Sewing Paraphernalia

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

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Happy Easter!

Vintage easter egg holder
made in Japan 1940s

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.

The easter holder is for sale: $AU15
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40s ‘Utility’ jug

Fowler Ware ‘Utility’ jug
made in Australia 1940s

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

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Sellex bakelite canisters_kanga & roo salt and pepper shakers

Bakelite canisters & kanga & roo salt and pepper setSellex 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.

For sale: $AUD85

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Bakewell graduated jug set

Bakewell graduated jugs
made in Australia 1940s

These fabulous graduated jugs are called ‘Beulah Ware’- named for Bakewell’s wife, Beulah. They are functional jugs, with just a hint of art deco styling in the handle shape and the graduated patterning.

Bakewell started production in 1884 and like so many potteries, moved from making bricks and pipes to domestic wares in the early part of the twentieth century. By the 1920s, they were manufacturing vases [‘exclusive ware’] and domestic ware –kitchenalia – with ceramic canisters, bowls and jugs.

The earthernware jugs came in a set of four: unfortunately we only have three here. A full set of graduated jugs is next to impossible for find now – and originally, they came in this pastel green, a pastel yellow and a baby blue. You’ll note the subtle variation between the green colourings- this was due to the hand-glazing technique, and was a deliberate policy to allow for replacement pieces, should you break one of a set.

The graduated jugs are for sale: $AU95
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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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