Aboriginal motif pottery – hello 1950s

Studio Anna & Florenz potteryStudio Anna ‘crab’ plate, made in Sydney Australia 1956
Florenz Pottery dish and ashtray, made in Sydney Australia 1950s

Both Studio Anna and Florenz Pottery had their pottery studios in Marrickville, Sydney – very near when I now live. The potteries lasted until the 70s- when gentrification and housing pressures saw them close. Marrickville is still a gritty inner-city place with an industrial/suburban mix.

Florenz started producing studio pottery in the 1930s and Studio Anna in 1953. These slip cast pottery items were made as souvenirware – the 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; and invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.

The crab plate has some very minor chips on its edge [click on the image for zoom view] – and is marked Studio Anna on the underside. I am particularly drawn to the funky rounded-triangle shape of this piece. The dish and ashtray are unmarked, but presumed Florenz Pottery due to the quality/typology of the images and glazes. The three pieces make a nice ensemble with the rich ochres, and black and white patternings.

The three pieces are for sale: $AUD85 [price reflects the condition of the Studio Anna ‘crab’ plate]

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Globite reel case

Globite 9” reel case
made in Australia, 1960s

Globite school cases were made by the Ford Sherington company– a well-known purveyor of luxury leather goods which started production in Sydney in 1912 and continued until the mid- 70s.

Interestingly the Ford Sherington company was started by a woman– Ada Sherington- and in the 30s Ford Sherington created the now famous Globite school case which millions of Australian children took to school [myself included.]

By the 60s, the well-known Globite technology was being used for reel-to-reel cases, as is this example. The Museum of Arts and Sciences notes:

“These were certainly very sturdy, being made of vulcanised rather than composite fibre, and much more expensive than most other school bags…”

The case has plasticised reinforced corners, which are riveted. The reel case is in fantastic vintage condition, and looks to be ‘as new’- and unused. It is for sale: $AU25

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20s toast rack

Manto Ware toast racksManto Ware toast racks
made in Japan 1920s

At the turn of the century, Manto Ware pottery started producing work that mimicked Royal Winton; here we have an example- very English looking toast racks, textured ceramic for a ‘naturalistic’ look and topped by an acorn. These were made for the export market- for Australia and New Zealand- markets that wanted Royal Winton but couldn’t afford the price- or the time- for the products to arrive. Manto Ware stepped in to fill the breach.

It’s rare to find a pair of anything vintage these days- and indeed- I collected these two toast racks separately. But they make a fine pair, and –as attested by Etsy and Pinterest- toast racks are very collectible and are eminently repurposeable. I use mine as a vintage letter/business card holder. [Or, you know, you can use them for toast.]

Silver plate toast racks are good too- see my recent post of a 1920s EPSN toast rack.

The toast racks are for sale: $AUD45

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60s articulated circus

Fisher Price articulated circus
made in US 1963

Fisher Price is uber collectable right now- I put it down to baby boomer nostalgia. No-one I knew growing up could afford imported Fisher Price toys for their children…so now vintage Fisher Price is being purchased by adults [for themselves! – not even for their vintage children/grandchildren!]

This is an articulated circus: the pieces are all timber, with anthropomorphised dress – the ringmaster bear has gingham pants, blazer, vest and a bowtie! There are 15 pieces in the set, but only ten here photographed- the set is complete with four circus top pieces and a bear riding in a car.  They are all in excellent condition, with the minor exception of the bear and the seal, who show signs of ‘pre-love’.

The articulated circus is for sale: $AU55

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SylvaC lamb

SlyvaC lamb
made in England, 1940s

I have collected a few SylvaC figurines and plates, jugs & mugs over the years. This lovely lamb [#1659] complements the fawn-coloured terrier figurine posted just recently. I also have a SylvaC ‘Scaredy Cat’ figurine. Like many SylvaC figurines, the lamb came in the limited colourway of fawn, green and cream. [OK- i agree – it’s beige. It’s SylvaC’s description, not mine.]

SylvaC  is highly collectible, and according to www.sylvac.priceguide.s5.com figurines are commanding quite high prices.

I bought all my figurines for styling purposes, so decided to pose the lamb with a styling item of its own: this toy tug boat, which is roughly the same vintage as the figurine, and with a complementary colouring. I posted it on Instagram, and of course- sod’s law- the toy tug boat was immediately bought!

So – the SylvaC lamb is for sale: $AU25

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60s platter

Westminster ‘Sierra’ platter
made in Australia, 1962

Despite both exotic names [Westminster, evoking England] and Sierra [evoking America] this platter with it’s gay 60s abstract flowers was made in Australia.

Westminster started making souvenirware under the name Stanley Rogers & Sons in Melbourne in 1954. They imported blank ceramic pieces from Japan which they then decorated locally. By the 60s the name was changed to Westminster Fine China – to suggest a longer and more illustrious history – and a much larger range of tea sets and dinner sets where produced.  These were decorated with bright, abstract flower arrangements [sometimes in very 60s and 70s gaudy colours.] On the whole, this platter in the ‘Sierra’ pattern is quite restrained.

The platter is in good vintage condition, and is for sale: $25

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Collectable Hornsea

Hornsea Saffron breakfast set
made in England, 1970s

Here we have a lovely breakfast set: egg cup and salt & pepper shakers- with teak lids- in a teak tray.

Hornsea is famous for its 70s patterns; always two apposite colours in a geometric pattern. I’ve showcased them all: Saffron, Heirloom and Bronte.

I grew up with this 70s oppositional style: and have only now come to embrace it again. Especially now it’s so collectable! I have styled the egg cup with wattle: it kinda recalls the yolk and i like how even a humble egg cup can become a vase.

The breakfast set is in great vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU35

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Calypso!

Broadhurst by Kathie Winkle ‘Calypso’ platter
made in England 1963

I am a huge Kathie Winkle fan: she produced over one hundred patterns for Broadhurst between 1958 and 1975. And it seems I’m not the only one: recently Kathie re-released several of the more popular patterns [see her website.]

However, these new releases are not handpainted, don’t have wonky registration of the transfer patterns, and look too – new and perfect. I much prefer the originals, and take great satisfaction from collecting them in the ‘wild’. So far, I have: Corinth [1967] Calypso [1963] Newlyn [1963] Tashkent, Kontiki [1965] Renaissance, Electra, Rushstone [1965] Michelle [1968] – and – Kimberley [1973.]

This is a fabulously large platter, ‘Calypso’. It was the pattern that my partner grew up with, in the 60s. I think she is starting to embrace it again- meanwhile- I think I love it anew.

And it’s for sale. Start your Kathie Winkle collection today! My ideal would be to have a place setting in six different patterns- fabulous! $AU35

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Mary, Mary QUITE contrary

Royal Art Pottery Mistress Mary cup
made in England, 1940s

A delightful children’s cup, featuring ‘Mistress Mary’ of the nursery rhyme:
Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silverbells and cockleshells
And pretty maids all in a row.

Here Mistress Mary [a la 1940s- as evidenced by her haircut] is seen with a rake and watering can, near the Silverbells. The cup has the royal crown logo and “Royal Art Pottery, England” on the base.

Perhaps you know a contrary Mary? This is the cup for them!

The cup is in great vintage condition & is for sale; $AU20

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Vintage soda siphons

Vintage Australian soda siphonsSchweppes soda siphons,
made in Sydney, c.1948-1950

These lovely soda bottles are very collectible and all have etched & faceted glass– such a deal of detail just for soda water! Because the soda bottles are so highly prized they have been well researched and described – there is a wealth of information about them – which allows them to be accurately dated.

The glass bottles don’t photograph too well on my timber background, but if you click on the image and zoom in you can see the intricate glass etchings to the bottles.

All three bottles are etched: ‘Schweppes, [Australia] Ltd, 30 Fl Oz Soda Water’ and were one of the first soda bottles to have a plastic and metal top. I’ve seen all sorts of upcycling with siphon bottles, but for my money, I think they look great massed together on a bar, or near a window where light picks up the fantastic etching.

This collection is for sale: $AUD125

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