40s ‘Utility’ jug

Fowler Ware ‘Utility’ jug
made in Australia 1940s

I’ve featured a lot of Fowler Ware pudding bowls and jugs on this blog: the 40s colours and shapes are so fabulous. This jug is stoneware, and from the Fowler Ware ‘Utility’ range – perhaps off-white wasn’t as glamorous as the coloured pieces -and could be used every day.

Whatever, the beauty of the off-white stoneware is that any fruit/food/kitchen implement stored in them looks fantastic. Collecting in a single colour is quite dramatic, and these pieces look fantastic in a white or neutral-toned contemporary kitchen. I was inspired by a friend who has about 15 off-white bowls sitting on the top of her kitchen cupboards- in that space below the ceiling.

And the beauty of the jug- it doubles as a vase! Win-win-win!

I have matching Utility stoneware pudding bowls for sale elsewhere on the blog. Start collecting today!

The Utility jug is back stamped, and in excellent vintage condition-for sale: $AU35

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Gempo canister [sold]

Gempo kitchen canister
made in Japan 1970s

Gempo pottery – like much of the 70s- is having a resurgence at the moment. Gempo pottery was made in Japan between1962 – and 1974 for the export market.

This pig canister has the large-faced form that marks all Gempo pottery. It is also particular to the 70s era with the stylised features, and the stoneware pottery glazed in rustic creams and browns. And the fact that the pig is wearing clothes!

I’m not sure how many animals Gempo stylised on canisters, mugs, egg cups and moneyboxes but currently in my collection I have a spotted hippo, giraffe, elephant and lion.

The Gempo pig canister is for sale: $AU25

Pearsons of Chesterfield

Pearsons stoneware jars
made in England, 1970s

These condiment jars- three with pouring lips- are all ‘bung’ jars; the top was sealed originally with a removable bung made of cork. The larger three with pouring lips were made for vinegar, oil and vinegrettes and are 6 inches, the smaller ones are made for spices and are 4 ¾ inches.

The printed makers name on the base of the jars is ‘Pearsons of Chesterfield’ – the pottery works has been making stoneware jars since 1810 and only stopped production in 1994. The makers mark indicates these jars were made in the 70s.

James Pearson took over the early pottery works in the 1930s and renamed it Pearsons of Chesterfield; and when the pottery closed in 1994 it was the last of the potteries to do so.

The jars have a minimalist vibe unusual for the 70s and look fantastic massed together: they are now quite collectible and being so sturdy can be pressed into work in the contemporary kitchen.

The set of seven jars are for sale: $AUD85
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Snowdomes!

70s snowdomesSnowdomes
made in Hong Kong 1970s

Paris! Harmony California [Population 10] and Gundagi.  Gundagi is a small town in NSW that is famous for its ‘dog on the tuckerbox’ statue. [Like many small towns, it finds infamy where it can.] Three snowdomes proving that 1] it snows everywhere, all the time and 2] the snowdome is a great equalizer- everywhere on the planet is represented in the snowdome world.

All three domes were made in Hong Kong in the 70s and you can see the relative vintages of the domes by the water level. Snowdomes are highly collectible and even completely dry domes- which happens after forty or so years- are sought after. Although people think you can top up a snowdome, it is better to leave them.

I recently found a Venice snowdome- complete with gondolier [not shown in image.] Soon I’ll have the entire world!

A must for snowdome collectors- young and old! These three are for sale: $AUD30 [will also throw in Venice!]

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Super 8

Atlas editor viewerAtlas  Editor Viewer
made in Japan c.1950s

What a beauty! This is a 8mm / super 8 film viewer, and a marvel of 50s engineering. It is fully functional- it uses AC 240 V, and a 6V, 10W lamp [& has a lovely bakelite electrical plug.] You can see from the image it’s been made to sit into a desk top; -or it can stand alone and is quite portable.

This editor viewer is model #880. Atlas made many 8mm film viewers, but for my money, this is the most beautiful. Who cares if you never use it to actually view film? It’s a lovely piece in its own right. It will lend industrial vintage cred to any room!

For sale: $AUD145

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Art Deco candle holder

Art Deco candle holderArt Deco candle holder
made in Australia c.1920s

Here we have a delightful candle holder made in the 1920s. It came from an Estate sale where I met and got chatting to the grand-daughter of the original owner. She knew the candle holder was from the 20s because her grandmother had talked with much affection about its purchase- and long use since then.

The candle holder is unmarked- not uncommon for pottery pieces produced just after the war- but the green glaze and the stylistic influences are classic Art Deco. As is the integral handle- made from the upsweep of the base- all very modern in the 20s and anticipating the modernism of the 50s.

I have teamed the candle holder with a pair of 20s cast iron kookaburras from my partner’s collection [you will recall she is exceptionally fond of kookaburras.] Although they are of the same era, the kookaburras look crude next to the sleek modernism of the candle holder.

The candle holder has some crazing to the glaze at the top [click on the image for a zoomed view]- but that is to be expected from something nearly 100 years old. Other than that it’s in good nick and is for sale : $AUD75

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Fuzzy Felt!

Fuzzy Felt Ballet & Play FarmFuzzy Felt Ballet & Play Farm
made in England 1964

One of my earliest memories is seeing Fuzzy Felt Bible Stories at Scripture class. I would have been 3 or 4. Even then I wanted to mix all the stories up and see what would happen if Jesus and Lazarus meet on Noah’s Ark. And what if the disciples and all the animals suddenly found themselves in King Solomon’s temple? Alas, it never happened as any attempts I made were neatly thwarted by the teacher.

And so- how I coveted Fuzzy Felt Bible Stories! I repeatedly asked Santa to bring it to me for Christmas [but apparently it was too expensive for Santa- the cheapskate!] Then for my 8th birthday- I was given Fuzzy Felt Ballet, and my younger sister got Fuzzy Felt Play Farm. I was very disappointed…it was too girly for me, although the black fuzzy felt board was kind of sophisticated. The Play Farm at least had heavy machinery, albeit picked out in two-dimensional felt.

So imagine my delight when I came across these two Fuzzy Felt sets! Oh the nostalgia! The memories of putting ballerinas on tractors and putting tutus on pigs! It all came flooding back. As did the blurb on the box:

“Gaily coloured felt shapes to make pictures! They cling like magic on the fuzzy board!”

Totally magical. The two sets are complete, with only a little minor wear to the black fuzzy felt board. For sale: $AU60

Have a fuzzy felt christmas!

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Bushland Friends

Bushland Friends board gameBushland Friends board game
made in Australia 1956

The third in my posts on retro board games- this game purports to be a “cute little folks animal game”. For ages 4 to 8, this game involves spinning a dial featuring Australian animals [and, weirdly, a rabbit] and moving along a forest path made up of the same animals- thus “players simply match pictures of loveable little animals – there is no reading.”

It’s not all fun and games, however- players landing on occupied spaces can bump their opponents off. Even 4 years old need to understand the harsh competitive world that is board games!

As you can see on the image, the game originally sold for 99 cents. While the game is in good order, and ready for some bumping-off action, it doesn’t contain it’s playing pieces. However, since these were only dull plastic discs [and not, as I imagined, Australian marsupials- a la monopoly pieces] – the new owner of this game is obliged to supply their own.

The game is for sale: $AUD15

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70s Golden Glory

Johnson ‘Golden Glory’ teacups
made in Australia 1976

The back stamp of these 70s tea cups is Johnson OF Australia – [reminds me of Lawrence OF Arabia!] Johnson Bros [Australia] produced transfer printed stoneware crockery marketed as “tough, utilitarian ware” – which is why these teacups are looking so fresh and unblemished today. Also- never been out of the box.

Johnson Bros [Australia] was a division of Johnson Brothers England- at the time one of the largest domestic pottery producers in the world. This design is ‘Golden Glory’- which, double entendre aside, is a selection of lovely golden Australian flowers. This pattern was collected and added to the Powerhouse collection by a Melbourne artist -John Hind.

I have recently started to embrace the 70s – and Australiana from the 70s; and now I have an Instagram account, I have been seeing much 70s Australiana – and Johnsons ceramics are much celebrated. There is one fantastic site where Johnson pieces are cut and sanded to make upcycled jewellery: rings and necklaces. It’s a lovely celebration of 70s iconography and the ‘tough, utilitarian ware’ that the Johnson Bros never imagined.

This boxed set of four teacups and saucers is for sale: $AU45 Buy now for Christmas!

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Guy Boyd goblets

Guy Boyd goblet set
made in Sydney, Australia 1950s

This is a really, really rare set of Guy Boyd goblets. The form of the vessel- the goblet- was only produced in very limited quantities. To find an original set [rather than re-create a set, one piece at a time] is also rare.

The Boyds are a famous Australian family of artists. Martin Boyd pottery started in Cremorne, Sydney in 1946- but Martin doesn’t exist, instead it was Guy [Martin] Boyd who was the chief ceramicist. The pottery was in operation from 1946-1964, with 1957-58 being the peak production period.

All Guy Boyd pottery is made [and signed] by hand so there is a slight variation between any pieces in a set. The pottery is instantly recognisable from the edge band of unglazed pottery that always separates the two toned pieces. The colours are quintessentially 50s.

This fabulous goblet set would be great for Christmas drinks! It is for sale: $AU75
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