!!Cuban Fantasy!!

Midwinter Modern ‘Cuban Fantasy’ plate
made in England 1957

Cuban Fantasy! the name given to this fantastic 50s ‘atomic’ design plate says it all.

The plate was designed by Midwinter’s in-house designer, Jessie Tait [b. 1928]- who also designed ‘Cannes’, ‘Bali Hai’, ‘Tonga’ and ‘Patio Hollywood’. Clearly she had a taste for the exotic!

The divided plate has a “permanent underglaze colour, acid resistant, hand engraving” as it attests on the backstamp.  The Cuban Fantasy pattern also came in a vase, cup & saucer set, condiment jar, and a cake plate.

Midwinter pottery is having a renaissance at the moment – collectors are going mad for it. I’ve seen this plate on Ebay for $75. For you, dear reader, the plate [which is in excellent vintage condition] is :$AU55

I’ve teamed the Cuban Fantasy with a Debonair camera from the same period- as are the Observer books. The camera and books are available for sale also on the blog.

Bakewells jugs

Bakewells graduated jugs
made in Australia 1930s

Bakewells started production in 1884 and like so many potteries, moved away from making industrial ceramic products -like bricks and pipes- to domestic wares in the early part of the twentieth century. By the early 30s Bakewells was making pudding bowls and graduated jugs in multi colours-  all to meet the insatiable demand of the new middle class. Bakewells is now very well known and very collectible.

This is an image from my own kitchen [and kitchenalia collection]- but I draw your attention to the Bakewells graduated jugs in green on the top shelf. I have just recently added to this collection – and find I have no more room to display it: so for sale are three green graduated jugs: similar to the first three of the four jug set seen here. You only need find the fourth- smallest- to create a set.

The jugs, being made in the 30s, have art deco flourishes: the shape, handle and applied decoration are all deco inspired. And the jugs are functional, as well as beautiful: we use ours to serve sauces and gravies [especially if we make art deco gravies. Only kidding- that sounds horrible!]

The three green graduated jugs are in excellent vintage condition, and are for sale: $AU95

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70s goblets

Diana ‘Safari’ goblets
made in Australia 1970s

My regular readers know how much I love Diana pottery- made in a pottery near where I now live, in Marrickville, Sydney from 1940 to 1975. I especially love the 40s and 50s pottery…and until recently have not so much enjoyed the 70s [having actually lived through it in Australia– it was rough.]

BUT now I have a photographer son- who takes all my images- and he totally embraces the 70s. Where I see brutalist brutalism, he sees a weird, fresh take on colour and form.

I have not- I note- seen him embrace my love of the 40s and 50s. I have tried. Lord knows. Parental responsibility is taken seriously. But- no dice. Clearly, we can only embrace that which we have not personally lived through. Until… we see it through fresh eyes.

For Diana ‘Safari’ aficionados- I have other pieces available on the blog. And- the goblets are for sale: $AU25.  They are in great vintage condition.
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Hanstan coffee pot

Hanstan coffee pot & mugs
made in Australia, 1970s

Hanstan pottery was a collaboration between Hans Wright and Stan Burrage – hence Hanstan- that started in Victoria in 1962. The pottery continued to make domestic ware pottery well into the 1980s. Hanstan collectors will know that the pottery is always two-tone: either matt white and mission brown, or 70s orange and misson brown. The brown part of the pottery is rough glazed to contrast with the smooth slip glaze of the other colour.

The coffee pot, collectors will also know – is now quite rare and hard to find. I have had the mugs and the matching sugar bowl for some time, and the coffee pot, completing the set, has only just been found. All pieces are in excellent vintage condition; the coffee pot is completely unstained and looks like it’s never been used.

I also have examples of Hanstan white/brown pottery- spice jars and a salt pig – elsewhere on this blog.

The Hanstan coffee set is for sale: $AU125

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#30s style

Woods Ivory Ware cup & saucer set
made in England, 1930s

This delightful cup, saucer and cake plate set is Woods Ivory Ware; distinguished by the black and white ‘checkered’ rim. The checked rim, and the abstract flower motif on the pieces are all hand-painted, which means each piece is slightly different.

Woods Ivory Ware [the ‘Ivory’ referring to the pure white of the fine bone china] was made in Burslem in England- where many potteries hail from. The pieces are hand-signed ‘36’ on the back; presumably this was the painter’s number; and the plate is impressed W83 and the cup 126. All pieces are stamped Woods Ivory Ware, England.

The set is in fine vintage condition; ready for tea and cake! It is for sale: $AU55

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3 black cats

Black Cat condiment tray
made in Japan, 1950s

Three Black Cats walk into a bar…two are salt and pepper shakers, the third is for mustard. Or for toothpicks- who knows what those crazy 50s people were thinking?

I love this set: the black cats all look slightly crazed and ready for action, and yet they are on a lovely orange tray with handles: they are only condiments servers. On second thoughts, maybe they are black panthers…[my zoology knowledge is somewhat limited.]

For 50s collectors and cat collectors- the perfect combination: for sale- $AU45

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SylvaC

SylvaC terrier dog
made in England 1960-1979

An exciting find! I often buy small figurines to ‘style’ my photos- to provide scale and context.

I picked up this terrier figurine; and then when researching it to add to my post discovered it is by SylvaC, model 1378. As I have collected, and showcased SylvaC figurines before, I was intrigued.

The post was supposed to showcase the Gambit Ware ‘Mulga’ leaf pate, by Ceramique: an early melamine material that was developed in Australia to revolutionise ceramic – it would ‘never chip or break.’ I have collected a whole of Gambit Ware – because I am a landscape architect, interested in Australian flora- and have collected every piece I have come across.

The stylised plates came in simple pastel colours, but are quite botanically detailed- they include wattle, banksia, kurrajong, acacia 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’!

So- what to showcase? The SylvaC terrier or the Gambit Ware Mulga plate?

The SylvaC terrier is for sale: $AU25

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Wild Rose toast rack

Shorter & Son ‘Wild Rose’ toast rack
made in England, 1940s

Today, for your delight – a ceramic 40s toast rack, with ‘wild rose’ pattern. I’ve teamed the rack with a fabulous picture of Mary- chosen for the complimentary colours, and because it looks like Mary is holding a sundae – sort of a food tie-in with the toast rack.

Religious iconography – especially vintage iconography- is always fascinating. I don’t understand any of the symbolism here- [and perhaps it’s just my fascination with deserts] – I do know it’s Mary due to her blue dress.

But back to the toast rack: Shorter and Son pottery was established in 1900 and finished production in 1964. By the 1940s- when this rack was made, Short and Son were known for their ‘novelty’ ceramic kitchenalia. These earthenware pottery pieces typically featured English flowers, and were:

“cleverly modelled and effectively decorated…” [to quote the Pottery Gazette, published March 1941.]

People collect toast racks. And people collect pottery featuring flowers. Here’s a piece to suit everybody! The toast rack is in great vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU35

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60s candlestick

Scheurich candlestick,
made in West Germany 1960s

By now you are all familiar with the term ‘fat lava’- the West German pottery that happened in the 60s and 70s that used crazy glazes, crazy shapes and crazy thick lava-esque patternings. Kinda grotesque at the time, but now much embraced and much celebrated.

Here is a more modestly coloured Scheurich candlestick. Although if orange wasn’t the colour of the 60s, I don’t know what was. And while Australians might call this a candle-holder; the European name for this device is a candlestick.

Like all Scheurich pottery, it has marks on the base: 255 /10. The first number is the pattern number, the second number is the height [in cm.] Those Scheurich potters!- so practical! I love the anti-gravity shape of the candlestick; and the colours of the candles I have teamed it with.

The candlestick has a tiny fleabite at the back, on the middle ring. I nearly didn’t buy it.  But it’s Scheurich, it’s fat lava, it’s a 60s candlestick! So, I have styled it with the fleabite to the back, and it is priced accordingly.

The Scheurich candlestick is for sale: $AU45

70s orange [sold]

Krups kitchen scales, made in Ireland c.1970s
Pyrex mixing bowl, made in USA c. 1970s

Ah the 70s when orange ruled supreme! I can’t but associate anything oldish and orangish with the 70s.

I have a rather large collection of retro kitchen scales. So far I have posted Australian scales [Salter -50s and Persinware-60s] but the collection also includes these lovely metal scales made in Ireland in the 70s. Scales are both functional and beautiful – which is why I love ‘em; I’ve seen them used for their original intention [weighing stuff] but also they make great book ends and fruit bowls. Just as long as the measuring bowl is intact [and one must make sure it’s the original bowl as well.]

These scales weigh items up to 10 lbs in 1 ounce increments, or 4.5kg by 25 grams- so are good for most of the world whether imperial or metric. The scales are orange enamel and the plastic bowl is a great elongated oval shape- again, very 70s.

The Pyrex mixing bowl features a great orange pattern- I’m sure Pyrex aficionados could identify the pattern name.  The mixing bowl also functions well as a fruit bowl.

I like the scales and the bowl together- bonded in their orangeness and their 70s-ness.

This set is for sale: $AUD80