50s Japanese ramekins

Ramekins
made in Japan, 1950s

I’m not sure when ramekins became vintagey fashionable, but these are good examples from the 50s. With 50s styling and colours they were all collected singly to make a set of five [a typical Japanese set.]

Ramekins are great for small dishes, soups and for foods cooked directly in them [chocolate pudding comes to mind!]

Since this image was taken, I have added to the collection- ramekins with a powder pink and a pastel blue interior. Let me know your preferred mix!

The ramekins are for sale: $AU45 [set of 5]

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Craftsman pewter sugar bowl

Pewter sugar bowl
made in England 1926-1939

This beautiful ‘crow-pecked’ two-handled pewter sugar bowl was made by Craftsman, in England. It is marked on the base and evidences the lovely Arts & Crafts styling of the 1920s and 30s.

Pewter is a great material for foodstuffs- many tankards attest to the taste of a good ale- as it doesn’t rust or deteriorate. Give it a bit of a polish up and it’s good to go!

In researching this piece I found that typically sugar bowls of the 20s came without a lid. Sugar was never stored in it – it was just filled as necessary for a tea party, then emptied afterwards.

The sugar bowl is for sale: $AU35
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Vintage salt & pepper shakers

Vintage salt and pepper shakers
made in Japan 1950s

For all you kitsch lovers [myself included] and vintage salt and pepper shaker collectors: a delightful set from Japan in the form of fire engines.

Subtle differences in the forms/colours – and faces! -denote salt and pepper. And of course who doesn’t love a human face on their fire engine>

To fire fighter enthusiasts- and vintage salt and pepper shaker collectors- these are for you; for sale: $AU25

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50s kitchen canisters

Eon bakelite kitchen canisters
made in Australia 1950s

This is a set of nested canisters- Sugar, Rice, Coffee in mint green, with the original labels still marvelously intact. The canisters- and the labels- are made from bakelite and the labels are affixed using simple bakelite pins; so it’s rare for the cursive script to have lasted nearly seventy years.

The set is in ‘mint’ green [as described in the original Eon promotional pamphlet] and the lids are still air-tight and the canisters fit for purpose. The whole set would comprise another two canisters- Flour and Sago…and…forgive me…I have made this joke before: Coffee is always the smallest whereas nowadays it would be the largest.

The nested Eon canisters are for sale: $AU85

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Dog on the Tuckerbox, #50sstyle

Royal Stafford cup and saucer, made in England 1950s
Glass ashtray, made in Australia 1950s

More of my ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’ collection – a transfer printed cup and saucer and a glass ashtray with 50s photo of said dog on the base.

The cup and saucer are bone china, with gilt edging to both cup and saucer, and marked 3395 to base. Meanwhile, the glass ashtray- a souvenir item, made in Australia, has a rather crudely hand-coloured 50s photograph in the moulded glass. But if nothing else, that photograph shows how accurate the transfer prints on the cup and saucer are- and they were made in England.

Both are kitschy, one more refined kitsch than the other!

Start your Dog on the Tuckerbox collection today: the cup and saucer is for sale: $AU25 as is the ashtray: $AU10 [or $AU30 for both.]

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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

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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Aboriginal motif kitsch

50s Aboriginal motif s&p, jugAboriginal motif salt & pepper shaker sets, and small jug
made in Australia c.1950s

While none of these items has a maker’s mark, the salt and pepper shakers at the back are possibly by Terra Ceramics, and the round shakers to the left are possibly Florenz Pottery. The small jug is probably Studio Anna. All these potteries were making tourist and souvenir pottery by the 1950s, and these appropriated [and westernised] indigenous motifs were hugely popular. Post war arts and crafts saw a rise in the popularity of Australiana – replacing traditional English motifs with ‘Australian’ themes; invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.

This group works well as a set, or could form the basis of a larger collection. The items on their own are very kitsch…but somehow when grouped the kitschness is subverted into a subtler aesthetic.

This set is for sale: $AU125

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Nally mixing bowls

Nally mixing bowls,
made in Australia, 1940s

I love bakelite and have collected Australian bakelite domestic ware for some time. Nally first started bakelite production in 1923 and was one of the first in Australia to do so. The factory was just up the road from where I now live.

These two mixing bowls – although nested [that is fitting exactly within one another]- were priced and sold separately. Nally’s advertising blurbs of the time made much of the fact that replacement pieces could always be bought, and as the mixing bowls were ‘harlequin’ [ie: different colours] they could be mixed and matched.

As it happens, these two bowls have never been used- testament to this fact is the original sticker in the base of the bowl. The sticker indicates these are ‘Genuine’ Nally bowls [in case you know, you thought they were fakes!]

The mixing bowls have a pouring lip, and came in the usual 40s pastel colours of blue, green, pink, cream and white. These bowls are yellow; and I’ve teamed them with a kewpie doll from the same era.

The bowls are for sale: $AU75

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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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