Krups kitchen scales

Krups kitchen scales
made in Germany c.1954

I have a rather large collection of retro scales. So far I have posted Australian scales [Salter -50s and Persinware-60s] but the collection also includes these lovely metal German scales. Scales are both functional and beautiful – as long as the measuring bowl is intact [and one must make sure it’s the original bowl as well.]

These scales weigh items up to 25 lbs [approx. 11.5kg] in 2 ounce increments. The scales are completely made of metal- bowl included, and they are original – not reproduction- scales, in that the scale is imperial only. Kitchen scales that feature both imperial and metric scales were made post 1972 and are considered reproduction.

The scales show a little bit of wear and tear from a life of service in a kitchen, but there is no corrosion or deterioration of the material and the weight measure is accurate. As is typical, there is an adjustment knob at the rear to allow one to correct for the weight of the bowl itself.

Four lemons and a lime weight 1lb 7oz. The duck is just along for the ride.  For sale: $AUD75

Buy Now

Xylonite collection #2

Australian xylonite
made in 1910-1920s

Following my last post where the origin of xylonite was [briefly] explained : here’s my second collection.

Here we see hinged boxes: the top, ‘piano’ box would have housed jewellery, as would the lower two boxes [the ring box still contains it’s beige velvet interior and closing mechanism.]

The brush and penknife have jumped in from the last post; but are now shown with a cut-throat razor and hand-held mirror.

As noted in the last post, xylonite deteriorates with time and exposure to direct sunlight. These pieces are in fantastic condition for their age [and careful storage away from the Australian sun.] The piano box is particularly pristine.

This set is for sale: $AU275

Buy Now

Xylonite collection #1

Australian Xylonite 1910-1930sXylonite collection
made in Australia 1910-1920s

Xylonite was first produced in 1875 – to imitate ivory. It was the first thermoplastic made – as an ivory substitute it was first used for knife handles and jewellery, then all manner of domestic products. Xylonite has tiny parallel striations of yellow and bone- which gives it a faux ivory look- although, interestingly- this was an accident. The manufacturers were attempting to create a timber-look-alike, so named the new celluloid product xylonite – ‘xylon’ being Greek for wood.

Whatever, the production of xylonite saved much real ivory being used. I first became interested in xylonite when I was researching bakelite [after first becoming interested in resin.] So I now have an abiding interest/affection for all types of vintage plastics.

This set of xylonite illustrates how- over time [and exposure to direct sunlight] the normally off-white plastic colour starts to yellow. And this is in excellent condition!- it is of course a hundred years old. The set comprises four lidded ladies boudoir containers, a boudoir tray, hair brush and pen knife and a gentleman’s stud container sans lid.

For the Xylonite collectors, this set is for sale: $AU325

Buy Now

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

Buy Now

Here’s Humphrey!!!

Humphrey B. Bear porridge bowl,
made in Australia 1983

This is a porridge bowl: featuring Humphrey B. Bear; star of the Here’s Humphrey! television show since 1965.

Humphrey is a partially clothed bear [famously- he wears a hat, waistcoat, collar and tie, but no pants] – who cannot speak. So- each show in the Magic Forest is narrated. Humphrey just has to gesticulate and wildly nod his head to enact his part. But- again- famously- the costume is so heavy that the actor playing Humphrey is actually a trained dancer.

Humphrey is now ‘heritage listed’ and a ‘national icon’. He has won a couple of Logies.

All without speaking a word. Maybe- just maybe- that is the secret to his success. There are many Humphrey B Bear collectors out there.

This porridge bowl, by Thomas Trent [backstamp c.1983] is in great vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU15

Buy Now

20s toast racks

20s silver plated toast racks
made in England

A lovely pair of silver plated toast racks- great for toast [obviously] but they also make terrific letter/card holders. Some people still get snail-mail, right? Even bills look great in these beauties!

The rack on the left is in fine fettle- silver plate intact; the second is down to the base metal. Both exhibit fine 20s shapes and handles, and have their silver plate hallmarks. The repetition of the racks is beautiful, and the two of the racks together makes a lovely ensemble.

Currently these do service for my partner and I – hers is of course the full plate rack; it houses mail, protest march pamphlets and tradesman business cards, whilst mine [the humbler of the two] houses bills, trades magazines and council newsletters. And the odd vintage book or picture to keep things interesting.

I once saw a BBC ‘Antiques Roadshow’ program which featured a toast rack collector. She said they were cheap, small, easy to display and came in infinite varieties. Here’s to you – toast rack collector!

The two racks are for sale: $AU45 / $AU20 [or $AU55 for the two- I don’t think I can bear for them to be parted.]

Buy Now

Upcycled toothpick holder

Toothpick holder, and Tasmanian pins
made in Australia, 1960s

Don’t you love a good toothpick holder? Obviously no one uses toothpicks any more- but they make such a good vintage receptacle for pins, hatpins, badges- anything on a stick!

This is a stylised bird toothpick holder that I found in Tasmania. Elsewhere on that same trip I found these fantastic Tasmanian pins- and so put two and two together.

I would love to see this birdy put to use displaying hat pins- so collectable right now. The holder is in terrific vintage condition, never having actually held anything before today- so would make a great receptacle for your pin collection. And- if you are into vintage/Tasmanian pins- so much the better!

This guy holds twelve pins: and is for sale: $AU25 [including pins]

Buy Now

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

Buy Now

Coffee collection

Ceramic coffee canister
made in Japan, 1960s

Further to my life-long quest to collect every known coffee canister – here is one posing as a coffee house. I’ve styled it with a Nally plastic coffee canister – Australian – of the same vintage. It’s interesting [to me anyway] that coffee wasn’t a big deal in the 60s – so that the canisters were smaller usually than tea- the bigger sized canisters in nested sets always belonged to sugar, rice and flour. Nowadays- I expect- sugar would be the smallest canister and coffee the largest!

Anyhoo- I like the idea of putting all my various single origin and coffee blends in different, miss-matched vintage coffee canisters. So far, all canisters- both plastic and ceramic- are roughly the same size – and just so happen to fit a bag of 250g coffee. So maybe those 60s canister makers did know what they were doing!

The ceramic ‘coffee house’ canister is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale; $AU25

Buy Now

Black and white- and plastic chrome

Breakfast set,
made in Hong Kong, 1960s

This is an- as new- never been used- breakfast set; two eggcups and salt and pepper shakers. They are made in state-of-the-art plastics; you’ll note the ‘plastic’ chrome feet which were revolutionary in the 60s!

Plastics used for everyday kitchenware was also revolutionary- the space race bought more than just lustreware to the ceramic industry. This set of four was sold to the restaurant industry; the black and white colourings evoked the checkerboard tiles of every diner and milk bar in the western world.

The pieces haven’t been used, and so are in pristine condition- just ready for your use in the 21st Century.  They are for sale: $AU25

Buy Now