10” slide rules Hemmi, made in Japan, c.1954
Aristo, made in Japan, c. 1960
Royal, made in Japan, c.1960
The first slide rulers were developed in the C17th, for mathematical calculations. They were used consistently from this date until 1974, when they were replaced by the scientific calculator. The middle section moves between scales on top and bottom of the scales, and then an independent clear plastic slider is moved to allow the calculation to be read.
These 10” slide rulers [250mm] were made for the office; they are larger and allow more complex calculations that the smaller 5” portable scale rules […yes..they will appear in a previous post…I can’t help it…I love them!]
The Hemmi slide [topmost in the image] has a bamboo structure, with a plastic laminate covering; whilst the later slide rules are all solid plastic. All slide rules come in their own boxes [some with original operating instructions] and some have their original owners names incised on the box.
I am a huge fan of Australian glassware: and collect it when I can.
Here we have:
tri-pouring graduated ½ pint jug [pours from three sides]
Kodak developing chemical graduated glass
and seven medicine graduated glasses.
All pieces were made rough-and-ready; several have ‘bubbles’ in the glass, and evident seam lines. But no chips or cracks- all these lovely glasses can be used today for their original – or indeed – new purposes.
Because that’s what glass is like. Unlike plastic, it does not allow molecular transfer – so when heated or filled with foodstuffs or chemicals- there is no movement between the two.
And being made in the 50s- all the graduated measurements are imperial; in relief in the glass, or transfer printed. A lovely snap-shot of Australian glassware.
This set of Australian glassware is for sale: $AU95
Not difficult to gauge the age of these glasses: they are printed on them. Her Majesty visited the colonies in 1954 – a year after her coronation in 1953.
Australia is still a part of the Commonwealth, with her Maj as our Queen. We had a referendum to become a republic in 1999 – it was defeated – and the debate still rages.
So- all this is to say- there are a lot – A LOT- of monarchists in our midst. Monarchists who collect ER memorabilia. Here we have two shot glasses, and a pair of drinking glasses. The drinking glasses have had more wear [more toasts!] and some of the gilt is worn. The shot glasses, meanwhile, look pristine.
Just saying; monarchists prefer to toast her Maj with beer, rather than vodka. It’s empirical!
These are large, 50s costume brooches: all with atomic stylings and all featuring purple glass. They were made to make a bold statement – and I think you’ll agree they are still making quite the bold statement!
50s jewellery went out of fashion for a period in the 70s and 80s but is now retro enough to be coming back with a splash. I have always loved purple and collected these brooches one at a time until I had a triumvirate to display/offer them as a group.
The brooches would look great worn singly- but wow! would pack a punch worn altogether. They are all in great vintage condition, and are offered for sale: $75
Viewmaster Junior Projector
made in Portland, Oregon 1957
The first Viewmaster was made in the 1930s by William Gruber, who was fascinated with Nineteenth Century stereoscopes. He partnered with Sawyers Co. to produce viewers which debuted at the 1939 World’s Fair.
This ‘Junior’ projector was made in 1957 – at the same time all the classic bakelite hand-held Viewmasters were made. These were called the Model C Viewer and were made from 1946-1955. But while the hand-helds view reels in stereoscope, this projector- using the same reels- projects in monoscope. The projector is cast metal and bakelite, and has a similar level mechanism to advance the reels as the hand-helds, and all reels made are compatible. The projector comes in its original box, which is in good vintage condition.
Along with this fantastic junior ‘toy’ [every child in the 50s wanted one!] come a great range of original 50s reels. The range from Australia themes [“5010 The Great Barrier Reef”, “5121 Adelaide & Vicinity”] to American themes [“291 California Wild Flowers”, “157 New York City”] and for some odd reason, a single Movie Star themed: “Gene Autry and his wonder horse Champion”. That’s a real corker!
The Junior Projector is for sale: $AU120. For a full list of the reels, please email : reretroblog.gmail.com
I have waxed lyrical previously about my love of the ‘Australian’ green and brown hues of Sydney pottery of the post-war period…and here are some more examples from my collection. Pates pottery operated out of Belmore- an industrial suburb of inner-Sydney, from 1946 and only ceased production in 1990.
Here is a selection of Pates vases in brown/green hues; two ‘lotus’ vases and a ‘log’ vase. Like many Pates vases, these shapes came in a variety of colours to suit the late 40s, early 50s décor. I decided my personal collection would be these ‘Australian’ colours [reminiscent of the bushland] – rather than the baby blues and powder pink or pastel yellow tones; but have rather too many to use or display now.
This set of Pates vases is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU65
Aboriginal motif salt & pepper shaker sets, and small jug
made in Australia c.1950s
While none of these items has a maker’s mark, the salt and pepper shakers at the back are possibly by Terra Ceramics, and the round shakers to the left are possibly Florenz Pottery. The small jug is probably Studio Anna. All these potteries were making tourist and souvenir pottery by the 1950s, and these appropriated [and westernised] indigenous motifs were hugely popular. Post war arts and crafts saw a rise in the popularity of Australiana – replacing traditional English motifs with ‘Australian’ themes; invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.
This group works well as a set, or could form the basis of a larger collection. The items on their own are very kitsch…but somehow when grouped the kitschness is subverted into a subtler aesthetic.
Studio Anna started their art pottery in 1953, in Marrickville [just near where I now live.] Unlike many other potteries in the area, Studio Anna commenced with making art pieces; rather than converting from industrial/commercial products as part of the cultural changes that the 50s ushered in.
Like Martin Boyd pottery, Studio Anna specialised in hand-painted ‘Australiana’ themes. Flora and fauna and local iconic sites were depicted – I have several Studio Anna pieces that feature local hotels [oh! the 50s glamour!] as they were sold as souvenirware.
This cup and saucer is no exception- depicting the ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’, a local tourist attraction in the fine town of Gundagai. [I won’t go into the story of the DotT – I have previously on the blog since I seem to have quite a few kitschy things that pay homage to said dog.]
The cup and saucer are in excellent vintage condition, and shown here with a snowdome of the DotT- made around the same era. This set is for sale: $AU35
Lyndale Moss pottery
made in Melbourne, Australia 1950s
It’s Australia Day! Not celebrated or acknowledged by all Australians- but – who could resist this Australiana?
These are Lyndale Moss gum-leaf vases, and a eucalypt vase. It’s the 50s, and nationalism is starting to become a cultural force. Art potteries everywhere are forgoing the English rose for Australian-themed flora. And producing vases in all manner of colours [to suit the 50s décor]: pink, blue, yellow, black, spotted and drip-glazed: but for my money, the lovely matt-white is the best.
Lyndale didn’t sign the pottery- they relied on semi-permanent stickers [in gilt writing, no less] to note the maker. It’s rare that these stickers survived from the 50s, so if you find one with the sticker in-tact- you are sitting on a gold mine.
Happy Australia Day! Wherever and however you celebrate; these vases are for sale: $AU45
Here is a collection from a friend: lusterware plates, made in Japan in the 50s. My friend inherited them from her parents to whom they were given as a wedding gift. As is the wont of parents, especially parents in Australia in the 50s- the plates were never used, as they were “too good”.
The plates were too good to be used! They were passed down to my friend who has a much more modern sensibility than me [and obviously, her parents] – she didn’t exactly recoil when you showed me the plates, but she thought I might have more love for them than she did. By love I understood her to mean ‘space’ and ‘tolerance of lusterware’. Luckily, I do have both.
I love lusterware, especially Japan 50s lusterware- and I love the whole ‘harlequin’ ideal: each plate is a different colour, but they all have the same neat gilt edge- and are clearly a set. Sure, lusterware is kitschy : but it is also of its time: it represents newly glazing techniques and evokes the metallic & mechanistic ideals of the space age.