Dog on the Tuckerbox, #50sstyle

Royal Stafford cup and saucer, made in England 1950s
Glass ashtray, made in Australia 1950s

More of my ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’ collection – a transfer printed cup and saucer and a glass ashtray with 50s photo of said dog on the base.

The cup and saucer are bone china, with gilt edging to both cup and saucer, and marked 3395 to base. Meanwhile, the glass ashtray- a souvenir item, made in Australia, has a rather crudely hand-coloured 50s photograph in the moulded glass. But if nothing else, that photograph shows how accurate the transfer prints on the cup and saucer are- and they were made in England.

Both are kitschy, one more refined kitsch than the other!

Start your Dog on the Tuckerbox collection today: the cup and saucer is for sale: $AU25 as is the ashtray: $AU10 [or $AU30 for both.]

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Aboriginal motif kitsch

50s Aboriginal motif s&p, jugAboriginal motif salt & pepper shaker sets, and small jug
made in Australia c.1950s

While none of these items has a maker’s mark, the salt and pepper shakers at the back are possibly by Terra Ceramics, and the round shakers to the left are possibly Florenz Pottery. The small jug is probably Studio Anna. All these potteries were making tourist and souvenir pottery by the 1950s, and these 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; invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.

This group works well as a set, or could form the basis of a larger collection. The items on their own are very kitsch…but somehow when grouped the kitschness is subverted into a subtler aesthetic.

This set is for sale: $AU125

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Retro Italian souvenir images

Retro Italian souvenir images [1950s]retro Italian souvenir images,
made in Italy 1960s

This collection was inspired after I visited Italy. It comprises a c.1960s Venice guidebook, 60s postcards in book form from Venice, Roma and Florence and 60s souvenir film slides from Rome and the Vatican.

The souvenir guide book is in excellent condition and is quite funny to read with its mangled English. The souvenir postcard books have never been used and are still complete – the old retro photographs are very stage-managed and have been colour-touched in that delightful 60s era style.

The souvenir slides have never been opened, and I expect they will have that lovely rosy patina of all old slides. They could be viewed using one of the Haminex slider viewers, posted below!

The Italian souvenir images are for sale: $65

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Bakelite roulette wheel

Duperite bakelite roulette wheel, made in Australia c.1950s

How do you combine your love of bakelite with your penchant for gambling? With a bakelite roulette wheel. [Catalogue No. 1324/1, to be precise.] This beautiful roulette wheel hasn’t been out of its box- it is in pristine condition although its box has seen some wear and tear. It comes with a printed green felt baize [not pictured] and a little timber ball ~which was still taped to the wheel when I bought the set.

I have other bakelite items made by Duperite- see ‘Green bakelite pieces’ post below- an Australian bakelite company that made, as well as domesticware, lawn bowls and -apparently- roulette wheels. I must have been the only person who didn’t have one at home as a child…everyone I have shown this roulette wheel to has exclaimed that they remember having one! That might explain  why 1] I am so attracted to it [pure envy] and 2] why it elicits so many nostalgic sighs from my friends.

For sale: $AUD125

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Beehive bookends

Beehive bookends,
made in Australia 1950s

I have a ‘thing’ for Mulga wood- I’ve featured quite a bit of it on the blog. Mulga wood was used in 1940-50s for souvenir works as it is a hardwood –unusual in a native from the wattle family – and was considered ‘export quality’. The timber is cut and arranged to show off its famous bi-colouring, as seen in these ‘beehive’ bookends.

These are ‘beehive’ bookends in the classic shape: it was a popular form in the 50s and seen in everything from knitting guages to car manufactures logos- to –of course- hairstyles.

The hardwood was first turned on a lathe, then cut in half to form bookends with a straight edge; then polished to a gloss. Often example of the bark was retained- as seen in these bookends- to contrast with the high glass finish. And the weight of the hardwood makes for excellent book ends; nothing is going to push these babies over.

The bookends are for sale: $AU65

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50s souvenir spoons

Squire souvenir teaspoons,
made in England 1950s

For all your boiled egg-eating or coffee-stirring needs [refer last two posts]- here is a boxed set [never used] of silver plated teaspoons hailing from the Old Dart.

From left to right we have- represented by their flags- England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Great Britain and London. SO- Great Britain of the 60s.

My whole family is English- I am first generation Australian- and so have an affinity for anything Old Dartish. These teaspoons, being silver-plated, would have been an expensive gift to bring back as a travel gift; and I expect that since they have never been out the box, the gift recipient knew this and put the box away in the “good room”.

It’s time that the spoons were put to their purpose- or maybe made into an art piece- but released from the box! The set is for sale: $AU45

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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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60s platter

Westminster ‘Sierra’ platter
made in Australia, 1962

Despite both exotic names [Westminster, evoking England] and Sierra [evoking America] this platter with it’s gay 60s abstract flowers was made in Australia.

Westminster started making souvenirware under the name Stanley Rogers & Sons in Melbourne in 1954. They imported blank ceramic pieces from Japan which they then decorated locally. By the 60s the name was changed to Westminster Fine China – to suggest a longer and more illustrious history – and a much larger range of tea sets and dinner sets where produced.  These were decorated with bright, abstract flower arrangements [sometimes in very 60s and 70s gaudy colours.] On the whole, this platter in the ‘Sierra’ pattern is quite restrained.

The platter is in good vintage condition, and is for sale: $25

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Viewmaster Junior Projector

Viewmaster Junior Projector, 50s, USAViewmaster Junior Projector
made in Portland, Oregon 1957

The first Viewmaster was made in the 1930s by William Gruber, who was fascinated with Nineteenth Century stereoscopes. He partnered with Sawyers Co. to produce viewers which debuted at the 1939 World’s Fair.

This ‘Junior’ projector was made in 1957 – at the same time all the classic bakelite hand-held Viewmasters were made. These were called the Model C Viewer and were made from 1946-1955.  But while the hand-helds view reels in stereoscope, this projector- using the same reels- projects in monoscope. The projector is cast metal and bakelite, and has a similar level mechanism to advance the reels as the hand-helds, and all reels made are compatible. The projector comes in its original box, which is in good vintage condition.

Along with this fantastic junior ‘toy’ [every child in the 50s wanted one!] come a great range of original 50s reels. The range from Australia themes [“5010 The Great Barrier Reef”, “5121 Adelaide & Vicinity”] to American themes [“291 California Wild Flowers”, “157 New York City”] and for some odd reason, a single Movie Star themed: “Gene Autry and his wonder horse Champion”. That’s a real corker!

The Junior Projector is for sale: $AU120. For a full list of the reels, please email : reretroblog.gmail.com

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Dirty Dogs of Paris

The Dirty Dogs of Paris,
Lithograph by Boris O’Klein, Paris, 1930s

This is a framed souvenir print from Paris, in the 30s. The lithograph – featuring dogs each with a “human personality”, was hugely popular and printed [and hand-coloured] in the thousands. This one was bought to Australia as a gift in the late 1930s, and apparently was much admired and giggled over, due to the risqué scene. Oh those French artists!

Boris O’Klein [real name Arthur Klein, a Russian emigre] was an illustrator and artist in Paris, but he was most well-known for his Dirty Dogs print series. Boris [1833-1985] lived to a ripe old age, and the Dirty Dog prints were still being produced in the 70s, albeit by protégés and not Boris himself.

The print is signed ‘Chacun son tour’ [“each turn”]- Copyright by O’Klein, Chamarandle [S.&O.] Eauforte orginate. It’s still in its original frame and glass, and the hand-colouring is as vibrant as the day it was painted.

The print is for sale: $AU75

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