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

Buy Now

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

Buy Now

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

Buy Now

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.

International Womens Day

Mc Credie vasesMcCredie pieces
made in Sydney, Australia 1930s

I am a big fan of Nell McCredie- she was one of the first women to become an architect in Australia and after designing a number of buildings she turned her hand to art pottery. Nell opened a pottery studio in Epping, Sydney in 1932 to make fine art pottery by hand. All of her pottery pieces have an architectural or structural quality quite different to the art deco shapes and arrangements that her contemporaries were making. She presaged the modernist movement by about twenty years.

McCredie continued to produce pottery right up to her death in 1968; 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 with the distinctive white matt outer glaze as seen in this image -with a contrasting coloured shiny interior glaze. The larger vase seen here has an internal frog; and as with all her pottery, these pieces are hand-signed on the base: McCredie N.S.W.

Happy International Women’s Day- I salute you, Nell McCredie.

These pieces are for sale: $AUD85

Buy Now

Railway memorabilia

RRR jug & bowl, 1930sRailway Refreshment Rooms jug & bowl,
‘Duraline’ Grindley Hotel Ware, made in England 1930s

This jug and bowl once gave service in the Railway Refreshment Rooms [RRR under the crown on the logo] in the New South Wales Government Railways [N.S.W.G.R. on same.] The NSWGR operated from 1855 to 1932, with the Refreshment Rooms starting in 1917.

Both pieces note that the Grindley Hotel Ware, produced in England, was distributed in Sydney by Gibson & Patterson P/L. The jug is inscribed “3-58” and the bowl is model number“5-50”. Both are in excellent condition – with clear and complete logo- and ready to be added to a railway memorabilia collectors’ collection.

This set is for sale: $AUD55

Buy Now