Studio Anna kitsch-fest

Studio Anna wall plates & salt and pepper shakers
made in Australia 1950s

I am particularly drawn to kitsch pottery that has landscape or botanical images…so souvenir ware from the 50s is right up my street! I have posted Studio Anna pottery previously- you might remember that it was situated right near where I now live, in inner-Sydney.

This very kitschy souvenirware was very popular in the 50s – and then it went out of fashion [in a big way] in the 70s and 80s. Rightly so, the appropriation – and kitschisation- of indigenous motifs was debated and condemned. Now, in this post-modernist era, enough time has passed and enough discussion ensued that we can now look on these very dated images with fondness and nostalgia.

The wall plates have a hanging device on the back, so they can be – hung on a wall; here the cities of Adelaide and Albury are celebrated.  The salt and pepper shakers celebrate Moree. A nice start to a Studio Anna collection.

This collection is for sale: $AU80

Buy Now

Terra Ceramics ‘Patio’

Terra Ceramics ‘Patio’
made in Australia, c.1965

Terra Ceramics was a pottery run by Bernhard Fiegel, a Dutch-trained potter who immigrated to Australia after the second world war. Like much of my Australian collection, the pottery was in Ashfield [and then Greenacre]- very close to my own locale in Sydney. His pottery produced art pieces, under both the names Terra Ceramics and Terama. The pieces were hand-worked in shape, and then handpainted.

Terra Ceramics was proudly Australian, but I think you can see in these ‘Patio’ pieces, and in another collection ‘Daisy’ featured on this blog, that Fiegel’s Dutch heritage is evident in the motifs. Very modernist, and together with the asymmetrical shapes – very funky and very 60s!

The pottery produced art pieces from the early 60s to the early 80s, so was in production for less than twenty years. This set comprises a teardrop plate, a wall pocket-vase and a pair of – funky-shaped plates. Like many pieces produced in Terra Ceramics in the early days, these have a simple ‘Patio’ backstamp.

All pieces are in excellent vintage condition, and are for sale: $AU75

Buy Now

70s Australiana

Crystal Craft trivet, made in Australia 1970s
Wiltshire ‘Vogue’ cutlery, made in Australia 1970s

Crystal Craft has become uber trendy for collectors: it is a resin-covered fabric that originated in Queensland in the 70s. This is a super 70s trivet- just look at the forms and colours! And it is great that the piece has it’s original sticker on the base.

The ‘Vogue’ cutlery was designed for Wiltshire by Stuart Devlin- famous for his other work designing the images on Australian coins [all native fauna & flora.] This was his day job – but once those coins were minted I think he gave up his day job! The cutlery are ‘new in box’ never opened or used, and in great condition.

I styled these two items together – I love the 70s colours! – but am happy to sell them separately: $AU35 each.

Buy Now

50s candlesticks

50s candlesticks
made in Australia

Here is my burgeoning brass & timber candlestick collection. You’ll note they all have the same candle [important stylistically] but the only things that unite the candlesticks is the material and the age.

Admittedly, the second one is timber veneer on top of timber, but timber is timber [especially in the 50s!] The first candlestick is ecclesiastical [came from a church]; and the last two are teak, fashioned after Danish pieces. All made in Australia! – another element that unites the collection.

This could be the start of a great collection – or just be four stylish candlesticks to adorn the dinner table. The candlesticks [sans candles- they are from Ikea!] are for sale: $AU55

Buy Now

Barometer [sold]

60s barometer,
made in Tasmania, Australia

This is a fabulous wall barometer- and temperature gauge- made from blackwood timber, in the shape of Tasmania.

The barometer was a wedding gift to a couple in the 60s – and has faithfully recorded the air pressure [barometer] and air temperature [thermometer] since then. I particularly like the fonts used for the barometer – it is very old school, where each condition has its own curlicue lettering: ‘stormy, rain, change, fair, very dry.’ That last one is -of course- referring to wit.

In excellent working order, and ready to hang, the barometer is for sale: $AU45

Apple Blossom

Carlton Ware ‘Apple Blossom’
made in England 1937-1950s

I may have mentioned before that I am drawn to botanical themes- and that I may have amassed a fair bit of botanical related items due to being a landscape architect. Well- here’s more proof.  An ‘Apple Blossom’ plate in one two colours in which it was produced- yellow and green.

The floral embossed motif ‘Apple Blossom’ was part of Carlton Ware’s Salad Ware Range, produced from 1937 to the 1950s. Apple Blossom was the most popular of the floral ware produced and over sixty different items were made : seen here is a medium-sized plate – I also have a large, medium and small plate, a footed bow and a sugar bowl.

Carlton Ware is very collectible – you may have seen my previous post of the Wild Rose jug [also part of the Salad Ware range]- but like all collectibles its popularity waxes and wanes. Us purists, of course, collect what we like and are unswayed by popularity. And I like botanical themes on my pottery!

The plate is in excellent condition for pottery that is over seventy years old. For Carlton Ware collectors and mad keen botanists alike–this plate is for sale: $AU25

[PS: As for the swallow- I am waiting for the other two of the original trio to turn up. In the meantime, s/he is doing double duty as a styling piece.]

Buy Now

Golliwogs #70sstyle

Basic Soft Toys
by Sister Mary Bertrand, published by Reed, 1974, Wellington NZ

So – Sister Bertrand – shows you how to make golliwogs in 1974. I love this book! The goofiness, the un-PC quality, the terrible shot of St. Bertrand on the cover.

And I confess, I got her name mixed up with the flying nun – who was Sister Betrille.

Nineteen soft toy patterns : “every pattern is actual size”! Wow and hurray! if only I had the time/emotional energy to make every pattern in this book. I would. If only to realise the 1974 kitschiness / Sister Betrand factor.

I am asking you, dear reader, and dear soft toy maker, to do this on my behalf. Go on – I know you want to.

Plus – soft toy makers in NZ – I have thrown down the gauntlet. The soft toy gauntlet.

This wonderful tome is for sale: $AU15

Buy Now

O Canada!

Timber wall plaques,
made in Hong Kong 1960s

O Canada! Moose and squirrels [national animals] and cliché all around! If this was an Australian homage- it would be aboriginals and kangaroos. But that gilt is universal in its 3D kitschiness – I do so love it.

The timber in the first plaque is real- while only laminate in the second. But the 3D reality- really, does it get any better? For lovers of kitsch, no matter where you live! Imagine a whole wall – a collection of these babies….

Both plaques are in good vintage condition, and ready to hang. And they are for sale: $AU25

60s moneyboxes

60s moneyboxes
made in Australia

A collection of unused – as new – money boxes from the 60s; from banks now long gone.

The elephant money box is Bank Commonwealth [now, after many reiterations- the Commonwealth Bank] – it had the motto ‘get with the strength” [and hence, the elephant.]

Donald Duck is from The Wales Bank of NSW Savings Bank Ltd- and after that crazy, convoluted name, it’s no wonder they choose a Disney icon for their money box.

Wonderfully, both money boxes instruct the saver to take the box “when full to have money credited to their account – and – receive a new moneybox”.

I guess with digital banking nowadays nobody uses cash- let along saves it in a moneybox. Except for moneybox collectors – they will love these! [I have others on my site…search blog posts below.]

The 6 [new] moneyboxes are for sale: $AU60

Buy Now

Oak bookends

Oak bookends, Australian 1940sOak bookends
made in Australia, 1940s

A lovely pair of oak bookends, lined with green felt – for those of us who still read/collect/store books. The bookends are solid timber, made in the 40s from English Oak grown in Australia.

The timber bookends, though made in the 40s presage the modernist 50s whilst harking back to art deco of the 20s. They are a bit of an amalgam – but then so is harvesting an English Oak for an Australian bookend. If these were made today, there is any number of Australian hardwoods that could have been used.

I have styled the bookends with a small sample of our Observer book collection. Observer books are quite collectible; there is one hundred in the series starting with ‘British Birds’ in 1937 [no 1] and finishing with ‘Wayside and Woodland’, 2003 [no 100.]. They are pocket-sized field-research books and naturally to have all 100 would be a collectors dream.

The oak bookends are for sale: $AUD80

Buy Now