Royal Stafford cup and saucer, made in England 1950s
Glass ashtray, made in Australia 1950s
More of my ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’ collection – a transfer printed cup and saucer and a glass ashtray with 50s photo of said dog on the base.
The cup and saucer are bone china, with gilt edging to both cup and saucer, and marked 3395 to base. Meanwhile, the glass ashtray- a souvenir item, made in Australia, has a rather crudely hand-coloured 50s photograph in the moulded glass. But if nothing else, that photograph shows how accurate the transfer prints on the cup and saucer are- and they were made in England.
Both are kitschy, one more refined kitsch than the other!
Start your Dog on the Tuckerbox collection today: the cup and saucer is for sale: $AU25 as is the ashtray: $AU10 [or $AU30 for both.]
Guy Boyd goblet set
made in Sydney, Australia 1950s
This is a really, really rare set of Guy Boyd goblets. The form of the vessel- the goblet- was only produced in very limited quantities. To find an original set [rather than re-create a set, one piece at a time] is also rare.
The Boyds are a famous Australian family of artists. Martin Boyd pottery started in Cremorne, Sydney in 1946- but Martin doesn’t exist, instead it was Guy [Martin] Boyd who was the chief ceramicist. The pottery was in operation from 1946-1964, with 1957-58 being the peak production period.
All Guy Boyd pottery is made [and signed] by hand so there is a slight variation between any pieces in a set. The pottery is instantly recognisable from the edge band of unglazed pottery that always separates the two toned pieces. The colours are quintessentially 50s.
This fabulous goblet set would be great for Christmas drinks! It is for sale: $AU75 Buy Now
Retro milk bottle holders
made in Australia c.1950s
Who doesn’t remember the nightly ritual of putting out the milk bottle holder, with a note for the milkman as to the number of milk bottles required? Okay, that was in the olden days…but I can just remember.
These two milk bottle holders are lovely examples of the then ’new’ technology of PVC coated steel. The PVC coating was ‘kinder on the hands’ than the raw metal and it had the added benefit of delaying the corrosion of the metal. And all kinds of colour were possible!
Both these holders could carry four pint-sized [glass] milk bottles. Nowadays, the holders are good for all sorts of repurposing – I have seen them used as mobile vase holders, or mobile herb gardens. Four terracotta pots fit snuggly into the spaces and the holder sits on the window sill in the sun to grow various herbs. When it’s time for harvesting, the holder is moved to the kitchen. Funky and practical!
The milk bottle holders are in excellent condition – even the white holder shows no sign of wear and tear. I haven’t been able to ascertain the manufacturer, but the person from whom I bought the holders assured me they were Australian in origin. From prosaic functional item of yesteryear, milk bottle holders are now quite sought after and highly collectible. That’s nostalgia for you! For sale: $AUD65
Kodak Brownie cameras
127 Model 1 camera, 1952-1959
127 Model 2 camera, 1959-1963
Baby Brownie, 1948-1952 : all made in London, England.
From left to right in this image are the Model 1, Model 2 and Baby Brownie cameras. They are all made of bakelite, and all take 127 film. This film is no longer available but instructions exist [YouTube] that explain how to cut down 35mm film to suit- and of course 35mm film is still able to be processed today.
Model 1 has lost its winding mechanism, but comes in its original carry case. It has a Meniscus f/14 lens. Model 2 has a larger, Dakon f/11 lens. The Baby Brownie has a Meniscus lens and a flip up viewfinder. It has a button under the lens for brief time exposure, and it too has its own original carry case.
I’m rather fond of these kitsch decorated champagne flutes – the gilt rim and base helping somewhat to offset the rather garish carnations. The glasses were won in a golf tournament by my partner’s brother- and they had pride of place in the family’s display cabinet for many, many years. I don’t think they were ever used to imbibe champagne…they were considered far too precious. They were for display [and admiration] purposes only.
The set now needs a new home – I’m imagining a nice mid-century modern drinks cabinet…where they can be taken out from time to time to drink champagne. Or beer. Beer would also be good.
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.
Gambit Ware ‘Australiana’ leaf plates
made in Australia 1950s
Here is another part of my collection: anything botanically themed always gets me in. Add to that these plates were designed and made in Australia- celebrating our unique flora in the post war period. AND this is ‘Ceramique’ – an early melamine material that was developed to revolutionise ceramic – it would ‘never chip or break.’
The stylised plates came in simple pastel colours, but were quite botanically detailed- they include wattle, banksia, kurrajong, mulga leaves- to name a few. The simple colouring meant that each leaf shape was reproduced in six colours- so one could buy a set of six ‘for display OR kitchen purposes’!
This image shows another part of my collection- at last count I had 50 plates. Plates with their labels intact are worth significantly more. The Ceramique has certainly lived up to its name- there isn’t a chip or a crack on any of the plates, although colour fading has occurred on a few.
Kitschy – yes. But 50s Australian kitsch- I love it!
This selection of Gambit Ware is for sale: $125 [13 pieces]
MCP ‘Genie Lamp’ vase #257
made in Sydney, Australia c1950
MCP- Modern Ceramic Products- started production in the 1940s, in Redfern, Sydney. MCP made strong geometric forms with very modernist styling – and a highly textured exterior finish to contrast with the smooth internal glaze. This two-toned aesthetic meant each vase shape could be made in a wide range of iterations- albeit along the 50s spectrum of baby blue, pale pink and pale yellow.
I’ve sold several- beautiful- MCP vases; have a look on the SOLD tab. They are now very collectible and it’s getting harder to find these beauties.
This ‘Genie Lamp’ vase is in baby blue. It is stamped ‘#257 MCP’ on the base, and it looks good with anything from old fashioned roses [referencing the 50s] to contemporary structural arrangements- like Eucalypt leaves.
Marquis slide viewer, made in Sydney, Australia c.1950 Viscount slide viewer, made in England c.1960
How fantastic is this baby pink Marquis slide viewer? The pink section is plastic, whilst the black section is bakelite. This slide viewer comes in its original box and is in near mint condition.
The Viscount viewer is nearly a decade older, and it evidences the transition from the modernist forms of the 50s to the more funky shapes of the 60s. It too comes in its original box.
Both viewers are working well – and replacement bulbs for them are still available. Which means there is no excuse for having photographic slides around that are not being used. You can go automatic with a large format projection [see slide projector/s below]…or view your slides individually and more intimately with these hand held viewers.
I do have a few slide viewers in my collection…I love the way they work – large glass viewing lens, small bulb and battery. And they look great massed together as a group – they are both functional AND aesthetic.
Ferrania was founded in Italy in 1923 – and still produces ‘point and shoot’ cameras today. The ‘Eura’ camera was made in 1959, and comes in its original vinyl case [made by Maves, also of Milan.] It uses medium format film- 120mm – which is still available; and comes with its original instruction booklet [in Italian and English]; and two helpful booklets produced by Ferrania : ‘Photography by artificial light- hints for amateurs’ and ‘It’s easy to take good photographs’ by Alfredo Ornano.
I’m not sure if the camera still works as it hasn’t been tested, but the original bag and 50s instruction booklets were too fabulous to pass up. There are some great YouTube clips evidencing the great photos that can be taken with the Eura – I think Alfredo Ornano would be well chuffed!