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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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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Gayart Flower Wheel

“Easy to use! Fun to make! Gay and colourful flowers may be used to decorate bags, hats & dresses or make novelty earrings & costume jewellery!”  The blurb on the packaging says it all.

I can’t find any information on the date/age of the Flower Wheels, but anecdotally a friend of mine remembers making raffia flowers with them in primary school in the early 70s. I hope she made the raffia flowers into novelty earrings! or costume jewellery! Wouldn’t that be fun!

I like- and collect- sewing and knitting paraphernalia, and love these two gauges: the transparent plastic “Korbond 4” x 1” knitting gauge and the “Delyta dressmaker gauge”.

For sale: $AUD65

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Koalas!

Koalas- fabric & ceramicKoalas!
made in Japan, c.1960s

For your delectation, a collection of koalas- fabric print and ceramics. Made in Japan- because- the 60s!

The printed : a tablecloth 36” x 36” [914.4x 914.4mm] and 4 serviettes 11” x 11” [279.4 x 279.4mm.] Never been out of their box! Waiting to be used.

The ceramics: a monochrome koala figurine, a koala planter, and a koala souvenir from Launceston [Tasmania]. This last one is the most precious of the lot.

You can never have too many koalas. Especially since they are now on the threatened species list. Get them why you still can!

This set is for sale: $AUD95

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Krups kitchen scales

Krups kitchen scales
made in Germany c.1954

I have a rather large collection of retro scales. So far I have posted Australian scales [Salter -50s and Persinware-60s] but the collection also includes these lovely metal German scales. Scales are both functional and beautiful – as long as the measuring bowl is intact [and one must make sure it’s the original bowl as well.]

These scales weigh items up to 25 lbs [approx. 11.5kg] in 2 ounce increments. The scales are completely made of metal- bowl included, and they are original – not reproduction- scales, in that the scale is imperial only. Kitchen scales that feature both imperial and metric scales were made post 1972 and are considered reproduction.

The scales show a little bit of wear and tear from a life of service in a kitchen, but there is no corrosion or deterioration of the material and the weight measure is accurate. As is typical, there is an adjustment knob at the rear to allow one to correct for the weight of the bowl itself.

Four lemons and a lime weight 1lb 7oz. The duck is just along for the ride.  For sale: $AUD75

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Here’s Humphrey!!!

Humphrey B. Bear porridge bowl,
made in Australia 1983

This is a porridge bowl: featuring Humphrey B. Bear; star of the Here’s Humphrey! television show since 1965.

Humphrey is a partially clothed bear [famously- he wears a hat, waistcoat, collar and tie, but no pants] – who cannot speak. So- each show in the Magic Forest is narrated. Humphrey just has to gesticulate and wildly nod his head to enact his part. But- again- famously- the costume is so heavy that the actor playing Humphrey is actually a trained dancer.

Humphrey is now ‘heritage listed’ and a ‘national icon’. He has won a couple of Logies.

All without speaking a word. Maybe- just maybe- that is the secret to his success. There are many Humphrey B Bear collectors out there.

This porridge bowl, by Thomas Trent [backstamp c.1983] is in great vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU15

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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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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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Shalom! and Merry Christmas!

Shalom ceramic wall tile and a Christmas storyA Christmas Story, by Richard Burton, 1966
Shalom ceramic tile, c.1960s

Shalom and Merry Christmas! These two pieces have a lovely synchronicity, in shape, colour and form. The funky symbol of Shalom- Hebrew for peace- has a handwritten message on its timber back – ‘Jerusalem’ which I take to be its place of manufacture. The deep blue and orange of the ceramic tile are so very 60s. The tile is framed and has a hook for hanging on its back- this Shalom is meant for display.

Meanwhile Richard Burton- THE Richard Burton -has written a story about his [impoverished] Welsh childhood and subsequent Christmases. He also provided the illustrations. Apparently an acTOR and an author/illustrator. It’s a bit of a turgid read, but this book was continually republished until the late 80s. Must have been doing something right. I bought it mainly for the lovely graphics on the hardback cover.

Wishing all my readers Shalom, and Merry Christmas! And I am sure Richard Burton would want to add his wishes also.

This set is for sale: $AUD45

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