Swinnertons Chelsea Blue

Swinnertons Chelsea Blue crockerySwinnertons Chelsea Blue
made in Staffordshire, England c.1950s

This set comprises 4 dinner plates, 4 side plates and 4 cake plates. The colour is described as ‘duck egg blue’.

I had been hunting for the matching Chelsea Blue coffee and tea sets, but upon reflecting how lovely the harlequin crockery sets are [see for example Swinnertons Nestor Vellum ‘Moonglo’ sets, below] I can’t actually imagine having a set all one colour.

Also, for some unexplained reason, the Chelsea Blue jug looks so wrong with the rest of the set- it is overblown, and has some quasi-20s affectations…what were they thinking? This is the 50s, people! I couldn’t bring myself to buy it – and left it on the shelf- which was probably a first for me.

This would be a good starter set for a harlequin table setting for 8 – just collect similar 50s colours in the same simple, rounded forms. Or just use as is – how good would cake look on those duck egg blue plates!

For sale: $AUD120

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Super, super 8

Diamond Super 8 Editor, 1950sDiamond Super 8 Editor
made in Japan, 1950s

Super 8 film is having a resurgence, and super 8 cameras and editors are being dusted off and put back into use. You only have to look at YouTube to see how many videos are being made using this fantastic 50s technology.

This Editor is fully working, and comes in its original box with splicer, spare bulb, reels of film and even splicing cement [not sure how good it will be after sixty-odd years but the box packing is fabulous.] It’s been tested by an electrician and deemed good to go.

Even if you don’t use the editor to – you know- edit, it is a beautiful piece of engineering that will lend industrial cred to any space.

The Editor [and assorted accoutrements] is for sale: $AU150

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Bakelite amp meter [sold]

Bakelite amp meter,
Lamb sugar-figurine, made in Australia 1950s

I love bakelite, as you know, and I love scientific/measuring instruments. So this gauge [which measures amps, and still works] is totally up my alley. I am so pleased that the buyer is giving it to a artist who makes toys out of found objects. Imagine this as part of a toy, where the amp needle moves as the toy moves~ magic!

I have resisted collecting figurines, but you know- this sugar lamb – was kinda irresistible.  The ‘sugar’ refers to the rough clay texture which gives the figurine some semblance of realism, and unbeknownst to me, this is highly sought after. This lamb is going to a remote sheep station in Western Australia.

I shall endeavour to buy bakelite gauges and sugar figurines- it’s not just me but you!

Studio Anna kitsch-fest

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

I am particularly drawn to kitsch pottery that has landscape or botanical images…so souvenir ware from the 50s is right up my street! I have posted Studio Anna pottery previously- you might remember that it was situated right near where I now live, in inner-Sydney.

This very kitschy souvenirware was very popular in the 50s – and then it went out of fashion [in a big way] in the 70s and 80s. Rightly so, the appropriation – and kitschisation- of indigenous motifs was debated and condemned. Now, in this post-modernist era, enough time has passed and enough discussion ensued that we can now look on these very dated images with fondness and nostalgia.

The wall plates have a hanging device on the back, so they can be – hung on a wall; here the cities of Adelaide and Albury are celebrated.  The salt and pepper shakers celebrate Moree. A nice start to a Studio Anna collection.

This collection is for sale: $AU80

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50s candlesticks

50s candlesticks
made in Australia

Here is my burgeoning brass & timber candlestick collection. You’ll note they all have the same candle [important stylistically] but the only things that unite the candlesticks is the material and the age.

Admittedly, the second one is timber veneer on top of timber, but timber is timber [especially in the 50s!] The first candlestick is ecclesiastical [came from a church]; and the last two are teak, fashioned after Danish pieces. All made in Australia! – another element that unites the collection.

This could be the start of a great collection – or just be four stylish candlesticks to adorn the dinner table. The candlesticks [sans candles- they are from Ikea!] are for sale: $AU55

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Lomography

Debonair camera, made in Hong Kong 1967
Observer books, published 1958- 1975

I love old cameras – which now have a new life as lomography cameras. This Debonair “all plastic” camera was made in the 50s- it takes 120 film, and had a ‘super lens no. 809’.

It’s a point-and-shoot camera, fixed f/8 lens. Luckily 120mm film is still available – and – did I mention that lomography photos are uber cool?

Meanwhile, I also collect Observer books. This lovely series [1-100] started in the UK with no.1 British Birds published in 1937; and to collect all 100 in series is a prise.

Here we have a couple of my doubles:
1          Birds                1971
11        Aircraft             1958
21        Automobiles    1975
41        Heraldry          1966

However- you have already seen that the first in the series has been reprinted under many titles, and dates. And- to add to the collector enthusiasm- real enthusiasts only collect nos. 1 – 79, when the outer cover became hardback [with an image, no less.] So gauche.

Some Observer collectors just collect every edition of one published number. Some Observer collectors collect the first editions of every title. The rest of us are happy to have as many of the 1- 100 series in our collections.

The Debonair camera is for sale: $AU18
Observers [with dust jackets]: AU$10 each

Slidex slide library

Hanimex Slidex slide library, 1950sHanimex ‘Slidex’ slide library
made in Australia 1950s

I love and collect Hanimex – slide projectors, slide viewers and now- a slide library. Each of the three drawers has flip out slide-holders [yellow, red, green] and each can hold 120 x 35mm slides. The slide library is pristine – never been used. Opposite the drawers is an index – to note the title of each of the twelve slide holders in each drawer- and the drawers themselves have a space for a label integral with the drawer pull. All you need is a typewriter: the index is removable and so can be inserted into a typewriter to be completed; and the drawer labels could similarly be typed. Tres tres cool!

Hanimex is an Australian company that commenced importing cameras and lenses in 1947. Jack Hannes started the company and the name Hanimex is an abbreviation of his company name: Hannes Import Export. By the mid 50s Hanimex was making and selling smaller photographic equipment –like this slide library- in Australia. Cameras that were still imported were rebadged Hanimex Topcon, the second name indicating the original manufacturer.

The precision engineering that has gone into making this compact, portable slide library is fantastic.

The slide library is for sale: team it with one of more of the other fantastic Hanimex products on this site! $AUD75

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50s Diana vases

Diana vases,
made in Australia 1950s

As you know, I collect Australian pottery made by Diana- the post-war pottery was situated very near where I now live in Sydney. I collect the ‘Australiana’ pottery in colours of eucalypt green and bark brown- but the same vase shape came in a multitude of colours to suit the changing interiors of post-war Australia.

Here are two posy vases- or ring vases- which display floating flowers [rather than stemmed flowers] and a small matching vase. The deep crimson and powder blue colours are SO 50s; but the geometric patterning on these vases harks back to the 20s and Art Deco. The same shaped vases were made well into the 70s, when they were handpainted [quite garishly, natch] with Australian flora.

Diana produced ‘art pottery’ from 1940 to 1975. The pottery is unique in that it only produced art and domestic pottery products, rather than having antecedents in industrial pottery. I have a number [she said, modestly] of Diana pieces featured on this blog; jugs, pudding bowls, ramekins, casserole dishes, platters, coffee pots…and vases.

This collection of vases is for sale: $AU75 [the small vase has original Diana sticker]

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Egg cups by Poole

tea & eggs 50s style!Poole egg cup set,
made in England 1954

Poole is a very well-known pottery; it started operating in Dorset, England in 1873 – and continues today. All Poole is now highly collectible- but I am particularly fond of the pottery produced between the 30s and 60s.

This Poole egg cup set is in the twintone colourway [THEIR term] ‘Seagull and Teal’. The teal makes for a nice connection with the tea caddy. The ’seagull’ is a lovely mottled pinky-creamy-colour. The five piece set is in excellent condition; the plate under the egg cups has circular indentations to help steady the cups.

Bushells tea caddies, tin and mass produced to mark commemorative occasions, are now quite sought after. Here we have her Maj, Prince Philip and both countries’ flags to mark Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953. This caddy has now sold.

The Poole egg cup set is for sale: $AU75

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Australia in the #40s and #50s

Australian Souvenirware,
made in Czechoslovakia, England, Australia 1940-50s

A selection of hand-coloured, photographic transfer prints of various Australian cities and landmarks made in the 40s and 50s. What a great wall feature they’d make!

Featured herein are beaches, streets, bridge and bridge approaches and traffic bridges, parks, clocks, landmarks, harbours, town halls, parliament houses and rivers [and I quote] :

  • Harbour Beach, Manly
  • Prince Street, Grafton
  • Belmont, Lake Macquarie
  • Bridge Approach, Shoalhaven River from Showground, Nowra
  • Bridge, Shoalhaven River, Nowra
  • Traffic Bridge, Macksville
  • Machattie Park, Bathurst
  • Dr Evershed Memorial Clock, Bega NSW
  • Bottle Rock, Coonabarabran
  • Ulladulla Harbour, NSW
  • Town Hall, Rockhampton QLD
  • Perth, WA
  • Parliament House, Canberra
  • Murray River, Corowa.

Makers are all noted on the backstamps: Victoria, IBC, Royal Grafton Bone China, Royal Stafford Bone China, Westminster China [the last, weirdly from Australia.]

All fifteen plates are in great vintage condition and provide a snapshot of important landmarks in Australia, as judged by tourists in the 40s and 50s. Or – as I mentioned – massed together they would make a fantastic wall feature.

The souvenirware plates are for sale: $AU120

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