Depression era hand-made scone-cutter
Depression era hand-made items are having somewhat of a resurgence at the moment. Especially kitchenalia; into which category this scone-cutter neatly fits.
It was made by someone in their kitchen [with the help of a soldering iron] in the 1930s. Scones were a simple flour-and-water batter cake so most depression era families relied on them to either bulk out their evening meal; or – with any luck- by adding jam the ‘cake’ became a sweet item for desert.
Scones – with jam AND cream became popular in the 1940s and 50s- after the depression- and as a direct influence from England. Clotted cream and scones served at high tea became good old Aussie scones with a cup of tea. Either way, the scone-cutter lived on and has been cutting scones for decades!
Eon bakelite kitchen canisters
made in Australia 1950s
This is a set of nested canisters- Sugar, Rice, Coffee in mint green, with the original labels still marvelously intact. The canisters- and the labels- are made from bakelite and the labels are affixed using simple bakelite pins; so it’s rare for the cursive script to have lasted nearly seventy years.
The set is in ‘mint’ green [as described in the original Eon promotional pamphlet] and the lids are still air-tight and the canisters fit for purpose. The whole set would comprise another two canisters- Flour and Sago…and…forgive me…I have made this joke before: Coffee is always the smallest whereas nowadays it would be the largest.
I love kitschy ceramic wall plaques: this one depicts a 60s version of Holland [note windmills, dykes, narrow houses- all the usual iconography.] That this is depicted in three dimensions- makes it even more fabulous! And in a rustic timber [ceramic] frame: too good!
This plaque is in excellent vintage condition and ready to hang: and is for sale: $AU35
Australian vintage linen teatowels
made in Australia 1950-60s
This is a fantastic – unused- set of vintage linen teatowels. Many people are upcycling these into children’s clothing and cushion covers. The graphics! The colours! The fact that the hard-wearing linen survives washing!
I have made several teatowels into cushion covers for friends- the calendars are particularly good for a friend’s birth year. I use recycled vintage linen and notions for the back – the ultimate in upcycling.
This set of 10 teatowels [unused, in fantastic vintage condition] is for sale: $50
I have collected a great deal of vintage teatowels- ask me for your State or Calendar Year!
Retro whiskey jugs and ice buckets
made in England and Australia, 1950-60s
The yellow Macnish whiskey jug, is by Wade [England] and the green Four Seasons whiskey jug is by Elischer [Australia.] Both are advertisement’ jugs which were mass produced and given away to pubs –not sold to the public- with the idea that the public would be so impressed by the glamour of having water added to their drink by a ‘branded jug’ that they would continue to order their whisky by name. Ah! the 60s, when advertising and impressing people was so easy!
Both Wade and Elischer pottery is very collectible – and especially so ‘barware’. The jugs are sure to glam up your next cocktail soiree!
The ice buckets are also pretty glam: the black is advertising Tintara – ‘A Black Bottle Brandy – Such a Friendly Brandy’ – and was made by Hardy’s, a South Australian winery. The orange bucket is unmarked but adds a little 60s charm to the group. Both ice buckets have removable inserts and their original [plastic] tongs and lids.
Holdson Products Housie,
made in Auckland NZ, 1959
The game of Housie is called Bingo in the UK- players fill in numerical spaces on their boards as a ‘caller’ randomly produces numbers and calls them out. A win is made when any line is filled vertically, horizontally or diagonally.
Yawn. Sounds tedious to me – but look at the beautifully made housie board, and the numerical discs are stamped timber. And the graphics on the box…beautiful.
The box has its previous owner’s name ‘Cantwell’ inscribed on it – and a price tag of $2:50. My- how prices have changed!
Etsy and Pinterest are replete with artistic repurposing of Housie boards and numbers- what could you make of this collection?
How fabulous is this hand-painted Mickey Mouse napkin ring? Here he is in his early Disney rendering- all rat-like but with his trademark big ears. Mickey first appeared in 1928 [in Steamboat Willie] and this napkin ring was made not soon after.
I found Mickey in a collector’s sale lot of napkin rings and bought the lot because Mickey was there. Mickey is in great condition with only a little wear to the hand-painting on his extremities- ears and nose. He is very collectible- as is any vintage Mickey Mouse item. Mickey’s from the 30s and 40s are now highly sought after.
Mickey is shown here with a bakelite spice canister and a sweet tin from the 30s…they were made in Australia but since Mickey is a universal icon, I don’t think that matters. Mickey is for sale: $AUD75
Aboriginal motif placemats
made in Australia c. 1940s
Did I mention I like kitsch? These bookends are so of their time: the kangaroos are pewter, and have adopted that typical Skippy looking-over-the-shoulder stance. They stand on traditional Mulga wood- which has been cut and arranged to show off its famous bi-colouring. Mulga wood was used in 1940s souvenir works like these as it is a hardwood –unusual in a native from the wattle family – and was considered ‘export quality’. A transfer sticker on the base of the bookends, in the shape of Australia, proudly proclaims “Genuine Australian Mulga” in case one confuses it for fake Mulga, or worse still, a non-Australian Mulga.
The woven placemats are also genuine…a proud Aboriginal spear and shield-holder walks in front of a map of Australia- in case you mistake him for a proud Aboriginal spear and shield-holder from say, America. There are four placemats in the set…and the motif is arranged on the left side of the mat, so that plates, cutlery etc won’t obscure the motif.
My collection contains a fair few Aboriginal motifs…once considered to be in very poor taste, they are now old and retro enough to be embraced by hipsters who didn’t encounter them the first time round.
GempoPotteryAustralia money box
made in Japan, 1962-1974
A fabulous retro lion money box – made by Gempo Pottery as part of a zodiac series; this one of course is Leo the Lion.
The money box features the abstract, large–faced form that marks all Gempo Pottery. It is also particular to its period; the stylised features, and the stoneware pottery glazed in rustic creams and browns. As was the custom in Australia at the time, the money box was designed in Australia but manufactured by ceramic artisans in Japan.
The money box comes complete with its original rubber stopper and is in excellent condition. A must for money box enthusiasts and Leo’s alike!
Albert Namatjira Mt. Giles print, Miniature Framing Company, 1950s, made in Australia Bonzo napkin ring, 1920s, made in Japan
An unusual pairing- I know. But these two pieces are quite iconoclastic in their own way.
Bonzo the dog was the first cartooncharacter created in England, by George Studdy in 1922. Bonzo has been reproduced in a myriad ways since- and this early napkin ring is now highly sought after
Albert Namatjira [1902-1959] was born near Alice Springs, and died aged only 57, at Alice Springs. Namatjira was a pioneer of contemporary Indigenous Australian art; his watercolours of outback desert landscapes departed from the highly symbolic style of traditional Aboriginal art incorporating incredibly vivid colours in an overtly ‘Western’ style.
Both Bonzo and Namatjira have been in and out of fashion and are both back IN again in a huge way. So much so that my landscape drawing studio is full of framed Namatjira prints and I am always on the hunt for any more Bonzo pieces.