Studio Anna style

Studio Anna wall plates & salt and pepper shakers
made in Australia 1950s

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- examples of which have been previously posted- 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.

Here we have wall plates – featuring the lovely cities of Adelaide and Albury. And Moree is featured on the salt and pepper shakers. Wall plates are definetly a lost art form- you don’t find ceramic artists making them any more. These two are made with specialist hanging apparatus built into the backplate.

For Studio Anna collectors- or those considering collection- this would make a nice gift. The set of wall plates and s&p shakers are for sale: $AU80

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Wall pocket vases #50sstyle

Diana wall pocket vases
made in Sydney, Australia 1950s

I have posted much about Diana, a Marrickville [Sydney] pottery that produced from 1940 to 1975. I live very close to Marrickville, so became fascinated with this pottery and um…collected…a…bit…of it….. ..  .. . .

By the late 50s Diana was experimenting with ‘Australian’ colours [read: bush colours] and moving away from the classic 50s pastels of powder blue, baby pink, soft yellow, etc. These wall pocket vases were also made in those colours, but now they were being hand-coloured with the greens and browns of the eucalypt bushland.

The hand-applied glaze meant that no two vases were the same- and the new colours were enthusiastically taken up by a community eager to embrace new concepts of nationalism. Every vase shape and form was re-created using the new colourway; so you have art deco inspired shapes – to more modernist, assymetrical shapes- but now having the new nationalist colours.

These three wall pockets are part of my own collection- but alas- I do not have the wall space to do them justice and they have been boxed up for a decade. It’s now time they went to someone’s wall – to display eucalyptus sprays – of course!

The three Diana wall pockets are for sale: $AU225

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Bushland Friends

Bushland Friends board gameBushland Friends board game
made in Australia 1956

The third in my posts on retro board games- this game purports to be a “cute little folks animal game”. For ages 4 to 8, this game involves spinning a dial featuring Australian animals [and, weirdly, a rabbit] and moving along a forest path made up of the same animals- thus “players simply match pictures of loveable little animals – there is no reading.”

It’s not all fun and games, however- players landing on occupied spaces can bump their opponents off. Even 4 years old need to understand the harsh competitive world that is board games!

As you can see on the image, the game originally sold for 99 cents. While the game is in good order, and ready for some bumping-off action, it doesn’t contain it’s playing pieces. However, since these were only dull plastic discs [and not, as I imagined, Australian marsupials- a la monopoly pieces] – the new owner of this game is obliged to supply their own.

The game is for sale: $AUD15

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Guy Boyd goblets

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
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Glass kitchen canisters

Glass kitchen canisters 1950sGlass kitchen canisters
made in Australia 1950s

Here is a selection of some of the glass kitchen canisters that I have collected for use in my kitchen: these are the ‘spares’. The thick, square glass canisters were originally filled with nuts or sugared almonds, and sold at Christmas time in the 50s and 60s. The plastic lids come in all manner of colours, and are still good and air-tight. So beautiful and functional!

I like that you can see how much sugar/flour/tea is left in the glass canisters, and now I associate red with ‘lentils’, blue with ‘couscous’, and green with ‘green tea’. This colour coding is a great idea!

I also have a selection of glass canisters with black bakelite lids- these only seemed to come in black- and they date earlier, probably the 40s.

The canisters are for sale: $AU20 [coloured plastic lids] and $AU30 [black bakelite lids.]

Aboriginal motif pottery – hello 1950s

Studio Anna & Florenz potteryStudio Anna ‘crab’ plate, made in Sydney Australia 1956
Florenz Pottery dish and ashtray, made in Sydney Australia 1950s

Both Studio Anna and Florenz Pottery had their pottery studios in Marrickville, Sydney – very near when I now live. The potteries lasted until the 70s- when gentrification and housing pressures saw them close. Marrickville is still a gritty inner-city place with an industrial/suburban mix.

Florenz started producing studio pottery in the 1930s and Studio Anna in 1953. These slip cast pottery items were made as souvenirware – the 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; and invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.

The crab plate has some very minor chips on its edge [click on the image for zoom view] – and is marked Studio Anna on the underside. I am particularly drawn to the funky rounded-triangle shape of this piece. The dish and ashtray are unmarked, but presumed Florenz Pottery due to the quality/typology of the images and glazes. The three pieces make a nice ensemble with the rich ochres, and black and white patternings.

The three pieces are for sale: $AUD85 [price reflects the condition of the Studio Anna ‘crab’ plate]

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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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50s earrings

50s earrings50s earrings
made in Australia

This is a set of six pairs of earrings- all screw-on or clip-ons. I started collecting 50s jewellery in the 80s- I would wear them with my op-shop bought clothes to university. The 80s was a time that fashion forgot – and although I was wearing ‘old’ stuff- at least it was well designed and didn’t sport leopard print or that horrible olive/gold colour scheme.

Now 50s clothes and jewellery is very collectible. These earrings are beautifully designed and made and stand up well against modern costume jewellery. There’s a colour / diamante to suit every outfit!

For sale: $AUD90

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Viewmaster Junior Projector

Viewmaster Junior Projector, 50s, USAViewmaster 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

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