I love bakelite and have collected Australian bakelite for some time. Although I don’t usually go for ashtrays these pieces show no sign of ever having been used and are in the form of Australia [‘Greetings from Brisbane’] and Tasmania. Who could resist?
Also, ashtrays [that haven’t been used and so have no physical scars] make great pin dishes – excellent for jewellery collections. And Australian bakelite collectors love bakelite in the shape of Australia.
These two pieces of 50s Australiana are for sale: $AU55 Buy Now
Gem scones are unique to Australia: they are ‘damper’ scones made from flour, water and milk – the basics- as this was all that was available during the war. Damper is a rough bread that can be made over a camp fire.
Real scones are made with sugar…and- served with jam and cream. Real luxury after the war. But during the war when this gem iron was made – you were lucky to be able to assemble flour and milk. Water was available as an alternative to the milk…if necessary…or to water down the milk to make the gem scones.
This gem iron made twelve scones over the fire, or in the oven. It is made of cast-iron, and now has a patina of rust. Good thing that it can be easily cleaned [if you wish] – or if like me you like the historical patina…
Since I have – in the olden days- drafted using old fashion timber scales – and also love dressmaking – HOW MUCH do I love these oldy-timey timber rules?
Here we have a dressmakers square, a triangular scale ruler and – a ruler. All in solid timber. Beautifully made and still useful. Made to last. Increasingly rare to find now- [and now all made in plastic] I have teamed the three timber rulers with a fabulous 50s packet of photographic corners.
Avid readers of this blog will know that due to my [real] life as a landscape architect, I am a sucker for all things botanical. Especially 50s kitschy botanical. This Peony Ware plate- featuring- Peonies….ticks all the boxes.
Peony Ware started manufacturing slip-cast raised ‘peony’ jugs, plates, tea cups and vases in the 50s as a response to the popularity of Carlton Ware. The quality of the peonies isn’t that of Carlton Ware- although it is hand-painted and the peonies are raised -it was sold as a sort of cheaper version; and only featured peonies. Carlton Ware in the 50s was producing Fox Glove, Wild Rose, Buttercup, Apple Blossom….while Peony Ware pumped out the peonies in every conceivable colour.
This is a green plate with cream peony – in excellent condition. It is stamped ‘Peony Ware, made in Japan’ on the underside. I’ve teamed it with a green apple for scale and colour.
For avid Peony Ware collectors, I have also a matching double-sided, handled dish- green with cream colour peonies.
Timber handled date stamp
made in Australia, last century
I love stationery – and vintage stationery even better. I have collected a number of date stamps [see countless posts below] and a fantastic anodized stamp-holder [also see post below.] To this collection I have added another vintage date stamp.
Made in Australia 1960s [as attested by the timber, rather than plastic handle] this date stamp was used in a Post Office. It’s still functional, though only if you’re interested in last centuries dates. [And who isn’t?}
I have some ink pads [also vintage – fancy that] that render all these stamps useful.
Valet Auto-Strop Safety Razor
made in England 1950s
With so much attention to shaving [or wrt to beards = not shaving] recently I’ve had so many inquiries about razors.
I meet a lovely sustainable activist who says NO to disposable razors and is on a mission to recover all the vintage razors that can be used over and over – and are not disposable. So much landfill is single-use razors.
I love this Valet Auto-Strop Safety Razor- in it’s original bakelite box. Made in England, it has a couple of old blades for examples- still available- and is entirely made of stainless steel.
It ticks all the boxes- bakelite, stainless steel, useable, and good-ol’ timey shavin”! Buy one now [and for god’s sake- loose that horrible beard!]- for sale: $AU65 Buy Now
Kitsch to the max- this rose print has a bakelite frame. Roses are so evocative of the 60s – and the OTT retouched photo is so retouched it’s difficult to tell where the photo finishes and the retouching begins.
The rose print is only small- 100mm diameter, but boy the red/green/blue [technically ‘cyan’] palette packs a punch .I’ve styled the frame with a small dolly, also from the 60s. I had one of these…I remember the over-sized head and wild hairstyle.
The framed rose print is ready to hang, and is for sale: $AU15 Buy Now
Australasian WONDER ATLAS
published in Australia 1950s
Australasian WONDER ATLAS! An Atlas for the AIR AGE. NEW Up-to date Edition.
My partner and I collect Australian Atlases. Because: Maps. Kitsch. Graphs. Kitschy drawings. Idealised images of Australia in the 50s.
This one is a beauty!
It’s in fantastic vintage condition. Last week at our local primary school book fair we found another 50s Atlas. It has ink blobs on the cover, thumbed pages, scrawls from numerous children throughout, and the old library card in the front. It’s similarly fantastic- I love the use, wear and tear and obvious appeal that maps have.
If anyone has an old Australian Atlas- let me know!
This is a ‘dual’ cast-iron cobblers shoe last- there are two different shapes on which to stretch and shape leather to make shoes. Cast-iron was used as it maintains its shape when in contact with wet leather and the mechanical stresses of stretching and shaping shoes.
Nowadays these heavy items are used as book ends, door stops or simply as decorative industrial forms.
There is something very satisfying about repurposing an industrial antique- giving it a new purpose and lease of life- and the functional design of the last means it is stable either end up.
Pictured here with a pineapple- the shoe last lends gravitas to anything!