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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Bonzo trinket tin

Bonzo trinket tin, 1930sBonzo tin
made in England, 1930s

Bonzo the dog was the first cartoon character created in England, by George Studdy in 1922. Bonzo has been reproduced in a myriad ways since those early comic books- from figurines to kitchenalia and of course, in tin. You might be familiar with the very popular salt and pepper shakers, which have “I’m Salt” and “I’m Pepper’ emblazoned on two upright Bonzos. Bonzo paraphernalia has been in and out of fashion since the 20s – and I’m pleased to say he is coming back in again.

I have researched this Bonzo tin – it is unmarked- but have been unsuccessful in ascertaining the maker. I do know from other collectors that this is a Bonzo trinket tin [rather than, say, a sweets tin] made in the 30s.  It has a little wear to the hand-painted finish and some rust but is still air-tight for the keeping of trinkets.

I also have a Bonzo napkin ring [see post below.] So now I have two Bonzo pieces a fledgling Bonzo collection has started. Not that I need another collection – it’s just those kitschy large eyes on the very 20s-looking dog that gets me in.

The Bonzo tin is for sale: POA

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McCredie vases [sold]

McCredie vasesMcCredie ‘flower’ vases
made in Sydney, Australia 1930s-40s

Nell McCredie was an architect before she opened her pottery studio in Epping, Sydney in 1932 to make fine art pottery by hand. McCredie continued to produce pottery right up to her death in 1968, and she was interested in art and design in all her work – as she said:

“Pottery-making is definitely an art inasmuch as the design is a purely individual thing. The technique of moulding is mechanical but the conception and execution of a design is an art -a fascinating art.” [Where Pottery is made by Hand, SMH, Oct 20 1936.]

McCredie pottery made vases and domestic ware – often a distinctive matt outer glaze as seen in this image -and a contrasting coloured shiny interior glaze. The forms were simple and strong, quite different to a lot of 30s and 40s pottery- employing what might be termed ‘architectural’ or structural forms.

This selection of small ‘flower’ shaped vases evidences the variety of colours that can be found on McCredie vases. As with all her pottery, the vase is hand signed on the base: McCredie N.S.W.

The McCredie ‘flower’ vases are for sale: $AUD150

Bonzo- part ii

Bonzo tin, 1930sBonzo tin
made in England, 1930s

Bonzo the dog was the first cartoon character created in England, by George Studdy in 1922. Bonzo has been reproduced in a myriad ways since those early comic books- from figurines to kitchenalia and of course, in tin. You might be familiar with the very popular salt and pepper shakers, which have “I’m Salt” and “I’m Pepper’ emblazoned on two upright Bonzos. Bonzo paraphernalia has been in and out of fashion since the 20s – and I’m pleased to say he is coming back in again.

I have researched this Bonzo tin – it is unmarked- but have been unsuccessful in ascertaining the maker. I do know from other collectors that this is a Bonzo trinket tin [rather than, say, a sweets tin] made in the 30s. It has a little wear to the hand-painted finish and some rust but is still air-tight for the keeping of trinkets.

I also have a Bonzo napkin ring [see post below.] So now I have two Bonzo pieces a fledgling Bonzo collection has started. Not that I need another collection – it’s just those kitschy large eyes on the very 20s-looking dog that gets me in.