30s sugar canister

30s sugar canisterSugar canister
made in Australia, 1930s

A wonderful example of a depression era canister – this aluminium sugar canister evidences all the hallmarks of the 30s- drilled, green bakelite handles, mismatched green tones, applied ‘Sugar’ label, and graduated rings to the cream base.

Anodised aluminium was in its infancy- and achieving colour matching next to impossible. So each green lid was slightly different across the whole set of five canisters [and added to this of course, is colour fading over time.] Meanwhile bakelite technology was forty years old- you could get any colour you wanted there.

The size of this canister tells you something about the storage of sugar in the 40s. This canister was second in size only to the Flour canister. Everything else in the series was smaller: Suet, Rice, Tea and coming up last, Coffee. My how things have changed in the modern world! [Coffee should always be the largest!- and what the hell is suet?]

The canister has a few dings due to age, but the anodised aluminium base and lid are in good condition. The canister is for sale: $AUD45

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Dirty Dogs of Paris

The Dirty Dogs of Paris,
Lithograph by Boris O’Klein, Paris, 1930s

This is a framed souvenir print from Paris, in the 30s. The lithograph – featuring dogs each with a “human personality”, was hugely popular and printed [and hand-coloured] in the thousands. This one was bought to Australia as a gift in the late 1930s, and apparently was much admired and giggled over, due to the risqué scene. Oh those French artists!

Boris O’Klein [real name Arthur Klein, a Russian emigre] was an illustrator and artist in Paris, but he was most well-known for his Dirty Dogs print series. Boris [1833-1985] lived to a ripe old age, and the Dirty Dog prints were still being produced in the 70s, albeit by protégés and not Boris himself.

The print is signed ‘Chacun son tour’ [“each turn”]- Copyright by O’Klein, Chamarandle [S.&O.] Eauforte orginate. It’s still in its original frame and glass, and the hand-colouring is as vibrant as the day it was painted.

The print is for sale: $AU75

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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.]

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Fowler Ware jug [sold]

Fowler Ware jug,
made in Australia 1930s

Fowler Ware created industrial pottery in Glebe, Sydney commencing in the 1840s. After WWI, Fowler Ware moved to producing pottery for the domestic market : their graduated pudding bowls & jugs were so popular that they opened a second pottery to cope with the demand.

This is a blue and white striped jug from the 30s; the blue and white colours resembled English Cornish Ware and were the premium pieces produced in the 20s and 30s. Every day pieces- ‘Cream Ware’ were made under the Fowler’ Utility’ label, while the blue and white pieces- coffee pots, pudding bowls and jugs- have a Fowler Ware & Sons backstamp.

This jug appears never to have been used: it is pristine inside and out. Quite a rare find.

The Fowler Ware jug is for sale: $AU75

30s Mickey Mouse

1930s Mickey Mouse napkin ringMickey Mouse napkin ring
made in Japan 1930s

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

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Happy New Year!

30s bakelite telephoneHappy New Year!

As we say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in 2017, a sneak peek into my personal collection. Or- the bit of my personal collection I am keeping.

I became interested in resin, and experimented with making jewellery and door pulls. This in turn led me to research and learn about plastics- and during this research I became interested in bakelite. You know the rest of the story: I now collect bakelite.

This is an old bakelite phone from the 30s- made in Australia- bought recently. It needs restoration, and I have Greygate No.5 Polishing Paste on hand to do it. This polishing paste was developed to restore bakelite on phones for the GPO in the 50s – and it’s still made today. Bakelite itself is still in production- in the manufacture of light switches and electrical components, so the restoring paste is also still made.

The phone can also be restored electronically – if one wished to use it as a landline. And- it has a little drawer for phone numbers in the front – a wonderful design, if somewhat whimsical.

Happy New Year to all re:retro readers & followers! And here’s to much retro in the future!

30s Mahjong case

Mahjong, 30sMahjong
made in Japan 1930s

A fantastic Mahjong set of bamboo and bone: made in Japan in the 30s!

Complete with betting sticks, wind of the round, and a great 30s case. I am speaking to you Mahjong players out there…this is a gorgeous set.

I learned to play Mahjong in my 20s. It’s a mixture of cards and gin-rummy; but with a tactile placement and playing of tiles. You can play fast and dirty and win –or go for an impossible hand; a combination of ideas, collections or collaborations –  and get a way better score.

We play it as a family every Christmas – which is why I associate it with this time. I always go for the impossible score – because I like the odds – and also, because it encourages others to win!

The Mahjong set is for sale: $AU150

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Early Bunnykins [sold]

Bunnykins plate [1939]Early Bunnykins plate
made in England, 1939

Bunnykins  – made by Royal Doulton- are now highly collectable. I put it down to nostalgia.

Bunnykins plates, cups, and bowls – as endorsed by the Royal Family [Princess Margaret ate her cereal from a Bunnykins bowl- hence ROYAL Doulton] – was made from 1937 to 1953.

This plate has the earliest backstamp, and is impressed with ‘9.39’- which is a date stamp: September, 1939.

The plate has a mild yellow tint from age: but the transfer print of Mrs and Mr Bunny at table with their two children [one unfortunately ascribed as baby] – and the running rabbits around the plate are all intact. Add to this that the image has Barbara Vernon’s signature – this is a collectable piece.

The Bunnykins plate is for sale: $AU35

Bakewells canister

Bakewells 'flour' canister, 1930sBakewells ‘Flour’ canister,
made in Sydney, Australia 1930s

This is a fabulous- and large- ceramic canister from the 30s. Originally from a set of five- Flour, Sugar, Rice, Sago and Tea – this canister is missing its lid. Hence, it is acting as a vase.

How art deco is the ‘flour’ font? The set was produced in the 30s so was a little late for art deco : but I like the play on words: Flour/Flower.

The canister is made from earthenware, and the sets also came in blue, yellow and white. It’s incredibly rare to find an intact set of five – but – should anyone have the flour lid- I have the flour canister!

Tiger Tim

Tiger Tims Annual 1932Tiger Tim’s Annual
published in Australia, 1932

This is a fantastic hard-cover Tiger Tim’s Annual book, with illustrations by the famous Herbert Sidney Foxwell – including the front cover. Seriously- how camp is that front cover?

The Annual contains various stories by a number of authors: and there are comics and illustrations aplenty. The Annual was published in Australia by Gordon & Gotch; in the UK where it originated, by Amalgamated Press. Tiger Tim’s Annual was produced from 1922 to 1957; so this 1932 book is an early edition.

The Annual is in good vintage condition – it has its original cloth spine and is without any additional scribblings. Ebay is replete with Tiger Tim’s Annuals- it is highly collectable.

Tiger Tim’s Annual is for sale: $AUD35

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