Old Australiana tins

Old Australian tinsAustraliana tins
made in Australia, 1960s

For your amusement/delight, this post is dedicated to the collection of tins. And many- many-many people do collect tins. I didn’t set out to collect them- but the kitschy images on these three totally sucked me in.

We have two old biscuit tins and a sweets tin.

The ‘Australian Wildflower Series’ tin is a Brockhoff biscuit tin, made in the 1960s. There were 2 lbs of biscuits in there- and after the biscuits were eaten the tin could be used for storing all manner of things.

The ‘Koala’ tin held 1½ lbs of Arnotts biscuits- back in the day when Arnotts was a wholly owned Australian company [ie: the 1960s.] A recent tin sold on Ebay for $61. These things are hot right now!

And the ‘Budgie’ tin held sweets made by Gibsons, in Perth.

All the tins have well preserved images on the front- and the lids and hinges are all in working order. The tin inside has discoloured in places, due to age; but I gather that’s what you want in these things. Too sparkly bright might mean it was a reproduction tin- and nobody wants one of those!

The three tins are for sale: $AUD75

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Coffee bean spoons

Silver-plated coffee spoons,
made in England 1940s

This boxed set of coffee spoons features a celluloid ‘bean’ on the end of scalloped-bowled spoons. The spoons are stamped EPNS for Electro-Plated Nickel Silver. Nickel is the base metal onto which the silver is plated.

The celluloid ‘beans’ are brown, and somewhat realistic; the way to determine newer [= less vintage] coffee bean spoons is the beans are all manner of colours, and usually made of glass or plastic. Green beans I get [that’s the natural colour prior to roasting] but blue and pink beans are hardly authentic!

The silver plate is somewhat rubbed from some spoons – a tendency found on all EPNS cutlery that’s over seventy years old. So these spoons should be used for display purposes only.

The spoons come in their original box; and are for sale: $AU45

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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!

Bonzo trinket tin

Bonzo trinket tin, 1930sBonzo tin
made in England, 1930s

Bonzo the dog was the first cartoon character created in England, by George Studdy in 1922. Bonzo has been reproduced in a myriad ways since those early comic books- from figurines to kitchenalia and of course, in tin. You might be familiar with the very popular salt and pepper shakers, which have “I’m Salt” and “I’m Pepper’ emblazoned on two upright Bonzos. Bonzo paraphernalia has been in and out of fashion since the 20s – and I’m pleased to say he is coming back in again.

I have researched this Bonzo tin – it is unmarked- but have been unsuccessful in ascertaining the maker. I do know from other collectors that this is a Bonzo trinket tin [rather than, say, a sweets tin] made in the 30s.  It has a little wear to the hand-painted finish and some rust but is still air-tight for the keeping of trinkets.

I also have a Bonzo napkin ring [see post below.] So now I have two Bonzo pieces a fledgling Bonzo collection has started. Not that I need another collection – it’s just those kitschy large eyes on the very 20s-looking dog that gets me in.

The Bonzo tin is for sale: $AU75

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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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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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Sewing Paraphernalia

DF Tayler & Co pins, made in England 1940s
Southern Cross pins, made in Australia 1940s

Being a sew-er [rather than a sewer] and a vintage collector, I am quite partial to vintage sewing paraphernalia. I make clothes for myself from vintage fabric, using vintage patterns, threads, buttons, trims, etc. So I have collected [but not used] these vintage pins.

I love the graphics on the boxes- so of the times- and the pins from the 40s are both described as ‘short whites’. Short whites are steel, with thick heads, and fine points- made for most sewing occasions. The term ‘short’ was used to indicated they were made for use in dressmaking- longer pins in the 40s were still used to hold garments together when worn.

For collectors of sewing paraphernalia- or vintage dressmakers who enjoy the total vintage experience, the pins are for sale: $AU20

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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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20s toast racks

20s silver plated toast racks
made in England

A lovely pair of silver plated toast racks- great for toast [obviously] but they also make terrific letter/card holders. Some people still get snail-mail, right? Even bills look great in these beauties!

The rack on the left is in fine fettle- silver plate intact; the second is down to the base metal. Both exhibit fine 20s shapes and handles, and have their silver plate hallmarks. The repetition of the racks is beautiful, and the two of the racks together makes a lovely ensemble.

Currently these do service for my partner and I – hers is of course the full plate rack; it houses mail, protest march pamphlets and tradesman business cards, whilst mine [the humbler of the two] houses bills, trades magazines and council newsletters. And the odd vintage book or picture to keep things interesting.

I once saw a BBC ‘Antiques Roadshow’ program which featured a toast rack collector. She said they were cheap, small, easy to display and came in infinite varieties. Here’s to you – toast rack collector!

The two racks are for sale: $AU45 / $AU20 [or $AU55 for the two- I don’t think I can bear for them to be parted.]

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Upcycled toothpick holder

Toothpick holder, and Tasmanian pins
made in Australia, 1960s

Don’t you love a good toothpick holder? Obviously no one uses toothpicks any more- but they make such a good vintage receptacle for pins, hatpins, badges- anything on a stick!

This is a stylised bird toothpick holder that I found in Tasmania. Elsewhere on that same trip I found these fantastic Tasmanian pins- and so put two and two together.

I would love to see this birdy put to use displaying hat pins- so collectable right now. The holder is in terrific vintage condition, never having actually held anything before today- so would make a great receptacle for your pin collection. And- if you are into vintage/Tasmanian pins- so much the better!

This guy holds twelve pins: and is for sale: $AU25 [including pins]

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