Shaving mugs

Keel Street Pottery [KSP] shaving mugs, made in England c.1900-1930s
Koala shaving mug, made in Australia, c.1930-1940s.

Shaving mugs are highly collectible and becomingly increasingly hard to find.

The ceramic ‘woodgrain’ finish shaving mugs [woodgrain- presumably to render the pottery more ‘manly’?] by KSP predate the pastel colours of the 50s, and yet anticipate those very colours. Yes, now I am certain the woodgrain would help with the whole manly act of shaving. The pink, yellow, & green shaving mugs are all in perfect condition, and marked ‘KSP, made in England’ on the underside.

By contrast, the blue shaving mug is made in Australia by Koala. Koala pottery had a short run, and produced- as far as I can tell- only shaving mugs. I would love if the shaving mug had a koala’s face on it, but alas, it’s a purely perfunctory item, other than that cool blue colour.  It’s also in tip-top condition.

The four mugs are for sale: $AUD100

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Pates planter

Pates planter
made in Australia 1940s

This fantastic planter was made by Pates Pottery, which operated out of Belmore, Sydney from 1946 -1990. As you may have noticed, given the tenor of the posts of this blog, being a Sydneyite I have an affinity for the potteries that were producing domestic ware in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Pates’ designs and colours were influenced by the 1940s art and interior design trends; and produced work with this ‘Australiana’ colour glaze- brown and green – apparently reminiscent of the Australian bush. This nationalistic colour combination was very popular, and since I am a landscape architect, and quite fond of the Australian bush, I have tended to collect Pates’ pieces in this colour range. I have another pair of Pates planters, in the same shape but a different ‘colourway’ on the blog – you might like to check out.

This large planter looks fantastic supporting a range of succulent plants: I would advise keeping the succulents in their pots and styling them like cut flowers.

The large planter is for sale: $AUD45 – buy now for Christmas!

Mary, Mary QUITE contrary

Royal Art Pottery Mistress Mary cup
made in England, 1940s

A delightful children’s cup, featuring ‘Mistress Mary’ of the nursery rhyme:
Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silverbells and cockleshells
And pretty maids all in a row.

Here Mistress Mary [a la 1940s- as evidenced by her haircut] is seen with a rake and watering can, near the Silverbells. The cup has the royal crown logo and “Royal Art Pottery, England” on the base.

Perhaps you know a contrary Mary? This is the cup for them!

The cup is in great vintage condition & is for sale; $AU20

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Vintage soda siphons

Vintage Australian soda siphonsSchweppes soda siphons,
made in Sydney, c.1948-1950

These lovely soda bottles are very collectible and all have etched & faceted glass– such a deal of detail just for soda water! Because the soda bottles are so highly prized they have been well researched and described – there is a wealth of information about them – which allows them to be accurately dated.

The glass bottles don’t photograph too well on my timber background, but if you click on the image and zoom in you can see the intricate glass etchings to the bottles.

All three bottles are etched: ‘Schweppes, [Australia] Ltd, 30 Fl Oz Soda Water’ and were one of the first soda bottles to have a plastic and metal top. I’ve seen all sorts of upcycling with siphon bottles, but for my money, I think they look great massed together on a bar, or near a window where light picks up the fantastic etching.

This collection is for sale: $AUD125

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Smiths Ringers

Smiths RingersRetro kitchen timers
Smiths Ringers, made in England, 1940s,1950s, 1960s

Perhaps I should have styled these three ‘ringers’ chronologically- as it is, the green ringer is bakelite and steel, with a glass cover- circa 1940, the middle ringer is the youngest- a mere slip of a thing from the 60s – brown coated metal, and the last, red ringer is all plastic- from the 1950s.

Each ringer is somewhat redolent of its age. I do like the fact that the 60s ringer is called ‘Ringer Girl’- if only the other two had similarly inspired names. All the ringers have different bell sounds- naturally- and due to their age and hard working life, are more suited as objects of beauty, rather than function. The green bakelite is a little faded, the brown metal is a little rusted in parts- as you’d expect from vintage items.

The ‘lemon’ tray lends a stylistic note to the image- but if you’d like to have it along with the ringers- let me know. This set is for sale: $AUD95

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Sellex canister set

Selex canister setSellex bakelite kitchen canister set
made in Australia c. 1940s

I have posted Sellex canisters previously – but this is an entire set, which is now rare to find. It’s a transfer label, white bakelite set consisting of Flour, Tea, Sugar, Rice and Sago. The Tea label has now been lost- probably due to over-use..but you notice the Sago label is still going strong….I’m just saying.

These canisters would look great in a monochrome white modernist kitchen.

This delicious creamy-white, hard-worn bakelite canister set is for sale; $AUD95

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Personal collection

Diana vase
made in Australia 1940s

This is part of my personal collection: you will recall that I like Diana pottery [originally made right near where I now live] – in the colours of green/brown [Australiana- nationalistic colours discovered in the 40s and 50s.] These nationalistic colours- reminiscent of the Australian bush – are dear to me as a landscape architect.

So- while I have many other Diana pottery on the blog for sale, I continue to collect this green/brown Diana from the late war period.  Diana was starting to embrace & recognise colours that made Australia unique.

Then the 70s happened. I don’t collect Diana ware from the 70s- with the exception of the brutalist ‘Safari’ set [see blog below.] The rest of the 70s collection- when the pottery finally closed- is made up of either bland brown or gaudily covered flora. That was the crazy 70s- either abstract nothingness or super-charged vibrancy.

Fowler Ware nested pudding bowls

Fowler Ware pudding bowls
made in Australia 1940s

It is rare- very rare- to find a complete set of nested pudding bowls. Look at those fabulous 40s colours! And all in very good condition, too- ready to make puddings!

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

Fowler Ware also sold pudding bowls under the ‘Utility’ brand: these were white or cream, and while also made of stoneware, somewhat thicker and more ‘utilitarian’ than these harlequin pudding bowls. I have – as you can imagine- collected these as well!

The nested pudding bowls are in great vintage condition, and are for sale: $AU150

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Wild Rose toast rack

Shorter & Son ‘Wild Rose’ toast rack
made in England, 1940s

Today, for your delight – a ceramic 40s toast rack, with ‘wild rose’ pattern. I’ve teamed the rack with a fabulous picture of Mary- chosen for the complimentary colours, and because it looks like Mary is holding a sundae – sort of a food tie-in with the toast rack.

Religious iconography – especially vintage iconography- is always fascinating. I don’t understand any of the symbolism here- [and perhaps it’s just my fascination with deserts] – I do know it’s Mary due to her blue dress.

But back to the toast rack: Shorter and Son pottery was established in 1900 and finished production in 1964. By the 1940s- when this rack was made, Short and Son were known for their ‘novelty’ ceramic kitchenalia. These earthenware pottery pieces typically featured English flowers, and were:

“cleverly modelled and effectively decorated…” [to quote the Pottery Gazette, published March 1941.]

People collect toast racks. And people collect pottery featuring flowers. Here’s a piece to suit everybody! The toast rack is in great vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU35

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Travelling Requisites

Ford Sherington suitcase,
made in Australia 1940s

This delightful suitcase was made by Ford Sherington – a well-known purveyor of luxury leather goods in Sydney which started production in 1912 and continued until the mid- 70s.

Interestingly the Ford Sherington company was started by a woman– Ada Sherington- and in the 30s Ford Sherington created the now famous Globite school case which millions of Australian children took to school.

The suitcase has an internal label –with flourishing 40s fonts- which says:

“Airway” Made By Ford Sherington Ltd, Manufacturers & Importers of Travelling Requisites, 319 George Street, Sydney.

While the “genuine cowhide”, hinges and fixings were all manufactured in Australia- the locks were made in England. Unfortunately the keys are long gone. The interior is lined with brown tartan, which is clean and intact, with an upper elasticised pocket. Another fantastic overnight case!

The suitcase is for sale: $AU125

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