen canisters, 1960sKitchen canisters
made in Australia 1960s

I’ve posted an image of our kitchen previously: I have been collecting these glass canisters FOREVER. I like them because you can see what food stuff is contained within: and because they were made in the 50s the glass is thick and the seal is strong. These canisters can be repurposed to contain anything that needs an air-tight seal.

I also like the canisters because my partner’s family actually bought them – every Christmas- filled with sugared almonds or salted nuts. So she has an association with them too. Now our kitchen is replete with them.

The lids were made in bakelite up until the 50s – then – every colour of plastic lid was used. This is especially helpful now in the kitchen: as I associate flour with red, baking soda with yellow, sugar with green…

I have several here in Christmas colours. The glamour! The five canisters are for sale: $AU100

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50s trophies

50s trophiesTrophies
made in Australia 1950s

I have seen vintage trophies repurposed as business card holders: and so decided to collect them.

Here we have, from left to right:

A silver plate cup, with no inscription; on a Marquis bakelite base.
A silver plate cup inscribed: “Presented to V. Kane, Fairest Player on and off field, 1956” on a Marquis bakelite base.
A hallmarked silver cup inscribed: “Selangor Golf Club Services Trophy 1958, Winners D.C. Hurst & L.M. Riedel” on a bakelite base.

Of course, once you’ve figured out that a trophy is great as a repurposed card holder, you can think of many great repurposing ideas. Drinking champagne comes to mind.

The trophies are for sale: $AUD75

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