“Easy to use! Fun to make! Gay and colourful flowers may be used to decorate bags, hats & dresses or make novelty earrings & costume jewellery!” The blurb on the packaging says it all.
I can’t find any information on the date/age of the Flower Wheels, but anecdotally a friend of mine remembers making raffia flowers with them in primary school in the early 70s. I hope she made the raffia flowers into novelty earrings! or costume jewellery! Wouldn’t that be fun!
I like- and collect- sewing and knitting paraphernalia, and love these two gauges: the transparent plastic “Korbond 4” x 1” knitting gauge and the “Delyta dressmaker gauge”.
Following my last post where the origin of xylonite was [briefly] explained : here’s my second collection.
Here we see hinged boxes: the top, ‘piano’ box would have housed jewellery, as would the lower two boxes [the ring box still contains it’s beige velvet interior and closing mechanism.]
The brush and penknife have jumped in from the last post; but are now shown with a cut-throat razor and hand-held mirror.
As noted in the last post, xylonite deteriorates with time and exposure to direct sunlight. These pieces are in fantastic condition for their age [and careful storage away from the Australian sun.] The piano box is particularly pristine.
Xylonite was first produced in 1875 – to imitate ivory. It was the first thermoplastic made – as an ivory substitute it was first used for knife handles and jewellery, then all manner of domestic products. Xylonite has tiny parallel striations of yellow and bone- which gives it a faux ivory look- although, interestingly- this was an accident. The manufacturers were attempting to create a timber-look-alike, so named the new celluloid product xylonite – ‘xylon’ being Greek for wood.
Whatever, the production of xylonite saved much real ivory being used. I first became interested in xylonite when I was researching bakelite [after first becoming interested in resin.] So I now have an abiding interest/affection for all types of vintage plastics.
This set of xylonite illustrates how- over time [and exposure to direct sunlight] the normally off-white plastic colour starts to yellow. And this is in excellent condition!- it is of course a hundred years old. The set comprises four lidded ladies boudoir containers, a boudoir tray, hair brush and pen knife and a gentleman’s stud container sans lid.
For the Xylonite collectors, this set is for sale: $AU325
Nally blue bakelite tray, made in Sydney, Australia c.1940s Dalson Products bakelite retractable washing lines, made in Melbourne, Australia c.1940s
And now for some more bakelite domestica!
This lovely speckled blue and white bakelite tray has distinctive art deco styling, with its embossed sunburst pattern. The speckled form of bakelite was often used with blue pieces- it has been noted previously [see ‘blue bakelite post, below] that blue bakelite is prone to break down to a murky brown colour. One solution was to mix the blue bakelite with another colour- usually a neutral colour- to help disguise any such deterioration.
The tray has performed well at many cocktail soirees, and I can attest to the understated glamour it brings to any occasion.
The three retractable washing lines are also very cute. They were made for the interior hanging of clothes. Being retractable meant that one could wash and hang clothes on a rainy day, or it was used when travelling. The winding mechanism is working well on all three – and I like that the manufacturer’s name is cast into the contrasting bakelite winding handle. One could certainly use them today – for retro travel in style!
I recently found another retractable clothes line: this one is plastic, later in date, and made in England; coloured beige and green. The mechanism is exactly the same, but the handle has been modified- this is a 50s version. Surely there is a collector of indoor washing lines out there; Washingalia?
Further to my life-long quest to collect every known coffee canister – here is one posing as a coffee house. I’ve styled it with a Nally plastic coffee canister – Australian – of the same vintage. It’s interesting [to me anyway] that coffee wasn’t a big deal in the 60s – so that the canisters were smaller usually than tea- the bigger sized canisters in nested sets always belonged to sugar, rice and flour. Nowadays- I expect- sugar would be the smallest canister and coffee the largest!
Anyhoo- I like the idea of putting all my various single origin and coffee blends in different, miss-matched vintage coffee canisters. So far, all canisters- both plastic and ceramic- are roughly the same size – and just so happen to fit a bag of 250g coffee. So maybe those 60s canister makers did know what they were doing!
The ceramic ‘coffee house’ canister is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale; $AU25
This is an- as new- never been used- breakfast set; two eggcups and salt and pepper shakers. They are made in state-of-the-art plastics; you’ll note the ‘plastic’ chrome feet which were revolutionary in the 60s!
Plastics used for everyday kitchenware was also revolutionary- the space race bought more than just lustreware to the ceramic industry. This set of four was sold to the restaurant industry; the black and white colourings evoked the checkerboard tiles of every diner and milk bar in the western world.
The pieces haven’t been used, and so are in pristine condition- just ready for your use in the 21st Century. They are for sale: $AU25
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!]
Sellex 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.
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.]
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!