Australasian WONDER ATLAS
published in Australia 1950s
Australasian WONDER ATLAS! An Atlas for the AIR AGE. NEW Up-to date Edition.
My partner and I collect Australian Atlases. Because: Maps. Kitsch. Graphs. Kitschy drawings. Idealised images of Australia in the 50s.
This one is a beauty!
It’s in fantastic vintage condition. Last week at our local primary school book fair we found another 50s Atlas. It has ink blobs on the cover, thumbed pages, scrawls from numerous children throughout, and the old library card in the front. It’s similarly fantastic- I love the use, wear and tear and obvious appeal that maps have.
If anyone has an old Australian Atlas- let me know!
This is a ‘dual’ cast-iron cobblers shoe last- there are two different shapes on which to stretch and shape leather to make shoes. Cast-iron was used as it maintains its shape when in contact with wet leather and the mechanical stresses of stretching and shaping shoes.
Nowadays these heavy items are used as book ends, door stops or simply as decorative industrial forms.
There is something very satisfying about repurposing an industrial antique- giving it a new purpose and lease of life- and the functional design of the last means it is stable either end up.
Pictured here with a pineapple- the shoe last lends gravitas to anything!
Crystal Craft has become uber trendy for collectors: it’s a resin-covered fabric that originated in Queensland in the 70s. These two pieces – turtle ashtray and dolphin wall plaque- feature ‘marine opal’ [aka polished abalone shell for New Zealand readers.] ….Although, clearly, marine opal sounds much better.
I take some comfort in knowing that while abalone was “taken by divers from the Pacific” [as Crystal Craft labels inform] at least the whole animal was used. The abalone shell polishes up a treat and looks great under resin!
The Crystal Craft turtle and dolphin are for sale: $AU35
I’m not sure when ramekins became vintagey fashionable, but these are good examples from the 50s. With 50s styling and colours they were all collected singly to make a set of five [a typical Japanese set.]
Ramekins are great for small dishes, soups and for foods cooked directly in them [chocolate pudding comes to mind!]
Since this image was taken, I have added to the collection- ramekins with a powder pink and a pastel blue interior. Let me know your preferred mix!
This whiskey water jug is both practical and highly collectible- and will appeal to Wade collectors also. Baranalia is the term for people who collect vintage barware.
These ‘advertisement’ jugs were mass produced and given away to public houses –not sold to the public- with the idea that the people would be so impressed by the glamour of having water added to their drink by a ‘branded jug’ that they would continue to order their brandy/whisky by name. Ah! the 60s, when advertising and impressing people was so easy!
Ceylon tea tin with original celluloid spoon
made in England, 1960s
This tin features its own original branded celluloid spoon: ‘Ceylon Tea’. The spoon is a little warped; the tea tin is a little rusted; commensurate with age.
But this tin is a lovely feature of the 60s- just when Ceylon [now Sri Lankan] tea was making it big in Europe. Tea was drunk right across Europe, and Ceylon started making inroads into the English tea drinking public.
Now of course we have tea-bags from everywhere- but this little tin with it’s spoon envision when tea came in tins, and was measured with spoons.
The tea tin is for sale: $AU15 [some rust on tin; some warping on spoon.] Buy Now
Depression era hand-made scone-cutter
Depression era hand-made items are having somewhat of a resurgence at the moment. Especially kitchenalia; into which category this scone-cutter neatly fits.
It was made by someone in their kitchen [with the help of a soldering iron] in the 1930s. Scones were a simple flour-and-water batter cake so most depression era families relied on them to either bulk out their evening meal; or – with any luck- by adding jam the ‘cake’ became a sweet item for desert.
Scones – with jam AND cream became popular in the 1940s and 50s- after the depression- and as a direct influence from England. Clotted cream and scones served at high tea became good old Aussie scones with a cup of tea. Either way, the scone-cutter lived on and has been cutting scones for decades!
Eon bakelite kitchen canisters
made in Australia 1950s
This is a set of nested canisters- Sugar, Rice, Coffee in mint green, with the original labels still marvelously intact. The canisters- and the labels- are made from bakelite and the labels are affixed using simple bakelite pins; so it’s rare for the cursive script to have lasted nearly seventy years.
The set is in ‘mint’ green [as described in the original Eon promotional pamphlet] and the lids are still air-tight and the canisters fit for purpose. The whole set would comprise another two canisters- Flour and Sago…and…forgive me…I have made this joke before: Coffee is always the smallest whereas nowadays it would be the largest.