Kathie Winkle

Kathie Winkle ‘Calypso’
made by Broadhurst, England 1963

I am a huge Kathie Winkle fan: she produced over one hundred patterns for Broadhurst between 1958 and 1975. During this period, Kathie Winkie produced ironstone china with silkscreen printed decorations, with a hand-painted underglaze.

[So far on my blog: I have examples of: ‘michelle’, ‘calypso’, ‘corinth’, ‘kontiki’, ’newlyn’, ‘rushstone’, ‘electra’, ‘kimberley’, ‘taskent’, and ‘renaissance’.] I am becoming a kathie winkle nerd.

AND- while my family collected the ‘Rushstone’ pattern [c. 1960], my partner’s collected ‘Calypso’- produced in 1963.

So – this is a Calypso collection: a large oval platter, four side plates, four bowls, and four condiment bowls. Don’t you love how the condiment bowls extracted the dominant motif from the main design? These are probably my favourite part of the collection.

The Calypso collection is for sale: $AU220/ [13 pieces]

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An ode to 70s design

Fred Press cheeseboard & Bessemer piecesAn ode to 70s designers
Fred Press, American artist
Lionel Suttie, Australian industrial designer

Fred Press was an American artist, and from 1950 to the 1980s was the chief designer of Rubel & Co on NY’s Fifth Avenue. He set out to revolutionise giftware, bringing his artistic sensibilities to domestic ware. Here we see a cheese/fruit board, in the shape of an apple, with one of his iconic drawings reproduced on the ceramic tile. The tile itself was made in Japan and is set in American teak, and it is signed Fred Press.

Lionel Suttie was an Australian industrial designer, bought in to Bessemer to revolutionise the design of utility ware– butter dishes, sugar bowls and table ware. This was the first time mass produced melamine products were thought worthy of design – or that they could make could make a design statement. In this image- a russet brown lidded condiment bowl, an avocado cup and saucer and a yellow sugar bowl.

Altogether a fine homage to the 70s and 70s designers.

This set is for sale: $AUD105

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Eon bakelite cake canisters

Eon bakelite cake canistersEon cake bakelite canisters
made in Australia c.1950s

Eon is a well known Australian bakelite manufacturer of the 40s and 50s- specialising in kitchenware and especially canisters.

These two cake canisters are from different sets, but they were both produced in the 40s and both feature the red and white colourway- so beloved by modernist kitchens of the 50s. Both lids still fit snuggly, thus keeping said cake fresh. And both are unblemished, the bakelite as shiny bright as the day it left the factory.

The red-lidded canister is not labelled, but it’s clearly for cake. The white canister has that typical 50s cursive bakelite label pinned into the side of the canister.

For cake bakers/lovers/consumers and for all your retro kitchen cake needs…these canisters are for sale: $AUD90

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Slidex slide library

Hanimex Slidex slide library, 1950sHanimex ‘Slidex’ slide library
made in Australia 1950s

I love and collect Hanimex – slide projectors, slide viewers and now- a slide library. Each of the three drawers has flip out slide-holders [yellow, red, green] and each can hold 120 x 35mm slides. The slide library is pristine – never been used. Opposite the drawers is an index – to note the title of each of the twelve slide holders in each drawer- and the drawers themselves have a space for a label integral with the drawer pull. All you need is a typewriter: the index is removable and so can be inserted into a typewriter to be completed; and the drawer labels could similarly be typed. Tres tres cool!

Hanimex is an Australian company that commenced importing cameras and lenses in 1947. Jack Hannes started the company and the name Hanimex is an abbreviation of his company name: Hannes Import Export. By the mid 50s Hanimex was making and selling smaller photographic equipment –like this slide library- in Australia. Cameras that were still imported were rebadged Hanimex Topcon, the second name indicating the original manufacturer.

The precision engineering that has gone into making this compact, portable slide library is fantastic.

The slide library is for sale: team it with one of more of the other fantastic Hanimex products on this site! $AUD75

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Bakelite napkin rings

Bakelite napkin ringsBakelite napkin rings
made in Sydney, Australia 1950s

This set of harlequin octagonal bakelite napkin rings was made by Marquis in the 50s. Harlequin refers to the different colours [indeed, one of the rings is ‘end-of-day’ bakelite.] End-of-day bakelite was the pattern formed when whatever bits of bakelite where left where thrown together into the mould.

In the 50s everything was ‘harlequin’ – think sets of anodised aluminium beakers. This was actually a clever marking ploy- if you lost/broke one piece of a set, it was easily replaced – since nothing matched by colour, pattern or manufacturer.

Marquis was a huge bakelite manufacturer- they made everything that could be made from bakelite- from kitchen utensils, to light switches, to 35mm slide viewers. Indeed, I seem to have quite a few kitchen scoops, butter dishes, teaspoons, salt and pepper shakers and slide viewers made by Marquis in my collection.

I love the form of these napkin rings: octagonal shape on the outside – so the napkin ring sat easily on a table- but circular inside form – so the napkin could be smoothly set in place. Form and function, people! And just look at those beautiful bakelite colours.

Bakelite continues to be a sought after collectible: and this set of eight napkin rings is for sale: $AUD80

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Bakelite roulette wheel

Duperite bakelite roulette wheel, made in Australia c.1950s

How do you combine your love of bakelite with your penchant for gambling? With a bakelite roulette wheel. [Catalogue No. 1324/1, to be precise.] This beautiful roulette wheel hasn’t been out of its box- it is in pristine condition although its box has seen some wear and tear. It comes with a printed green felt baize [not pictured] and a little timber ball ~which was still taped to the wheel when I bought the set.

I have other bakelite items made by Duperite- see ‘Green bakelite pieces’ post below- an Australian bakelite company that made, as well as domesticware, lawn bowls and -apparently- roulette wheels. I must have been the only person who didn’t have one at home as a child…everyone I have shown this roulette wheel to has exclaimed that they remember having one! That might explain  why 1] I am so attracted to it [pure envy] and 2] why it elicits so many nostalgic sighs from my friends.

For sale: $AUD125

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Upcycled telephone table

Upcycled telephone tableUpcycled 50s telephone table

My partner and I had a dilemma faced by many inner-city dwellers: nice couches in the sitting room- BUT no nice side tables. Where to put the martini glass? On what to perch the canapé plate? Am I right? – everybody faces this dilemma.

Space is tight. The couches are expensive and there is NO way that guests are encouraged to rest their drink or antipasto plate on the arms. So- what to do?

Enter- the upcycled telephone table. Long in length and thin in width- the perfect dimensions. Having an upper and a lower level [once for the telephone and padded seat, respectively]- and with an added grill for the old telephone books – these tubular metal telephone tables are just the thing.

Trish stripped back the chrome plating, attended to the rust, and repainted in matt black. Recycled timber was sanded, oiled & finished and screwed to the upper and lower sections and voila- the perfect side table was born.

The table ticks all the boxes: upcycling, recycling and retro styling. Totally loving it!

Children’s figurine #50s style

Lustreware duck figurine, 1950sLustreware duck
made in Japan, 1950s

Following the fantastic lustreware duck jug recently posted; here is another lustreware duck. This is also from the 1950s- this being a dressed duck, with waistcoat and topcoat – but – strangely no wings [seem to be demurely tucked under those clothes.] The duck would have been bought for a children’s room; these anthropomorphic animals were very popular as gifts for children in the 50s and 60s.

The lustreware is seen on the topcoat, and as with the jug, all this was hand-painted. I’ve teamed the duck figurine- which is quite large- 170mm tall- with a little duck cup orphaned from a children’s tea set, also made in Japan at around the same time. Though just how he will pick up that cup is anyone’s guess!

The duck figurine is for sale: $AU35

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Bessemer jugs

Bessemer jugs
made in Melbourne, c. 1970s

Bessemer products – made from melamine – were made by the Nylex Melmac Corporation which started production in the mid 60s. These beautiful jugs [and the subject of future posts, I have collected a lot of Bessemer!] were designed by Lionel Suttie, an industrial designer.

It’s interesting that Mr Suttie is remembered as Bessemer’s lead designer: this was the first time that condiment or tableware made from plastic [melamine] was thought to be worthy of design – that the humble mass-produced plastic jug or butter dish could make a design statement. These jugs certainly do that- they pay homage to mid-century modernist design and in the colouring, homage to the 70s.

The jugs can be used as intended- melamine is a strong plastic resistant to scratching and these jugs are ‘as new’ – or they can form part of a funky 70s display.

For sale: $AUD60

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60s Chinese silk brocade

Chinese silk brocade
made in Hong Kong, 1960s

This is a selection of Chinese silk brocade – brocade is a fabric woven with a raised pattern, typically with gold or silver thread. There are four pieces, and they all feature traditional Chinese motifs – albeit traditional as seen through the lens of the 1960s;

– red : 750mm wide x 2.75m long; with a flower motif
– gold: 780mm wide x 2.75m long; with a flower motif
– cyan: 750mm wide x 3.25m long; with a bamboo motif
– dark blue: 750mm wide x 2.75m long; with a crane and landscape motif.

I bought the fabric from a vintage fabric seller with the intention of making brocade kimonos/smoking jackets but must now concede I don’t have the time or inclination any more. The pieces are all in excellent condition [often vintage fabric can be faded at the fold lines or in creases] and are all long enough to make a full length kimono/dressing gown. Or a cheongsam – the traditional Chinese dress form that uses silk brocade.

The four pieces of fabric are for sale: $AU125

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