Not difficult to gauge the age of these glasses: they are printed on them. Her Majesty visited the colonies in 1954 – a year after her coronation in 1953.
Australia is still a part of the Commonwealth, with her Maj as our Queen. We had a referendum to become a republic in 1999 – it was defeated – and the debate still rages.
So- all this is to say- there are a lot – A LOT- of monarchists in our midst. Monarchists who collect ER memorabilia. Here we have two shot glasses, and a pair of drinking glasses. The drinking glasses have had more wear [more toasts!] and some of the gilt is worn. The shot glasses, meanwhile, look pristine.
Just saying; monarchists prefer to toast her Maj with beer, rather than vodka. It’s empirical!
Viewmaster 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
Aboriginal 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.
Studio Anna started their art pottery in 1953, in Marrickville [just near where I now live.] Unlike many other potteries in the area, Studio Anna commenced with making art pieces; rather than converting from industrial/commercial products as part of the cultural changes that the 50s ushered in.
Like Martin Boyd pottery, Studio Anna specialised in hand-painted ‘Australiana’ themes. Flora and fauna and local iconic sites were depicted – I have several Studio Anna pieces that feature local hotels [oh! the 50s glamour!] as they were sold as souvenirware.
This cup and saucer is no exception- depicting the ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’, a local tourist attraction in the fine town of Gundagai. [I won’t go into the story of the DotT – I have previously on the blog since I seem to have quite a few kitschy things that pay homage to said dog.]
The cup and saucer are in excellent vintage condition, and shown here with a snowdome of the DotT- made around the same era. This set is for sale: $AU35
Crystal Craft kiwi, made in New Zealand 1960s State Bank money box, made in Australia 1960s
Glass inkwell, made in England 1960s.
60s- style from around the world.
The Kiwi is made by Crystal Craft, and features marine opal and brass legs & beak – the makers sticker in-tact on the back; the State Bank money box is metal and exhibits the logo of the 60s [founded in 1933 as the Rural Bank, the State Bank became the Commonwealth Bank in 2000.] The glass inkwell is an import from England, maker unknown.
All different items, made from different materials, and hailing from different countries but unified by date [and collectability] – and what a nice little tableau they make!
Crystal Craft has become uber collectable; money-box collectors are legend; and there is a society of inkwell fanciers.
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!
Crystal Craft wall plaque, made in Queensland, Australia 1960s
Crystal Craft! I have watched in astonishment as Crystal Craft has become incredibly collectible. Think the wired daisies with faces that proliferated in the 70s, or those resin daisy coasters with broad smiles in bright colours.
This example of Crystal Craft is where it all started: souvenirware using resin and marine opal. This is a wall plaque in the shape of Australia, with an ‘Australian Kangaroo’ insert where NSW would be. I take it that this would have sufficed as a souvenir from any city or town in NSW. On the back the label suggests this is a “decorative wall plaque for children, created with glass like resin and marine opals…”
Marine Opals – aka polished abalone shell, aka Paua shell for New Zealand readers- would seem to be a rather optimistic euphemism. Still this was the 60s, and marketing is what is it [and always has been.]
I have teamed the Crystal Craft plaque with wire plate hangers from roughly the same period: I have featured so many plates recently with suggestions to hang them on the wall that I thought it only right to include some original plate hangers.
The Crystal Craft plaque is for sale: $AUD10 + postage. I have featured a Crystal Craft owl letter holder and a teapot trivet previously : start your Crystal Craft collection today!
Kookaburra perpetual calendar,
made in Australia 1940s
This pewter kookaburra sits on a boomerang-shaped timber base: the timber is traditional Mulga wood- which has been cut and arranged to show off its famous bi-colouring. Mulga wood was used in 1940s souvenir works like these as it is a hardwood –unusual in a native from the wattle family – and was considered ‘export quality’. A transfer sticker on the base, in the shape of Australia, proudly proclaims “Genuine Australian Mulga” in case one confuses it for fake Mulga, or worse still, a non-Australian Mulga.
Kookaburras are very collectible right now: and I have a great fondness for a perpetual calendar. The daily ritual of changing the date as one sits down to work in a mostly digital world is very pleasant. You’ll notice if you look closely at the image that the calendar pieces were made by The Daily Set, printed in England. This is the only part of the item that was imported; seems Australia couldn’t print calendar pieces in the 40s.
The perpetual calendar is not for sale as it makes up part of Trish’s burgeoning kookaburra collection. I have tried to claim is as part of my burgeoning Mulga wood collection – but nothing doing!
made from vintage Australian linen
My partner recently found a batch of vintage Australian tea towels, all Irish linen and all unused. I love the graphic qualities of the images- and the strong colours – and decided to make square cushion covers from them.
The backs of the cushions are either upcycled linen or new linen, in plain colours to suit the images. I salvaged the upcycled linen from 50s and 60s tablecloths- and finished the openings with vintage bindings. It was nice to be able to use some of my vintage sewing stash…so it can be considered less a collection and more a necessity!
The cushions are sized to take a 400 x 400mm insert [15.7 x 15.7 inches.] They are fully washable and would make a great gift- especially if the state or flora & fauna featured has a particular association for someone. I have thirty cushions made- and they can be grouped in 2s or 4s- email me if you’d like to peruse the ‘collection’.