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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60s Pyrex

Pyrex canistersPyrex ‘Stack & See’ canisters
made in USA, c.1968

I use these canisters- with their funky 60s colours – to store my retro sewing collection. Any sort of see-through canister is great for re-use – as is stackability – a great 60s invention. These Pyrex canisters came in 4 different sizes- the largest is shown here.

You can collect the canisters in the colour-ways; green, yellow, orange, red or blue. Check the Pyrex motif is on the base- there are a few fake imitations around. They don’t make them like they used to.

Of course, you can still use the canisters in the kitchen for their original purpose: just make sure the sealing ring is intact. I have only collected canisters with the original rings, even if they are only storing buttons. Email me if you’d like to buy!

Retro money box

Gempo pottery money boxGempo Pottery Australia money box
made in Japan, 1962-1974

A fabulous retro lion money box – made by Gempo Pottery as part of a zodiac series; this one of course is Leo the Lion.

The money box features the abstract, large–faced form that marks all Gempo Pottery. It is also particular to its period; the stylised features, and the stoneware pottery glazed in rustic creams and browns. As was the custom in Australia at the time, the money box was designed in Australia but manufactured by ceramic artisans in Japan.

The money box comes complete with its original rubber stopper and is in excellent condition. A must for money box enthusiasts and Leo’s alike!

The money box is for sale: $AUD45

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Retro milk bottle holders [sold]

vintage millk bottle holdersRetro milk bottle holders
made in Australia c.1950s

Who doesn’t remember the nightly ritual of putting out the milk bottle holder, with a note for the milkman as to the number of milk bottles required? Okay, that was in the olden days…but I can just remember.

These two milk bottle holders are lovely examples of the then ’new’ technology of PVC coated steel. The PVC coating was ‘kinder on the hands’ than the raw metal and it had the added benefit of delaying the corrosion of the metal. And all kinds of colour were possible!

Both these holders could carry four pint-sized [glass] milk bottles. Nowadays, the holders are good for all sorts of repurposing – I have seen them used as mobile vase holders, or mobile herb gardens.  Four terracotta pots fit snuggly into the spaces and the holder sits on the window sill in the sun to grow various herbs. When it’s time for harvesting, the holder is moved to the kitchen. Funky and practical!

The milk bottle holders are in excellent condition – even the white holder shows no sign of wear and tear. I haven’t been able to ascertain the manufacturer, but the person from whom I bought the holders assured me they were Australian in origin.  From prosaic functional item of yesteryear, milk bottle holders are now quite sought after and highly collectible. That’s nostalgia for you!          For sale: $AUD65

Old Australiana tins

Old Australian tinsAustraliana tins
made in Australia, 1960s

For your amusement/delight, this post is dedicated to the collection of tins. And many- many-many people do collect tins. I didn’t set out to collect them- but the kitschy images on these three totally sucked me in.

We have two old biscuit tins and a sweets tin.

The ‘Australian Wildflower Series’ tin is a Brockhoff biscuit tin, made in the 1960s. There were 2 lbs of biscuits in there- and after the biscuits were eaten the tin could be used for storing all manner of things.

The ‘Koala’ tin held 1½ lbs of Arnotts biscuits- back in the day when Arnotts was a wholly owned Australian company [ie: the 1960s.] A recent tin sold on Ebay for $61. These things are hot right now!

And the ‘Budgie’ tin held sweets made by Gibsons, in Perth.

All the tins have well preserved images on the front- and the lids and hinges are all in working order. The tin inside has discoloured in places, due to age; but I gather that’s what you want in these things. Too sparkly bright might mean it was a reproduction tin- and nobody wants one of those!

The three tins are for sale: $AUD75

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Carnation champagne flutes

Retro champagne flutes
made in Australia, c.1950s

I’m rather fond of these kitsch decorated champagne flutes – the gilt rim and base helping somewhat to offset the rather garish carnations. The glasses were won in a golf tournament by my partner’s brother- and they had pride of place in the family’s display cabinet for many, many years. I don’t think they were ever used to imbibe champagne…they were considered far too precious. They were for display [and admiration] purposes only.

The set now needs a new home – I’m imagining a nice mid-century modern drinks cabinet…where they can be taken out from time to time to drink champagne. Or beer. Beer would also be good.

For sale: $AUD55

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50s Australiana kitsch

Gambit Ware 'Ceramique' Australiana leaf platesGambit Ware ‘Australiana’ leaf plates
made in Australia 1950s

Here is another part of my collection: anything botanically themed always gets me in. Add to that these plates were designed and made in Australia- celebrating our unique flora in the post war period. AND this is ‘Ceramique’ – an early melamine material that was developed to revolutionise ceramic – it would ‘never chip or break.’

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

This image shows another part of my collection- at last count I had 50 plates. Plates with their labels intact are worth significantly more. The Ceramique has certainly lived up to its name- there isn’t a chip or a crack on any of the plates, although colour fading has occurred on a few.

Kitschy – yes. But 50s Australian kitsch- I love it!

This selection of Gambit Ware is for sale: $125 [13 pieces]

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Genie Lamp vase

MCP Genie Lamp vase #257MCP ‘Genie Lamp’ vase #257
made in Sydney, Australia c1950

MCP- Modern Ceramic Products- started production in the 1940s, in Redfern, Sydney. MCP made strong geometric forms with very modernist styling – and a highly textured exterior finish to contrast with the smooth internal glaze. This two-toned aesthetic meant each vase shape could be made in a wide range of iterations- albeit along the 50s spectrum of baby blue, pale pink and pale yellow.

I’ve sold several- beautiful- MCP vases; have a look on the SOLD tab. They are now very collectible and it’s getting harder to find these beauties.

This ‘Genie Lamp’ vase is in baby blue. It is stamped ‘#257 MCP’ on the base, and it looks good with anything from old fashioned roses [referencing the 50s] to contemporary structural arrangements- like Eucalypt leaves.

The Genie Lamp vase is for sale: $AUD55

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Slide viewers

Marquis and Viscount slide viewersMarquis slide viewer, made in Sydney, Australia c.1950
Viscount slide viewer, made in England c.1960

How fantastic is this baby pink Marquis slide viewer? The pink section is plastic, whilst the black section is bakelite. This slide viewer comes in its original box and is in near mint condition.

The Viscount viewer is nearly a decade older, and it evidences the transition from the modernist forms of the 50s to the more funky shapes of the 60s. It too comes in its original box.

Both viewers are working well – and replacement bulbs for them are still available. Which means there is no excuse for having photographic slides around that are not being used. You can go automatic with a large format projection [see slide projector/s below]…or view your slides individually and more intimately with these hand held viewers.

I do have a few slide viewers in my collection…I love the way they work – large glass viewing lens, small bulb and battery. And they look great massed together as a group – they are both functional AND aesthetic.

The slide viewers are for sale: $AUD55 each.

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Swinnertons Chelsea Blue

Swinnertons Chelsea Blue crockerySwinnertons Chelsea Blue
made in Staffordshire, England c.1950s

This set comprises 4 dinner plates, 4 side plates and 4 cake plates. The colour is described as ‘duck egg blue’.

I had been hunting for the matching Chelsea Blue coffee and tea sets, but upon reflecting how lovely the harlequin crockery sets are [see for example Swinnertons Nestor Vellum ‘Moonglo’ sets, below] I can’t actually imagine having a set all one colour.

Also, for some unexplained reason, the Chelsea Blue jug looks so wrong with the rest of the set- it is overblown, and has some quasi-20s affectations…what were they thinking? This is the 50s, people! I couldn’t bring myself to buy it – and left it on the shelf- which was probably a first for me.

This would be a good starter set for a harlequin table setting for 8 – just collect similar 50s colours in the same simple, rounded forms. Or just use as is – how good would cake look on those duck egg blue plates!

For sale: $AUD120

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