Wild Rose toast rack

Shorter & Son ‘Wild Rose’ toast rack
made in England, 1940s

Today, for your delight – a ceramic 40s toast rack, with ‘wild rose’ pattern. I’ve teamed the rack with a fabulous picture of Mary- chosen for the complimentary colours, and because it looks like Mary is holding a sundae – sort of a food tie-in with the toast rack.

Religious iconography – especially vintage iconography- is always fascinating. I don’t understand any of the symbolism here- [and perhaps it’s just my fascination with deserts] – I do know it’s Mary due to her blue dress.

But back to the toast rack: Shorter and Son pottery was established in 1900 and finished production in 1964. By the 1940s- when this rack was made, Short and Son were known for their ‘novelty’ ceramic kitchenalia. These earthenware pottery pieces typically featured English flowers, and were:

“cleverly modelled and effectively decorated…” [to quote the Pottery Gazette, published March 1941.]

People collect toast racks. And people collect pottery featuring flowers. Here’s a piece to suit everybody! The toast rack is in great vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU35

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60s candlestick

Scheurich candlestick,
made in West Germany 1960s

By now you are all familiar with the term ‘fat lava’- the West German pottery that happened in the 60s and 70s that used crazy glazes, crazy shapes and crazy thick lava-esque patternings. Kinda grotesque at the time, but now much embraced and much celebrated.

Here is a more modestly coloured Scheurich candlestick. Although if orange wasn’t the colour of the 60s, I don’t know what was. And while Australians might call this a candle-holder; the European name for this device is a candlestick.

Like all Scheurich pottery, it has marks on the base: 255 /10. The first number is the pattern number, the second number is the height [in cm.] Those Scheurich potters!- so practical! I love the anti-gravity shape of the candlestick; and the colours of the candles I have teamed it with.

The candlestick has a tiny fleabite at the back, on the middle ring. I nearly didn’t buy it.  But it’s Scheurich, it’s fat lava, it’s a 60s candlestick! So, I have styled it with the fleabite to the back, and it is priced accordingly.

The Scheurich candlestick is for sale: $AU45

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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Bakelite amp meter [sold]

Bakelite amp meter,
Lamb sugar-figurine, made in Australia 1950s

I love bakelite, as you know, and I love scientific/measuring instruments. So this gauge [which measures amps, and still works] is totally up my alley. I am so pleased that the buyer is giving it to a artist who makes toys out of found objects. Imagine this as part of a toy, where the amp needle moves as the toy moves~ magic!

I have resisted collecting figurines, but you know- this sugar lamb – was kinda irresistible.  The ‘sugar’ refers to the rough clay texture which gives the figurine some semblance of realism, and unbeknownst to me, this is highly sought after. This lamb is going to a remote sheep station in Western Australia.

I shall endeavour to buy bakelite gauges and sugar figurines- it’s not just me but you!

Studio Anna kitsch-fest

Studio Anna wall plates & salt and pepper shakers
made in Australia 1950s

I am particularly drawn to kitsch pottery that has landscape or botanical images…so souvenir ware from the 50s is right up my street! I have posted Studio Anna pottery previously- you might remember that it was situated right near where I now live, in inner-Sydney.

This very kitschy souvenirware was very popular in the 50s – and then it went out of fashion [in a big way] in the 70s and 80s. Rightly so, the appropriation – and kitschisation- of indigenous motifs was debated and condemned. Now, in this post-modernist era, enough time has passed and enough discussion ensued that we can now look on these very dated images with fondness and nostalgia.

The wall plates have a hanging device on the back, so they can be – hung on a wall; here the cities of Adelaide and Albury are celebrated.  The salt and pepper shakers celebrate Moree. A nice start to a Studio Anna collection.

This collection is for sale: $AU80

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Terra Ceramics ‘Patio’

Terra Ceramics ‘Patio’
made in Australia, c.1965

Terra Ceramics was a pottery run by Bernhard Fiegel, a Dutch-trained potter who immigrated to Australia after the second world war. Like much of my Australian collection, the pottery was in Ashfield [and then Greenacre]- very close to my own locale in Sydney. His pottery produced art pieces, under both the names Terra Ceramics and Terama. The pieces were hand-worked in shape, and then handpainted.

Terra Ceramics was proudly Australian, but I think you can see in these ‘Patio’ pieces, and in another collection ‘Daisy’ featured on this blog, that Fiegel’s Dutch heritage is evident in the motifs. Very modernist, and together with the asymmetrical shapes – very funky and very 60s!

The pottery produced art pieces from the early 60s to the early 80s, so was in production for less than twenty years. This set comprises a teardrop plate, a wall pocket-vase and a pair of – funky-shaped plates. Like many pieces produced in Terra Ceramics in the early days, these have a simple ‘Patio’ backstamp.

All pieces are in excellent vintage condition, and are for sale: $AU75

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1940s glamour

1940s beaded clutch & chokerGlass pearl beaded clutch and choker, made in Japan c.1940s
Midwinter lamb figurines, made in England 1946-1953

This beautiful clutch and matching choker belonged to my friend Susan’s grandmother. Susan’s grandmother kept them safely in their original box, bringing them out only to wear on special occasions. The beading detail is delightful, and is entire [one lady owner!]- I can just imagine the outfits that this ensemble would complete.

At first glance, the beaded clutch and choker and the lamb figurines are an unusual pairing – but both are of the same era. And both hint at joyous and exuberant occasions!

WR Midwinter [Burslem, Staffordshire] is famous for its small, appealing animals- it started producing in 1910 and is still producing today. These frolicking lambs –produced between 1946 and 1953- are now quite collectible. And a pair is better than a single. [I saw a single on Ebay for $55.]

The glass pearl encrusted clutch and matching choker is for sale: $AUD155
The Midwinter pair of lamb figurines : $AUD75

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Apple Blossom

Carlton Ware ‘Apple Blossom’
made in England 1937-1950s

I may have mentioned before that I am drawn to botanical themes- and that I may have amassed a fair bit of botanical related items due to being a landscape architect. Well- here’s more proof.  An ‘Apple Blossom’ plate in one two colours in which it was produced- yellow and green.

The floral embossed motif ‘Apple Blossom’ was part of Carlton Ware’s Salad Ware Range, produced from 1937 to the 1950s. Apple Blossom was the most popular of the floral ware produced and over sixty different items were made : seen here is a medium-sized plate – I also have a large, medium and small plate, a footed bow and a sugar bowl.

Carlton Ware is very collectible – you may have seen my previous post of the Wild Rose jug [also part of the Salad Ware range]- but like all collectibles its popularity waxes and wanes. Us purists, of course, collect what we like and are unswayed by popularity. And I like botanical themes on my pottery!

The plate is in excellent condition for pottery that is over seventy years old. For Carlton Ware collectors and mad keen botanists alike–this plate is for sale: $AU25

[PS: As for the swallow- I am waiting for the other two of the original trio to turn up. In the meantime, s/he is doing double duty as a styling piece.]

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Rustic 60s Dutch scene

Dutch scene, ceramic wall hanging
made in Japan 1960s

Here is a fabulous 3D ceramic wall hanging: a lovely Dutch scene, made, you know in Japan in the 60s. A bit of cross-cultural referencing.

It’s ready to hang- with hole and wire on the back…but can stand on its own two feet too. Very cleverly, those weird crossed logs on the base are legs!

The whole thing is 180 x 130mm, by 30mm deep. Hang or stand – the choice it up to you!

The Dutch scene is for sale: $AU35

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Fowler Ware jug [sold]

Fowler Ware jug,
made in Australia 1930s

Fowler Ware created industrial pottery in Glebe, Sydney commencing in the 1840s. After WWI, Fowler Ware moved to producing pottery for the domestic market : their graduated pudding bowls & jugs were so popular that they opened a second pottery to cope with the demand.

This is a blue and white striped jug from the 30s; the blue and white colours resembled English Cornish Ware and were the premium pieces produced in the 20s and 30s. Every day pieces- ‘Cream Ware’ were made under the Fowler’ Utility’ label, while the blue and white pieces- coffee pots, pudding bowls and jugs- have a Fowler Ware & Sons backstamp.

This jug appears never to have been used: it is pristine inside and out. Quite a rare find.

The Fowler Ware jug is for sale: $AU75