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

Buy Now

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

Buy Now

1940s doctors bag

1940s cow hide case,
made in Australia

This is a fabulous ‘barrel-shaped’ case, possibly a doctor’s bag or briefcase, from the 40s. It is made of ‘genuine cow hide’ – as it attests on the interior label, although the leather has been tricked-up to resemble crocodile skin.

The case is in fantastic shape for its age- lock and key still work, hinges in-tact, handles and bottom studs all in-tact. The interior is also in remarkable shape- it’s red tartan-lined with two interior pockets. It would make [and indeed has made me] a wonderful overnight bag.

Suitcases and doctor’s bags from the 30s and 40s are now super collectable; and clean, pristine vintage cases are so much nicer to travel with than modern cases.

The doctors bag is for sale: $AU125

Buy Now

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

Buy Now

mid war publications

The First Day of the Holidays
Ginger’s Adventures
Ladybird publishing, England 1942.

Mid war publications- Ladybird books published in 1942 – The First Day of the Holidays, and Ginger’s Adventurers. Both featuring animals – dogs and penguins.

Both books are in excellent vintage condition… and are for sale : $AU30
Buy Now

1940s glamour

1940s beaded clutch & chokerGlass pearl beaded clutch and choker, made in Japan c.1940s
Midwinter lamb figurines, made in England 1946-1953

This beautiful clutch and matching choker belonged to my friend Susan’s grandmother. Susan’s grandmother kept them safely in their original box, bringing them out only to wear on special occasions. The beading detail is delightful, and is entire [one lady owner!]- I can just imagine the outfits that this ensemble would complete.

At first glance, the beaded clutch and choker and the lamb figurines are an unusual pairing – but both are of the same era. And both hint at joyous and exuberant occasions!

WR Midwinter [Burslem, Staffordshire] is famous for its small, appealing animals- it started producing in 1910 and is still producing today. These frolicking lambs –produced between 1946 and 1953- are now quite collectible. And a pair is better than a single. [I saw a single on Ebay for $55.]

The glass pearl encrusted clutch and matching choker is for sale: $AUD155
The Midwinter pair of lamb figurines : $AUD75

Buy Now

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.]

Buy Now

Oak bookends

Oak bookends, Australian 1940sOak bookends
made in Australia, 1940s

A lovely pair of oak bookends, lined with green felt – for those of us who still read/collect/store books. The bookends are solid timber, made in the 40s from English Oak grown in Australia.

The timber bookends, though made in the 40s presage the modernist 50s whilst harking back to art deco of the 20s. They are a bit of an amalgam – but then so is harvesting an English Oak for an Australian bookend. If these were made today, there is any number of Australian hardwoods that could have been used.

I have styled the bookends with a small sample of our Observer book collection. Observer books are quite collectible; there is one hundred in the series starting with ‘British Birds’ in 1937 [no 1] and finishing with ‘Wayside and Woodland’, 2003 [no 100.]. They are pocket-sized field-research books and naturally to have all 100 would be a collectors dream.

The oak bookends are for sale: $AUD80

Buy Now

Australia in the #40s and #50s

Australian Souvenirware,
made in Czechoslovakia, England, Australia 1940-50s

A selection of hand-coloured, photographic transfer prints of various Australian cities and landmarks made in the 40s and 50s. What a great wall feature they’d make!

Featured herein are beaches, streets, bridge and bridge approaches and traffic bridges, parks, clocks, landmarks, harbours, town halls, parliament houses and rivers [and I quote] :

  • Harbour Beach, Manly
  • Prince Street, Grafton
  • Belmont, Lake Macquarie
  • Bridge Approach, Shoalhaven River from Showground, Nowra
  • Bridge, Shoalhaven River, Nowra
  • Traffic Bridge, Macksville
  • Machattie Park, Bathurst
  • Dr Evershed Memorial Clock, Bega NSW
  • Bottle Rock, Coonabarabran
  • Ulladulla Harbour, NSW
  • Town Hall, Rockhampton QLD
  • Perth, WA
  • Parliament House, Canberra
  • Murray River, Corowa.

Makers are all noted on the backstamps: Victoria, IBC, Royal Grafton Bone China, Royal Stafford Bone China, Westminster China [the last, weirdly from Australia.]

All fifteen plates are in great vintage condition and provide a snapshot of important landmarks in Australia, as judged by tourists in the 40s and 50s. Or – as I mentioned – massed together they would make a fantastic wall feature.

The souvenirware plates are for sale: $AU120

Buy Now

Collectable pincushion

Drummer Man pincushion
made in Occupied Japan, 1940s

This is a pin cushion [sadly missing the actual pin cushion] from Occupied Japan. Occupied Japan items are now highly collectable – it’s the term used for the period from 1945-1952 (after World War II) when the Allies “occupied” Japan. This short period – seven years – and the fact that ceramics produced during the time were all copies of renowned European potteries, and particularly Victorian-era figurines, have made the items quite rare.

The Drummer Man would have originally had a stuffed velvet cushion in the hollow of his drum; most pin cushions collected today have lost this piece and most collectors decide not to restore it. The [original] Drummer Man himself is a turn of the century relic- a stylised cartoon version of the little drummer boy. It is hand-painted, and in excellent vintage condition.

The Drummer Man will appeal to pin cushion collectors; and also to Occupied Japan ceramics collectors. It is for sale: $AU35

Buy Now