Mikasa platters

Mikasa platters by Ben Seibel,
made in Japan 1972

Large platters made by Mikasa- ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Daisy’, designed by Ben Seibel.  And the best- thing: you can whack them in the dishwasher.

Yes- retro that is dishwasher proof. Who hasn’t been waiting for this innovation? Vintage ware that is also dishwasher-proof. Win-win.

Gorgeous 70s abstract prints of sunflowers and daisies- totally #70s.

Both platters in good vintage condition, and for sale: $AU40
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Snoopy Santa

Christmas Snoopy mug
made in Japan, 1965

This is a limited edition ‘Christmas’ Snoopy mug, which has Snoopy as Santa delivering presents in his Sopwith Camel plane. I note that he is delivering koala bears and skateboards- the gift of choice in 1965!

The mug was made in Japan under license to United Features Syndicate, which owns the Peanuts franchise. Due to the presence of the koala bear, I have styled the mug with some nice Eucalyptus leaves.

I have a little Peanuts collection going- see post below with:

  • Snoopy letter/envelope writing set, made by Hallmark; Melbourne, Victoria 1958
  • Linus ‘Try it…you’ll like it’ figurine, made by Aviva; Hong Kong 1970
  • Snoopy and Woodstock jug, made by Peanuts Characters Corp; USA 1965
  • Linus ‘To know me is to love me’ bowl, made by United Feature Syndicate Inc; Japan 1962

The mug is for sale: $AU15 – let me know if any of the other Peanuts collection appeals to you.

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Shaving mugs

Keel Street Pottery [KSP] shaving mugs, made in England c.1900-1930s
Koala shaving mug, made in Australia, c.1930-1940s.

Shaving mugs are highly collectible and becomingly increasingly hard to find.

The ceramic ‘woodgrain’ finish shaving mugs [woodgrain- presumably to render the pottery more ‘manly’?] by KSP predate the pastel colours of the 50s, and yet anticipate those very colours. Yes, now I am certain the woodgrain would help with the whole manly act of shaving. The pink, yellow, & green shaving mugs are all in perfect condition, and marked ‘KSP, made in England’ on the underside.

By contrast, the blue shaving mug is made in Australia by Koala. Koala pottery had a short run, and produced- as far as I can tell- only shaving mugs. I would love if the shaving mug had a koala’s face on it, but alas, it’s a purely perfunctory item, other than that cool blue colour.  It’s also in tip-top condition.

The four mugs are for sale: $AUD100

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Kelco espresso set ‘Tulip’

Kelco espresso set 'Tulip'Kelco espresso set
made in Japan, c.1960s

This charming espresso set of six cups and saucers comes in its original box: it’s never been used.

Largardo Tackett designed this set for Kelco – for the 60s European market. It’s called ‘Tulip’ [pattern K-41] and features abstract tulip shapes. I’ve seen the set in reds, blues and black and white…but I like this orange set the best. They weren’t shy about colour in the 60s, and the orange has been repeated on the saucer.

I’ve posted Kelco before…I am drawn to the simple, modernist shaping and the strong colours.

The espresso set would brighten a modern, monochrome kitchen and lend a certain retro aesthetic to the dining table. The set is for sale: $AUD85

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60s souvenirware

60s souvenirware
made in Australia

I love souvenirware! It’s so of its time – and kitschiness is guaranteed. Here we have two pieces from Queensland. An ashtray- although no indication of such in its form – until you read the text:
Surfers Paradise
Please use this bloody ashtray- its [sic] paid for, the carpet isn’t!

Ah Surfers Paradise! The name says it all- endless beaches of white sand where surfers come to experience paradise. And smoke cigarettes, pausing only to stub them out on the hotel carpet.

And – the rolling pin. Nothing says Kuranda [‘the Village in the Rainforest’] like a miniature rolling pin. Perhaps the pin is made of rainforest timber? Quelle horreur! No, wait, that’s only pine.

These two Queensland souvenirs are for sale: $AU15

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Pates planter

Pates planter
made in Australia 1940s

This fantastic planter was made by Pates Pottery, which operated out of Belmore, Sydney from 1946 -1990. As you may have noticed, given the tenor of the posts of this blog, being a Sydneyite I have an affinity for the potteries that were producing domestic ware in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Pates’ designs and colours were influenced by the 1940s art and interior design trends; and produced work with this ‘Australiana’ colour glaze- brown and green – apparently reminiscent of the Australian bush. This nationalistic colour combination was very popular, and since I am a landscape architect, and quite fond of the Australian bush, I have tended to collect Pates’ pieces in this colour range. I have another pair of Pates planters, in the same shape but a different ‘colourway’ on the blog – you might like to check out.

This large planter looks fantastic supporting a range of succulent plants: I would advise keeping the succulents in their pots and styling them like cut flowers.

The large planter is for sale: $AUD45 – buy now for Christmas!

70s koala mug

Gempo koala mug
made in Japan 1970s

Gempo pottery – like much of the 70s- is having a resurgence at the moment. Gempo pottery was made in Japan between1962 – and 1974 for the export market.

The koala [and her joey] – have the large-faced form that marks all Gempo pottery. It is also particular to the 70s era with the stylised features, and the stoneware pottery glazed in rustic creams and browns.

I’m not sure how many animals Gempo stylised on their mugs, but currently in my collection I have a spotted hippo, giraffe and elephant. Oh, and a leo-the-lion moneybox!

The koala mug is for sale: $AU15

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Aboriginal motif pottery – hello 1950s

Studio Anna & Florenz potteryStudio Anna ‘crab’ plate, made in Sydney Australia 1956
Florenz Pottery dish and ashtray, made in Sydney Australia 1950s

Both Studio Anna and Florenz Pottery had their pottery studios in Marrickville, Sydney – very near when I now live. The potteries lasted until the 70s- when gentrification and housing pressures saw them close. Marrickville is still a gritty inner-city place with an industrial/suburban mix.

Florenz started producing studio pottery in the 1930s and Studio Anna in 1953. These slip cast pottery items were made as souvenirware – the appropriated [and westernised] indigenous motifs were hugely popular. Post war arts and crafts saw a rise in the popularity of Australiana – replacing traditional English motifs with ‘Australian’ themes; and invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.

The crab plate has some very minor chips on its edge [click on the image for zoom view] – and is marked Studio Anna on the underside. I am particularly drawn to the funky rounded-triangle shape of this piece. The dish and ashtray are unmarked, but presumed Florenz Pottery due to the quality/typology of the images and glazes. The three pieces make a nice ensemble with the rich ochres, and black and white patternings.

The three pieces are for sale: $AUD85 [price reflects the condition of the Studio Anna ‘crab’ plate]

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20s toast rack

Manto Ware toast racksManto Ware toast racks
made in Japan 1920s

At the turn of the century, Manto Ware pottery started producing work that mimicked Royal Winton; here we have an example- very English looking toast racks, textured ceramic for a ‘naturalistic’ look and topped by an acorn. These were made for the export market- for Australia and New Zealand- markets that wanted Royal Winton but couldn’t afford the price- or the time- for the products to arrive. Manto Ware stepped in to fill the breach.

It’s rare to find a pair of anything vintage these days- and indeed- I collected these two toast racks separately. But they make a fine pair, and –as attested by Etsy and Pinterest- toast racks are very collectible and are eminently repurposeable. I use mine as a vintage letter/business card holder. [Or, you know, you can use them for toast.]

Silver plate toast racks are good too- see my recent post of a 1920s EPSN toast rack.

The toast racks are for sale: $AUD45

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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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