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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Minette slide viewer

Minette 35mm slide viewer
Minato Shokai Co, made in Japan, c.1950s

OK! Ok. Another slide viewer. But we all have slides to view. Or is it just me?

This viewer is just SO cute. Look how small it is…it’s a Minette. The kewpie doll is bigger than the viewer, and she carries a slide under her arm for scale.

And totally weirdly, like every other time I have bought a slide projector or a viewer, the Minette comes with a slide of its last owner…this time it’s an echtochrome slide of a woman on grass shading her eyes from the camera. Ms Kewpie is modelling that slide.

For sale: $AUD55 [please indicate if you’d like Kewpie and the slide included.]

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Penny Inkwells

Penny inkwells,
made in Victoria, Australia 1880-1910

This is a collection of ‘penny’ inkwells; there are ceramic and so-called because they were cheaply made bottles that cost a penny to buy. They were crudely made and one of the first ‘disposables’- they were simply thrown out when they were empty. So this little collection is quite rare: most penny inkwells that survived the nineteenth century are chipped or broken.

The ceramic is stoneware with a salt glaze. Each inkwell is a different colour, depending on the mix of the original clay colour and the finished glaze: they range from a light tan to a deep russet brown. No two the same!

Most penny inkwells were used by school children; but would occasionally also be bought to be used in homes. There are many websites devoted to the collection of inkwells, and Ebay has a section for ‘collectable inkwells and ink pots’. Single penny inkwells in good condition are selling for around $45.

The collection of 8 penny inkwells is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale: POA

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Linguaphone

Linguaphone Corso D’Italiano
made in England 1954

This fantastic vinyl case holds an Italian language course – with 50 ‘Lezione’ on 45 RPM records, and various student books – such as “Vocabularies and Text of Sound Record” and the like. The books are published by Linguaphone Institute Ltd, in London by The Woodbridge Press.

There’s a “Reading Book” in Italian, “Students Instructions”, and “Explanatory Notes”- all supporting the lessons on the records. The illustrations in the books are pure 50s- as are the pictures on the records [I confess that I bought this set on the drawings alone. And the vinyl case is totally funky.]

The case has never been opened [until now!]- the records are unused and the books unread. A 50s course in Italiano awaits you! Classic Italian sentences that will assist your next trip to Italy such as : “Do you have a light”? and “Have you seen Sophia Loren in ‘It Started in Naples’?”

The Linguaphone- unused, is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU55

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Super, super 8

Diamond Super 8 Editor, 1950sDiamond Super 8 Editor
made in Japan, 1950s

Super 8 film is having a resurgence, and super 8 cameras and editors are being dusted off and put back into use. You only have to look at YouTube to see how many videos are being made using this fantastic 50s technology.

This Editor is fully working, and comes in its original box with splicer, spare bulb, reels of film and even splicing cement [not sure how good it will be after sixty-odd years but the box packing is fabulous.] It’s been tested by an electrician and deemed good to go.

Even if you don’t use the editor to – you know- edit, it is a beautiful piece of engineering that will lend industrial cred to any space.

The Editor [and assorted accoutrements] is for sale: $AU150

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create-a-kit

Torro create-a-kit,
made in New Zealand 1960s

Here’s New Zealand’s answer to lego : create-a-kit. It’s new in box, never opened, with instructions for making houses, and robots, windmills and the like. It was made by Torro [Toys of Tomorrow!]

I like the images and font on the box, as much as the idea of making a primary coloured house of the 60s [the instruction images are hilarious – so retro!] I had a quick check to see all the pieces are still inside – and some of the bricks are still connected to the manufacturers frame.

The create-a-kit is for sale: $AU65

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Barometer [sold]

60s barometer,
made in Tasmania, Australia

This is a fabulous wall barometer- and temperature gauge- made from blackwood timber, in the shape of Tasmania.

The barometer was a wedding gift to a couple in the 60s – and has faithfully recorded the air pressure [barometer] and air temperature [thermometer] since then. I particularly like the fonts used for the barometer – it is very old school, where each condition has its own curlicue lettering: ‘stormy, rain, change, fair, very dry.’ That last one is -of course- referring to wit.

In excellent working order, and ready to hang, the barometer is for sale: $AU45