70s flowers

Flower bouquet cross stitch
made in Australia 1970s

My son Oscar [Gen Y] likens cross stitch to ‘pixel art’ and I can see his point. He is also my photographer- so as we style my collection for images to post to the blog he lets me know what he likes and absolutely DOESN’T like.

He is the child of two designers- so naturally has a firm opinion on my collection. Which I applaud and learn from; I love his interpretation of things made before he was born. I unfortunately lived through the 70s and 80s in Australia- the time that design forgot – and so sometimes have a less rosy view.

But- I love this tapestry with its stylized botanical specimens of Delphiniums and Poppies; crafted in Australian wool on hand-printed gauze; Oscar likes it because it’s a strong graphic representation of pixel art.

And I love it for another reason: I have a friend who intends to fill an entire wall of her house with found and reclaimed tapestries; I think this could be included. If it were me, they’d all be botanical in nature.

The 70s flowers cross stitch is professionally mounted and framed, ready to hang- and is for sale:  $AUD45

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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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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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60s sunflowers

Ridgway 'Soleil' platters

Ridgway Ironstone ‘Soleil’ platters
made in Stroke-on-Trent, England 1960s

Ironstone is a vitreous pottery first made in England in the late Eighteenth Century as a cheaper mass-produced alternative to porcelain. Ridgeway was in production in Stoke-on-Trent from 1790 to 1964; and these platters were one of the last productions of the pottery.

‘Soleil’ – as in Cirque du Soleil- as soleil means “sun” – is a sunflower motif. I love the broad, elongated shape of these platters emphasised with a border- with a pure circular inset with its abstract sunflowers. These platters would look great hung on a wall. Forget whacking food on them- this is 60s art at its best!

For sale: $AU45

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Sellex bakelite canisters_kanga & roo salt and pepper shakers

Bakelite canisters & kanga & roo salt and pepper setSellex nested bakelite canisters, made in Australia c. 1940s
Kanga and Roo salt & pepper shakers, made in Japan c.1960s

These Sellex bakelite canisters ‘Rice’ and ‘Coffee’ have been separated from their red-lidded set [flour, tea and sugar…] but Kanga and Roo are in their entirety; Roo being the pepper, and Kanga – the salt. Roo pops out the pouch, should be in need of pepper.

I’m sure someone out there has the rest of the Sellex set – or at least wants to add to canisters already collected. The somewhat flowery transfer labels are a little worn, but it’s clear that more Rice was used than Coffee!

The ceramic kanga and roo S & P shaker set is adorable and in perfect condition.

For sale: $AUD85

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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.]

Bakewell graduated jug set

Bakewell graduated jugs
made in Australia 1940s

These fabulous graduated jugs are called ‘Beulah Ware’- named for Bakewell’s wife, Beulah. They are functional jugs, with just a hint of art deco styling in the handle shape and the graduated patterning.

Bakewell started production in 1884 and like so many potteries, moved from making bricks and pipes to domestic wares in the early part of the twentieth century. By the 1920s, they were manufacturing vases [‘exclusive ware’] and domestic ware –kitchenalia – with ceramic canisters, bowls and jugs.

The earthernware jugs came in a set of four: unfortunately we only have three here. A full set of graduated jugs is next to impossible for find now – and originally, they came in this pastel green, a pastel yellow and a baby blue. You’ll note the subtle variation between the green colourings- this was due to the hand-glazing technique, and was a deliberate policy to allow for replacement pieces, should you break one of a set.

The graduated jugs are for sale: $AU95
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Shaving mugs

Keel Street Pottery [KSP] shaving mugs, made in England c.1900-1930s
Koala shaving mug, made in Australia, c.1930-1940s.

Shaving mugs are highly collectible and becomingly increasingly hard to find.

The ceramic ‘woodgrain’ finish shaving mugs [woodgrain- presumably to render the pottery more ‘manly’?] by KSP predate the pastel colours of the 50s, and yet anticipate those very colours. Yes, now I am certain the woodgrain would help with the whole manly act of shaving. The pink, yellow, & green shaving mugs are all in perfect condition, and marked ‘KSP, made in England’ on the underside.

By contrast, the blue shaving mug is made in Australia by Koala. Koala pottery had a short run, and produced- as far as I can tell- only shaving mugs. I would love if the shaving mug had a koala’s face on it, but alas, it’s a purely perfunctory item, other than that cool blue colour.  It’s also in tip-top condition.

The four mugs are for sale: $AUD100

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Christmas decorations #hipsterstyle [sold]

Hipster Christmas decorations
made in Sydney, Australia 2013

How cool are these Christmas baubles? Hand-knitted – in pure Australian wool-  these decorations will lend your Christmas tree some real hipster cred.

Made by a lovely Nanna using a 1970 knitting pattern, this set of 20 baubles is both environmentally sustainable and – quite hilarious. Environmentally sustainable because she used her left over wool pieces, and hilarious because she used her left over wool pieces [~not so much the red and green or tinselly colours.]

You’ve seen the urban art of knitted wraps around trees and poles – now see the knitted Christmas decorations! Christmas just got 1970 crafty!

The set of 20 [all different] Christmas baubles is for sale: $AUD40.

Vintage measuring jugs

Vintage measuring jugsVintage glass measuring jugs
made in Australia, 1930-1950s

I love a bit of vintage kitchenalia – and when you have three or more items of the same type/vintage they look great massed together in the contemporary kitchen. Add to that that these jugs are still good for their intended purpose – and equally good holding fruit or kitchen utensils or a bunch of flowers–and what’s not to love!

Glass measuring jugs were made during the Depression- glass being cheaper to manufacture than tin or steel. These jugs all measure 5 cups / 2 pints, with the graduated measurements cast in relief during the manufacturing process. There were often bubbles in the glass, and the visible seams in the jugs mark them out as being Depression glass. When buying vintage glass it’s important to check that the pouring lip and rim are entire- with no chips or scratches – especially if you intend using the piece in the kitchen.

These three jugs are in good condition, and are big enough to hold a pineapple. They are for sale: $AUD95

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