Fun Ho! die cast ‘midget’ scale road roller
made in New Zealand 1972
Today for your interest, dear reader: a ‘midget scale die cast road roller, by Fun Ho! It’s not an exaggeration to say I collected this roller primarily due to the fantastic maker’s name: Fun Ho!
Vintage die cast models are very collectable- especially if ‘new’, and in their original box. This specimen is ‘play worn’, but otherwise intact [driver present, axles working, paint colour vibrant.] This is an exact replica of the road rollers that graded roads in the 70s, marked as #37 in the Fun Ho! series.
I’ve teamed the roller with a resin Dinosaur Designs bangle: to give scale to the roller, but also because of the colour and the repetition of the circles in the frame. Vintage Dinosaur Designs resin jewellery is also now collectable.
Flower bouquet cross stitch
made in Australia 1970s
My son Oscar [Gen Y] likens cross stitch to ‘pixel art’ and I can see his point. He is also my photographer- so as we style my collection for images to post to the blog he lets me know what he likes and absolutely DOESN’T like.
He is the child of two designers- so naturally has a firm opinion on my collection. Which I applaud and learn from; I love his interpretation of things made before he was born. I unfortunately lived through the 70s and 80s in Australia- the time that design forgot – and so sometimes have a less rosy view.
But- I love this tapestry with its stylized botanical specimens of Delphiniums and Poppies; crafted in Australian wool on hand-printed gauze; Oscar likes it because it’s a strong graphic representation of pixel art.
And I love it for another reason: I have a friend who intends to fill an entire wall of her house with found and reclaimed tapestries; I think this could be included. If it were me, they’d all be botanical in nature.
The 70s flowers cross stitch is professionally mounted and framed, ready to hang- and is for sale: $AUD45
I’ve featured a lot of Fowler Ware pudding bowls and jugs on this blog: the 40s colours and shapes are so fabulous. This jug is stoneware, and from the Fowler Ware ‘Utility’ range – perhaps off-white wasn’t as glamorous as the coloured pieces -and could be used every day.
Whatever, the beauty of the off-white stoneware is that any fruit/food/kitchen implement stored in them looks fantastic. Collecting in a single colour is quite dramatic, and these pieces look fantastic in a white or neutral-toned contemporary kitchen. I was inspired by a friend who has about 15 off-white bowls sitting on the top of her kitchen cupboards- in that space below the ceiling.
And the beauty of the jug- it doubles as a vase! Win-win-win!
I have matching Utility stoneware pudding bowls for sale elsewhere on the blog. Start collecting today!
The Utility jug is back stamped, and in excellent vintage condition-for sale: $AU35
Gempo pottery – like much of the 70s- is having a resurgence at the moment. Gempo pottery was made in Japan between1962 – and 1974 for the export market.
This pig canister has the large-faced form that marks all Gempo pottery. It is also particular to the 70s era with the stylised features, and the stoneware pottery glazed in rustic creams and browns. And the fact that the pig is wearing clothes!
I’m not sure how many animals Gempo stylised on canisters, mugs, egg cups and moneyboxes but currently in my collection I have a spotted hippo, giraffe, elephant and lion.
These condiment jars- three with pouring lips- are all ‘bung’ jars; the top was sealed originally with a removable bung made of cork. The larger three with pouring lips were made for vinegar, oil and vinegrettes and are 6 inches, the smaller ones are made for spices and are 4 ¾ inches.
The printed makers name on the base of the jars is ‘Pearsons of Chesterfield’ – the pottery works has been making stoneware jars since 1810 and only stopped production in 1994. The makers mark indicates these jars were made in the 70s.
James Pearson took over the early pottery works in the 1930s and renamed it Pearsons of Chesterfield; and when the pottery closed in 1994 it was the last of the potteries to do so.
The jars have a minimalist vibe unusual for the 70s and look fantastic massed together: they are now quite collectible and being so sturdy can be pressed into work in the contemporary kitchen.
The set of seven jars are for sale: $AUD85 Buy Now
Paris! Harmony California [Population 10] and Gundagi. Gundagi is a small town in NSW that is famous for its ‘dog on the tuckerbox’ statue. [Like many small towns, it finds infamy where it can.] Three snowdomes proving that 1] it snows everywhere, all the time and 2] the snowdome is a great equalizer- everywhere on the planet is represented in the snowdome world.
All three domes were made in Hong Kong in the 70s and you can see the relative vintages of the domes by the water level. Snowdomes are highly collectible and even completely dry domes- which happens after forty or so years- are sought after. Although people think you can top up a snowdome, it is better to leave them.
I recently found a Venice snowdome- complete with gondolier [not shown in image.] Soon I’ll have the entire world!
A must for snowdome collectors- young and old! These three are for sale: $AUD30 [will also throw in Venice!]
What a beauty! This is a 8mm / super 8 film viewer, and a marvel of 50s engineering. It is fully functional- it uses AC 240 V, and a 6V, 10W lamp [& has a lovely bakelite electrical plug.] You can see from the image it’s been made to sit into a desk top; -or it can stand alone and is quite portable.
This editor viewer is model #880. Atlas made many 8mm film viewers, but for my money, this is the most beautiful. Who cares if you never use it to actually view film? It’s a lovely piece in its own right. It will lend industrial vintage cred to any room!
Here we have a delightful candle holder made in the 1920s. It came from an Estate sale where I met and got chatting to the grand-daughter of the original owner. She knew the candle holder was from the 20s because her grandmother had talked with much affection about its purchase- and long use since then.
The candle holder is unmarked- not uncommon for pottery pieces produced just after the war- but the green glaze and the stylistic influences are classic Art Deco. As is the integral handle- made from the upsweep of the base- all very modern in the 20s and anticipating the modernism of the 50s.
I have teamed the candle holder with a pair of 20s cast iron kookaburras from my partner’s collection [you will recall she is exceptionally fond of kookaburras.] Although they are of the same era, the kookaburras look crude next to the sleek modernism of the candle holder.
The candle holder has some crazing to the glaze at the top [click on the image for a zoomed view]- but that is to be expected from something nearly 100 years old. Other than that it’s in good nick and is for sale : $AUD75
Fuzzy Felt Ballet & Play Farm
made in England 1964
One of my earliest memories is seeing Fuzzy Felt Bible Stories at Scripture class. I would have been 3 or 4. Even then I wanted to mix all the stories up and see what would happen if Jesus and Lazarus meet on Noah’s Ark. And what if the disciples and all the animals suddenly found themselves in King Solomon’s temple? Alas, it never happened as any attempts I made were neatly thwarted by the teacher.
And so- how I coveted Fuzzy Felt Bible Stories! I repeatedly asked Santa to bring it to me for Christmas [but apparently it was too expensive for Santa- the cheapskate!] Then for my 8th birthday- I was given Fuzzy Felt Ballet, and my younger sister got Fuzzy Felt Play Farm. I was very disappointed…it was too girly for me, although the black fuzzy felt board was kind of sophisticated. The Play Farm at least had heavy machinery, albeit picked out in two-dimensional felt.
So imagine my delight when I came across these two Fuzzy Felt sets! Oh the nostalgia! The memories of putting ballerinas on tractors and putting tutus on pigs! It all came flooding back. As did the blurb on the box:
“Gaily coloured felt shapes to make pictures! They cling like magic on the fuzzy board!”
Totally magical. The two sets are complete, with only a little minor wear to the black fuzzy felt board. For sale: $AU60
Bushland Friends board game
made in Australia 1956
The third in my posts on retro board games- this game purports to be a “cute little folks animal game”. For ages 4 to 8, this game involves spinning a dial featuring Australian animals [and, weirdly, a rabbit] and moving along a forest path made up of the same animals- thus “players simply match pictures of loveable little animals – there is no reading.”
It’s not all fun and games, however- players landing on occupied spaces can bump their opponents off. Even 4 years old need to understand the harsh competitive world that is board games!
As you can see on the image, the game originally sold for 99 cents. While the game is in good order, and ready for some bumping-off action, it doesn’t contain it’s playing pieces. However, since these were only dull plastic discs [and not, as I imagined, Australian marsupials- a la monopoly pieces] – the new owner of this game is obliged to supply their own.