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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60s Pyrex

Pyrex canistersPyrex ‘Stack & See’ canisters
made in USA, c.1968

I use these canisters- with their funky 60s colours – to store my retro sewing collection. Any sort of see-through canister is great for re-use – as is stackability – a great 60s invention. These Pyrex canisters came in 4 different sizes- the largest is shown here.

You can collect the canisters in the colour-ways; green, yellow, orange, red or blue. Check the Pyrex motif is on the base- there are a few fake imitations around. They don’t make them like they used to.

Of course, you can still use the canisters in the kitchen for their original purpose: just make sure the sealing ring is intact. I have only collected canisters with the original rings, even if they are only storing buttons. Email me if you’d like to buy!

Guy Boyd goblets

Guy Boyd goblet set
made in Sydney, Australia 1950s

This is a really, really rare set of Guy Boyd goblets. The form of the vessel- the goblet- was only produced in very limited quantities. To find an original set [rather than re-create a set, one piece at a time] is also rare.

The Boyds are a famous Australian family of artists. Martin Boyd pottery started in Cremorne, Sydney in 1946- but Martin doesn’t exist, instead it was Guy [Martin] Boyd who was the chief ceramicist. The pottery was in operation from 1946-1964, with 1957-58 being the peak production period.

All Guy Boyd pottery is made [and signed] by hand so there is a slight variation between any pieces in a set. The pottery is instantly recognisable from the edge band of unglazed pottery that always separates the two toned pieces. The colours are quintessentially 50s.

This fabulous goblet set would be great for Christmas drinks! It is for sale: $AU75
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Retro milk bottle holders [sold]

vintage millk bottle holdersRetro milk bottle holders
made in Australia c.1950s

Who doesn’t remember the nightly ritual of putting out the milk bottle holder, with a note for the milkman as to the number of milk bottles required? Okay, that was in the olden days…but I can just remember.

These two milk bottle holders are lovely examples of the then ’new’ technology of PVC coated steel. The PVC coating was ‘kinder on the hands’ than the raw metal and it had the added benefit of delaying the corrosion of the metal. And all kinds of colour were possible!

Both these holders could carry four pint-sized [glass] milk bottles. Nowadays, the holders are good for all sorts of repurposing – I have seen them used as mobile vase holders, or mobile herb gardens.  Four terracotta pots fit snuggly into the spaces and the holder sits on the window sill in the sun to grow various herbs. When it’s time for harvesting, the holder is moved to the kitchen. Funky and practical!

The milk bottle holders are in excellent condition – even the white holder shows no sign of wear and tear. I haven’t been able to ascertain the manufacturer, but the person from whom I bought the holders assured me they were Australian in origin.  From prosaic functional item of yesteryear, milk bottle holders are now quite sought after and highly collectible. That’s nostalgia for you!          For sale: $AUD65

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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50s Australiana kitsch

Gambit Ware 'Ceramique' Australiana leaf platesGambit Ware ‘Australiana’ leaf plates
made in Australia 1950s

Here is another part of my collection: anything botanically themed always gets me in. Add to that these plates were designed and made in Australia- celebrating our unique flora in the post war period. AND this is ‘Ceramique’ – an early melamine material that was developed to revolutionise ceramic – it would ‘never chip or break.’

The stylised plates came in simple pastel colours, but were quite botanically detailed- they include wattle, banksia, kurrajong, mulga leaves- to name a few. The simple colouring meant that each leaf shape was reproduced in six colours- so one could buy a set of six ‘for display OR kitchen purposes’!

This image shows another part of my collection- at last count I had 50 plates. Plates with their labels intact are worth significantly more. The Ceramique has certainly lived up to its name- there isn’t a chip or a crack on any of the plates, although colour fading has occurred on a few.

Kitschy – yes. But 50s Australian kitsch- I love it!

This selection of Gambit Ware is for sale: $125 [13 pieces]

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Penny Inkwells

Penny inkwells,
made in Victoria, Australia 1880-1910

This is a collection of ‘penny’ inkwells; they are ceramic and so-called because they were cheaply made bottles that cost a penny to buy. They were crudely made and one of the first ‘disposables’- they were simply thrown out when they were empty. So this little collection is quite rare: most penny inkwells that survived the nineteenth century are chipped or broken.

The ceramic is stoneware with a salt glaze. Each inkwell is a different colour, depending on the mix of the original clay colour and the finished glaze: they range from a light tan to a deep russet brown. No two the same!

Most penny inkwells were used by school children; but would occasionally also be bought to be used in homes. There are many websites devoted to the collection of inkwells, and Ebay has a section for ‘collectable inkwells and ink pots’. Single penny inkwells in good condition are selling for around $45.

The collection of 8 penny inkwells is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale: POA

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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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Nally mixing bowls

Nally mixing bowls,
made in Australia, 1940s

I love bakelite and have collected Australian bakelite domestic ware for some time. Nally first started bakelite production in 1923 and was one of the first in Australia to do so. The factory was just up the road from where I now live.

These two mixing bowls – although nested [that is fitting exactly within one another]- were priced and sold separately. Nally’s advertising blurbs of the time made much of the fact that replacement pieces could always be bought, and as the mixing bowls were ‘harlequin’ [ie: different colours] they could be mixed and matched.

As it happens, these two bowls have never been used- testament to this fact is the original sticker in the base of the bowl. The sticker indicates these are ‘Genuine’ Nally bowls [in case you know, you thought they were fakes!]

The mixing bowls have a pouring lip, and came in the usual 40s pastel colours of blue, green, pink, cream and white. These bowls are yellow; and I’ve teamed them with a kewpie doll from the same era.

The bowls are for sale: $AU75

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Doggy bookends

ceramic dog bookends, Japan, 1950sCeramic dog bookends
made in Japan 1950s

These doggy bookends- cocker spaniels, I believe, were made in the 50s. They both have a large hole in the base- which I always believed was for glazing/firing purposes – but no- apparently this hole allows the bookends to be filled with sand, and then corked to seal. The sand allows the bookends to have a heavier mass, and so withstand the forces of all the books. I had no idea.

The book ends are shown here with our burgeoning Observer book collection – they are just the right scale for the books. I have not filled the bookends with sand – but leave that to the next owner.

The bookends would suit a reader with a library, or – a cocker spaniel enthusiast. The doggy bookends are for sale: $AUD80

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