Kitschy cat salt and pepper shakers
made in Japan 1960s
Cats rule the internet [have you seen ‘Cats of Instagram’?] and what better than kitschy cats? These Siamese cat salt and pepper shakers have it all : kitsch, 60s styling, made in Japan- and did I mention? Cats.
The cats’ faces presage anime- large heads, disproportionately large eyes [with eyelashes no less, whiskers don’t seem to exist] and they are both in ‘movement’ stances – these guys aren’t static animals- they are full of life. And the final coup de grace – the pair of figurines are in different poses.
Olivetti ‘lettera’ 32 typewriter
made in Barcelona, Spain 1963
The portable ‘lettera’ typewriter was designed by Marcello Nizzoli for Olivetti in 1963 and was made until 1975. It was a popular machine for journalists- and this was the baby Cormac McCarthy used to write his novels [well, not this exact one- his was sold in 2009 for $254,000. McCarthy bought it in 1963 for $50.]
The lettera features automatic ribbon reversal at the end of the spool [rather handy] and prints in black and red ink. The typewriter ribbon is still available for purchase and the ribbon in the machine is still good to go. The lettera comes in a stylish vinyl case [not pictured] which makes it truly portable and it is working perfectly – take it from an old touch typist.
There are a number of sites devoted to typewriters and typewriter collection: two good ones are: http://www.mytypewriter.com and http://www.oztypewriter.blogspot – the organ of the Australian Typewriter Museum in Canberra. Both sites speak highly of the lettera- it’s ‘beautiful and a work horse’.
A working lettera in its original case on Ebay is worth upwards of $475 – and I am loathe to part with it because it is such a fine machine.
For you, dear reader, it is offered for sale for $AUD325.
British Anchor, ‘Impact’ coffee set
made in Staffordshire England,1960-1969
This beautiful set- in de rigueur ‘avocado green’ – a quintessential 60s colour- comprises coffee pot, sugar bowl and creamer, and five espresso cups and saucers. The sugar bowl was always as shown- it didn’t come with a lid- but I suspect there were once six cups and saucers in the set. My attitude is just to pretend it’s a Japanese espresso set- the Japanese favour 5 pieces over six in a set.
The British Anchor Pottery Company was established in 1884 and production continued until the 1970s, only stopping for a brief period during the Second World War. I have previously posted British Anchor ‘harlequin’ plates, called Trianon Ware, which were made around the same time as the coffee set, in 1961.
This set has stood the test of time- there is no coffee staining to the coffee pot, and only minor internal crazing to the interior of one of the cups. I love the form of the oversized, elongated coffee pot – such a funky 60s shape. Impact indeed!
Poole Blue Moon tea cups, made in England 1960-1975
Poole is a very well known pottery, which started operating in Dorset, England in 1873 – and continues today. I am particularly fond of the pottery produced between the 30s and 60s.
These tea cups – very modern in shape and sans handle – are part of the Cameo range. The colour is ‘Blue Moon’ –a deep blue exterior, with a slightly off-white interior [pure white would be too stark…this off-white is just right.] The set of eight tea cups and saucers have the traditional mid-century Poole mark on each piece.
The cups don’t hold much tea – not that I have used them as such – the lovely colour and repetition of form has had them serve a purely decorative function. But they would make for a lovely tea party.