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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Sellex bakelite canisters_kanga & roo salt and pepper shakers

Bakelite canisters & kanga & roo salt and pepper setSellex nested bakelite canisters, made in Australia c. 1940s
Kanga and Roo salt & pepper shakers, made in Japan c.1960s

These Sellex bakelite canisters ‘Rice’ and ‘Coffee’ have been separated from their red-lidded set [flour, tea and sugar…] but Kanga and Roo are in their entirety; Roo being the pepper, and Kanga – the salt. Roo pops out the pouch, should be in need of pepper.

I’m sure someone out there has the rest of the Sellex set – or at least wants to add to canisters already collected. The somewhat flowery transfer labels are a little worn, but it’s clear that more Rice was used than Coffee!

The ceramic kanga and roo S & P shaker set is adorable and in perfect condition.

For sale: $AUD85

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Glass kitchen canisters

Glass kitchen canisters 1950sGlass kitchen canisters
made in Australia 1950s

Here is a selection of some of the glass kitchen canisters that I have collected for use in my kitchen: these are the ‘spares’. The thick, square glass canisters were originally filled with nuts or sugared almonds, and sold at Christmas time in the 50s and 60s. The plastic lids come in all manner of colours, and are still good and air-tight. So beautiful and functional!

I like that you can see how much sugar/flour/tea is left in the glass canisters, and now I associate red with ‘lentils’, blue with ‘couscous’, and green with ‘green tea’. This colour coding is a great idea!

I also have a selection of glass canisters with black bakelite lids- these only seemed to come in black- and they date earlier, probably the 40s.

The canisters are for sale: $AU20 [coloured plastic lids] and $AU30 [black bakelite lids.]

Flour canister

Eon kitchen canister
made in Australia 1960s

This bakelite canister came with a set of transfers [Flour, Rice, Sugar, Sago, Coffee, Tea] in the 60s- so the homeowner could affix the labels as they saw fit- although the graduated size of the transfers meant most people stuck with the nominal order of the day. It makes me laugh that Flour was the largest canister – and coffee one of the smallest- nowadays it would be the other way around!

The transfer is in pretty good order for a canister that’s been in use since the 60s- normally these are quite perished when I find them. The red bakelite lid is also still tight-fitting, so you can store all the flour you wish!

The bakelite canister is for sale: $AU25

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SylvaC lamb

SlyvaC lamb
made in England, 1940s

I have collected a few SylvaC figurines and plates, jugs & mugs over the years. This lovely lamb [#1659] complements the fawn-coloured terrier figurine posted just recently. I also have a SylvaC ‘Scaredy Cat’ figurine. Like many SylvaC figurines, the lamb came in the limited colourway of fawn, green and cream. [OK- i agree – it’s beige. It’s SylvaC’s description, not mine.]

SylvaC  is highly collectible, and according to www.sylvac.priceguide.s5.com figurines are commanding quite high prices.

I bought all my figurines for styling purposes, so decided to pose the lamb with a styling item of its own: this toy tug boat, which is roughly the same vintage as the figurine, and with a complementary colouring. I posted it on Instagram, and of course- sod’s law- the toy tug boat was immediately bought!

So – the SylvaC lamb is for sale: $AU25

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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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60s browny goodness

Graham Kerr lazy susan, Vogue plate, Mikasa jugGraham Kerr lazy susan, made in New Zealand, c.1960s
Vogue patterned melamine plate, made in Australia c.1960s
Mikasa jug, made in Japan, c.1960s

And now for something a little different- a collection of items connected by colour, and age.

You may remember the Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr? The original TV Masterchef. It not, then perhaps this quote from the introduction to one of his cookbooks from 1971 might jog your memory:

“To millions he was TV’s clumsily ingratiating Galloping Gourmet, a master of sauces and saucy innuendo…”

He seems to have also produced a line in timber veneer lazy susans, to which he added his name in fancy gold script. This lazy susan still works a treat- they made sturdy ball bearings in the 60s. It would be great to have it in the centre of one’s dining table, holding saucy-sauces for your dining companions’ pleasure!

The Vogue plate is a ‘squircle’- a round-edged square shape and it features a lovely abstract composition of cooking paraphernalia. And the lovely caramel/two-toned jug by Mikasa [“oven to table to dishwasher”, #c4800] completes the collection.

A lovely trio of browny-60s goodness. This set is for sale: $AUD65

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50s botanica

Gambit ware 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. Each leaf shape has its name on the underside, should you fail to recognise these iconic shapes. 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 about half of my collection- at last count I had 20 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.

#70sstyle

Bessemer platter, made in Australia 1970s
Vogue jugs, made in Australia 1970s

I have posted 70s melamine ware previously- I am drawn to the colours and forms of these beautifully designed pieces.  I collect two Australian manufacturers- Bessemer and Vogue.

Bessemer products – made from melamine – were made by the Nylex Melmac Corporation which started production in the mid 60s. This beautiful platter [and the subject of previous posts, I have collected a lot of Bessemer!] was designed by Lionel Suttie, an industrial designer.

It’s interesting that Mr Suttie is remembered as Bessemer’s lead designer: this was the first time that tableware made from plastic [melamine] was thought to be worthy of design – with an illustrative art statement. The platter certainly pays homage to late mid-century modernist design in its colours and abstract forms.

Bessemer is now quite collectable: I have seen some incredible prices on items in ‘antique’ shops. I’m not sure I can come at the idea of retro collectables being antiques, but clearly others can. Bessemer rates a mention in Adrian Franklin’s Retro: A Guide to the mid-20th Century Design Revival [2011, NewSouth Publishing.]

While Bessemer led the way, employing an industrial designer to design tableware, Vogue followed suit. ‘Vogue Australia’ is imprinted on the bottom of these jugs; since the manufacturer name Vogue was also used in North America, at about the same time.

The platter and jugs can be used as intended- melamine is a strong plastic resistant to scratching and these pieces are ‘as new’ – or they can form part of a funky 70s display. 70s melamine is totally collectable.

The platter and jugs are for sale: $AU45
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Bakelite perfume-holder

Bourjois bakelite owl perfume-holder
made in England, 1930s

I am very interested in bakelite, as you know: and blue bakelite is the rarest. I came across this owl-shaped perfume holder, and though it is a little time-worn, I had to have him.

The owl was made to open at the back to take a bottle of ‘Evening in Paris’ perfume. He would have been in every elegant ladies bag in the 30s. It’s made of ‘marbleised’ bakelite : and when you open it you can see the colour of the original [now eighty-year old] bakelite. But his eyes, hinges and feathery detail are all still intact.

The inscription on the back reads: ‘Bourjois, London-Paris, Reg No 825,003, Made in England’. I love the idea of a perfume-holder; no-one uses them these days. You are considered sophisticated if you walk around with perfume in your backpack. This owl harks back to the 30s- and days of glamour!

I’ve teamed the bakelite owl with a plastic telephone toy from the 50s. I kinda like the disparaging look on the owl’s face…

The bakelite perfume-holder is for sale: $AU40

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