Gem scones are unique to Australia: they are ‘damper’ scones made from flour, water and milk – the basics- as this was all that was available during the war. Damper is a rough bread that can be made over a camp fire.
Real scones are made with sugar…and- served with jam and cream. Real luxury after the war. But during the war when this gem iron was made – you were lucky to be able to assemble flour and milk. Water was available as an alternative to the milk…if necessary…or to water down the milk to make the gem scones.
This gem iron made twelve scones over the fire, or in the oven. It is made of cast-iron, and now has a patina of rust. Good thing that it can be easily cleaned [if you wish] – or if like me you like the historical patina…
Pates posey vases,
made in Sydney, Australia c.1940-1950s
These posey vases were 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’ pottery glazes were influenced by domestic 1950s furnishing and interior colour trends; but the forms borrowed heavily from British and American designs. These posey vases comprise three ‘trough’ vases [foreground] and two ‘log’ vases [background]- the forms were copied from overseas but the colours are all about Australian interior decor of the 50s.
Posey vases are small and design to ‘float’ short-stemmed flowers. All the posey vases are stamped ‘Pates Australia’ on the base and all are in good condition with no cracks or crazing.
Five Pates posey vases for the discerning Pates/posey vase collector; for sale- $AUD100
This posey vase was made by Pates Pottery, which operated out of Belmore, Sydney from 1946 -1990. The deco styling of the vase is deliberate, although it was made much after that period; it seems nostalgia for things past [and styles familiar and remembered] has always influenced pottery makers.
The drip glazes used by Pates were applied by hand, and the vases came in mottled shades of pinks, yellows, and green & brown- indeed it is this mottled glaze that instantly identifies this vase as a Pates vase. The vase is also stamped on the base “Pates Potteries Sydney Australia.”
This lovely green and brown vase is perfect to display wattle – the joey figurine is just along for the ride.
Pates Pottery collectors rejoice: this posey vase is in perfect condition and is for sale: $AUD75
Diana ‘Flannel Flower’ pie dish, made in Sydney, Australia 1940s
I collect Diana pottery- and as a landscape architect I am particularly fond of the Australiana series of flowers produced in the 40s. Here we have the flannel flower, hand-painted- in a pie dish. The Flannel Flower is the floral emblem of NSW [and has been associated with this State since Federation in 1901.] I wouldn’t say that this is a terribly accurate or particularly artistic rendering of the flannel flower but it represents an important milestone in Australian pottery- where the fashions and obsession with all things English were replaced with a nationalistic interest in Australian iconography.
I have posted several other Diana Flannel Flower pieces [see several posts, below] but this is the first pie dish I have come across. It’s in excellent condition and clearly stamped Diana on the back.
I’ve teamed the pie dish with a little whimsy- a 40s koala figurine smoking a pipe. Not so much Australian iconography as Australian kitsch at its best!
The pie dish is for sale: $AUD75 [and I’ll throw in the koala as well!]
Retro 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
Glass 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
DF Tayler & Co pins, made in England 1940s
Southern Cross pins, made in Australia 1940s
Being a sew-er [rather than a sewer] and a vintage collector, I am quite partial to vintage sewing paraphernalia. I make clothes for myself from vintage fabric, using vintage patterns, threads, buttons, trims, etc. So I have collected [but not used] these vintage pins.
I love the graphics on the boxes- so of the times- and the pins from the 40s are both described as ‘short whites’. Short whites are steel, with thick heads, and fine points- made for most sewing occasions. The term ‘short’ was used to indicated they were made for use in dressmaking- longer pins in the 40s were still used to hold garments together when worn.
For collectors of sewing paraphernalia- or vintage dressmakers who enjoy the total vintage experience, the pins are for sale: $AU20
Just in time for Easter, here is a timber easter egg holder: The cart is articulated and the wheels move as the chick pulls it along. The original pin holding the cart to the chicken has been amateurishly replaced with a pin, adding to the overall charm of the piece.
These egg-holders were made in the thousands, in Japan, and exported to countries who- in the 40s at least- celebrated Easter by the giving [and eating] of easter eggs. It is hand-painted and the egg would be placed in the cart by the country selling the Easter gift.
[Without an easter egg available I have styled the cart with a random racoon.] Given my propensity for kitsch, I love this little piece! and after all easter eggs have been consumed, you can see that it’s quite good for displaying random figurines.
I’ve featured a lot of Fowler Ware pudding bowls and jugs on this blog: the 40s colours and shapes are so fabulous. This jug is stoneware, and from the Fowler Ware ‘Utility’ range – perhaps off-white wasn’t as glamorous as the coloured pieces -and could be used every day.
Whatever, the beauty of the off-white stoneware is that any fruit/food/kitchen implement stored in them looks fantastic. Collecting in a single colour is quite dramatic, and these pieces look fantastic in a white or neutral-toned contemporary kitchen. I was inspired by a friend who has about 15 off-white bowls sitting on the top of her kitchen cupboards- in that space below the ceiling.
And the beauty of the jug- it doubles as a vase! Win-win-win!
I have matching Utility stoneware pudding bowls for sale elsewhere on the blog. Start collecting today!
The Utility jug is back stamped, and in excellent vintage condition-for sale: $AU35
Sellex nested bakelite canisters, made in Australia c. 1940s
Kanga and Roo salt & pepper shakers, made in Japan c.1960s
These Sellex bakelite canisters ‘Rice’ and ‘Coffee’ have been separated from their red-lidded set [flour, tea and sugar…] but Kanga and Roo are in their entirety; Roo being the pepper, and Kanga – the salt. Roo pops out the pouch, should be in need of pepper.
I’m sure someone out there has the rest of the Sellex set – or at least wants to add to canisters already collected. The somewhat flowery transfer labels are a little worn, but it’s clear that more Rice was used than Coffee!
The ceramic kanga and roo S & P shaker set is adorable and in perfect condition.