Smiths Ringers

Smiths RingersRetro kitchen timers
Smiths Ringers, made in England, 1940s,1950s, 1960s

Perhaps I should have styled these three ‘ringers’ chronologically- as it is, the green ringer is bakelite and steel, with a glass cover- circa 1940, the middle ringer is the youngest- a mere slip of a thing from the 60s – brown coated metal, and the last, red ringer is all plastic- from the 1950s.

Each ringer is somewhat redolent of its age. I do like the fact that the 60s ringer is called ‘Ringer Girl’- if only the other two had similarly inspired names. All the ringers have different bell sounds- naturally- and due to their age and hard working life, are more suited as objects of beauty, rather than function. The green bakelite is a little faded, the brown metal is a little rusted in parts- as you’d expect from vintage items.

The ‘lemon’ tray lends a stylistic note to the image- but if you’d like to have it along with the ringers- let me know. This set is for sale: $AUD95

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Fun Ho!

Fun Ho! road roller
made in New Zealand 1972

What a great name for a toy: Fun Ho! These diecast models [called “midget scale”] were made in New Zealand to take on Dinky and Matchbox diecast toys.

This road roller is #37, and is in great vintage condition [note that it hasn’t been repainted – a fate suffered by a lot of diecast toys.] On Ebay, these models, sans box, sell for around $30.

Diecast toys are very collectable – particularly industrial vehicles and caravans; so this road roller is pretty cool. I like the bright orange colour, so- naturally- I teamed it with an actual orange [for scale purposes, you understand.]

The road roller is for sale: $AU20
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30s sugar canister

30s sugar canisterSugar canister
made in Australia, 1930s

A wonderful example of a depression era canister – this aluminium sugar canister evidences all the hallmarks of the 30s- drilled, green bakelite handles, mismatched green tones, applied ‘Sugar’ label, and graduated rings to the cream base.

Anodised aluminium was in its infancy- and achieving colour matching next to impossible. So each green lid was slightly different across the whole set of five canisters [and added to this of course, is colour fading over time.] Meanwhile bakelite technology was forty years old- you could get any colour you wanted there.

The size of this canister tells you something about the storage of sugar in the 40s. This canister was second in size only to the Flour canister. Everything else in the series was smaller: Suet, Rice, Tea and coming up last, Coffee. My how things have changed in the modern world! [Coffee should always be the largest!- and what the hell is suet?]

The canister has a few dings due to age, but the anodised aluminium base and lid are in good condition. The canister is for sale: $AUD45

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70s orange [sold]

Krups kitchen scales, made in Ireland c.1970s
Pyrex mixing bowl, made in USA c. 1970s

Ah the 70s when orange ruled supreme! I can’t but associate anything oldish and orangish with the 70s.

I have a rather large collection of retro kitchen scales. So far I have posted Australian scales [Salter -50s and Persinware-60s] but the collection also includes these lovely metal scales made in Ireland in the 70s. Scales are both functional and beautiful – which is why I love ‘em; I’ve seen them used for their original intention [weighing stuff] but also they make great book ends and fruit bowls. Just 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 10 lbs in 1 ounce increments, or 4.5kg by 25 grams- so are good for most of the world whether imperial or metric. The scales are orange enamel and the plastic bowl is a great elongated oval shape- again, very 70s.

The Pyrex mixing bowl features a great orange pattern- I’m sure Pyrex aficionados could identify the pattern name.  The mixing bowl also functions well as a fruit bowl.

I like the scales and the bowl together- bonded in their orangeness and their 70s-ness.

This set is for sale: $AUD80

1920s cobblers last

Cobblers lastCast-iron shoe last
made in Australia c.1920s

This is a ‘dual’ cast-iron cobblers shoe last- there are two different shapes on which to stretch and shape leather to make shoes. Cast-iron was used as it maintains its shape when in contact with wet leather and the mechanical stresses of stretching and shaping shoes.

Nowadays these heavy items are used as book ends, door stops or simply as decorative industrial forms.

There is something very satisfying about repurposing an industrial antique- giving it a new purpose and lease of life- and the functional design of the last means it is stable either end up.

The cobblers last is for sale: $AUD45

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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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70s Australiana

Crystal Craft trivet, made in Australia 1970s
Wiltshire ‘Vogue’ cutlery, made in Australia 1970s

Crystal Craft has become uber trendy for collectors: it is a resin-covered fabric that originated in Queensland in the 70s. This is a super 70s trivet- just look at the forms and colours! And it is great that the piece has it’s original sticker on the base.

The ‘Vogue’ cutlery was designed for Wiltshire by Stuart Devlin- famous for his other work designing the images on Australian coins [all native fauna & flora.] This was his day job – but once those coins were minted I think he gave up his day job! The cutlery are ‘new in box’ never opened or used, and in great condition.

I styled these two items together – I love the 70s colours! – but am happy to sell them separately: $AU35 each.

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50s candlesticks

50s candlesticks
made in Australia

Here is my burgeoning brass & timber candlestick collection. You’ll note they all have the same candle [important stylistically] but the only things that unite the candlesticks is the material and the age.

Admittedly, the second one is timber veneer on top of timber, but timber is timber [especially in the 50s!] The first candlestick is ecclesiastical [came from a church]; and the last two are teak, fashioned after Danish pieces. All made in Australia! – another element that unites the collection.

This could be the start of a great collection – or just be four stylish candlesticks to adorn the dinner table. The candlesticks [sans candles- they are from Ikea!] are for sale: $AU55

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O Canada!

Timber wall plaques,
made in Hong Kong 1960s

O Canada! Moose and squirrels [national animals] and cliché all around! If this was an Australian homage- it would be aboriginals and kangaroos. But that gilt is universal in its 3D kitschiness – I do so love it.

The timber in the first plaque is real- while only laminate in the second. But the 3D reality- really, does it get any better? For lovers of kitsch, no matter where you live! Imagine a whole wall – a collection of these babies….

Both plaques are in good vintage condition, and ready to hang. And they are for sale: $AU25

Upcycled tin clock [sold]

Upcycled clock,
Biscuit tin, made in Australia 1970s

An upcycled biscuit tin clock, featuring corgi puppies- not upcycled by me but by a friend. Such a great idea! the lid comes off to reveal the quartz clock movement, which takes an AA battery. A small hole drilled in the back of the tin allows the clock to be hung. Viola! vintage tin upcycled to functional timepiece.

The tin is 200mm x 120mm, with a depth of 80mm- which means that doggy figurine shown next to the clock, could quite easy model on top of the clock, once hung.

The clock will appeal to vintage lovers – and corgi puppy admirers. It is for sale: $AU18