70s Golden Glory

Johnson ‘Golden Glory’ teacups
made in Australia 1976

The back stamp of these 70s tea cups is Johnson OF Australia – [reminds me of Lawrence OF Arabia!] Johnson Bros [Australia] produced transfer printed stoneware crockery marketed as “tough, utilitarian ware” – which is why these teacups are looking so fresh and unblemished today. Also- never been out of the box.

Johnson Bros [Australia] was a division of Johnson Brothers England- at the time one of the largest domestic pottery producers in the world. This design is ‘Golden Glory’- which, double entendre aside, is a selection of lovely golden Australian flowers. This pattern was collected and added to the Powerhouse collection by a Melbourne artist -John Hind.

I have recently started to embrace the 70s – and Australiana from the 70s; and now I have an Instagram account, I have been seeing much 70s Australiana – and Johnsons ceramics are much celebrated. There is one fantastic site where Johnson pieces are cut and sanded to make upcycled jewellery: rings and necklaces. It’s a lovely celebration of 70s iconography and the ‘tough, utilitarian ware’ that the Johnson Bros never imagined.

This boxed set of four teacups and saucers is for sale: $AU45 Buy now for Christmas!

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Bakewell graduated jug set

Bakewell graduated jugs
made in Australia 1940s

These fabulous graduated jugs are called ‘Beulah Ware’- named for Bakewell’s wife, Beulah. They are functional jugs, with just a hint of art deco styling in the handle shape and the graduated patterning.

Bakewell started production in 1884 and like so many potteries, moved from making bricks and pipes to domestic wares in the early part of the twentieth century. By the 1920s, they were manufacturing vases [‘exclusive ware’] and domestic ware –kitchenalia – with ceramic canisters, bowls and jugs.

The earthernware jugs came in a set of four: unfortunately we only have three here. A full set of graduated jugs is next to impossible for find now – and originally, they came in this pastel green, a pastel yellow and a baby blue. You’ll note the subtle variation between the green colourings- this was due to the hand-glazing technique, and was a deliberate policy to allow for replacement pieces, should you break one of a set.

The graduated jugs are for sale: $AU95
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Shaving mugs

Keel Street Pottery [KSP] shaving mugs, made in England c.1900-1930s
Koala shaving mug, made in Australia, c.1930-1940s.

Shaving mugs are highly collectible and becomingly increasingly hard to find.

The ceramic ‘woodgrain’ finish shaving mugs [woodgrain- presumably to render the pottery more ‘manly’?] by KSP predate the pastel colours of the 50s, and yet anticipate those very colours. Yes, now I am certain the woodgrain would help with the whole manly act of shaving. The pink, yellow, & green shaving mugs are all in perfect condition, and marked ‘KSP, made in England’ on the underside.

By contrast, the blue shaving mug is made in Australia by Koala. Koala pottery had a short run, and produced- as far as I can tell- only shaving mugs. I would love if the shaving mug had a koala’s face on it, but alas, it’s a purely perfunctory item, other than that cool blue colour.  It’s also in tip-top condition.

The four mugs are for sale: $AUD100

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Pates planter

Pates planter
made in Australia 1940s

This fantastic planter was made by Pates Pottery, which operated out of Belmore, Sydney from 1946 -1990. As you may have noticed, given the tenor of the posts of this blog, being a Sydneyite I have an affinity for the potteries that were producing domestic ware in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Pates’ designs and colours were influenced by the 1940s art and interior design trends; and produced work with this ‘Australiana’ colour glaze- brown and green – apparently reminiscent of the Australian bush. This nationalistic colour combination was very popular, and since I am a landscape architect, and quite fond of the Australian bush, I have tended to collect Pates’ pieces in this colour range. I have another pair of Pates planters, in the same shape but a different ‘colourway’ on the blog – you might like to check out.

This large planter looks fantastic supporting a range of succulent plants: I would advise keeping the succulents in their pots and styling them like cut flowers.

The large planter is for sale: $AUD45 – buy now for Christmas!

Personal collection

Diana vase
made in Australia 1940s

This is part of my personal collection: you will recall that I like Diana pottery [originally made right near where I now live] – in the colours of green/brown [Australiana- nationalistic colours discovered in the 40s and 50s.] These nationalistic colours- reminiscent of the Australian bush – are dear to me as a landscape architect.

So- while I have many other Diana pottery on the blog for sale, I continue to collect this green/brown Diana from the late war period.  Diana was starting to embrace & recognise colours that made Australia unique.

Then the 70s happened. I don’t collect Diana ware from the 70s- with the exception of the brutalist ‘Safari’ set [see blog below.] The rest of the 70s collection- when the pottery finally closed- is made up of either bland brown or gaudily covered flora. That was the crazy 70s- either abstract nothingness or super-charged vibrancy.

Fowler Ware nested pudding bowls

Fowler Ware pudding bowls
made in Australia 1940s

It is rare- very rare- to find a complete set of nested pudding bowls. Look at those fabulous 40s colours! And all in very good condition, too- ready to make puddings!

Fowler Ware created industrial pottery in Glebe, Sydney commencing in the 1840s. After WWII, Fowler Ware moved to producing pottery for the domestic market : their pudding bowls were so popular that they opened a second pottery to cope with the demand.

Fowler Ware also sold pudding bowls under the ‘Utility’ brand: these were white or cream, and while also made of stoneware, somewhat thicker and more ‘utilitarian’ than these harlequin pudding bowls. I have – as you can imagine- collected these as well!

The nested pudding bowls are in great vintage condition, and are for sale: $AU150

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Bakewells tea canister

Bakewells tea canister
made in Australia 1925-1935

This fabulous ceramic kitchen canister is called ‘Beulah Ware’- named for Bakewell’s wife, Beulah. The fantastic ‘tea’ font and decoration is all art deco.

Bakewells started production in 1884 and like so many potteries, moved from making bricks and pipes to domestic wares in the early part of the twentieth century. By the 1920s, they were manufacturing vases [‘exclusive ware’] and domestic ware [kitchenalia, including canisters.]

The earthernware canisters came in a set of five: Flour, Sugar, Rice, Tea and the smallest, Sago. A full set of canisters is next to impossible for find now – and originally, they came in this pastel green, a pastel yellow and a baby blue.

You may remember that I found the ‘Flour’ canister, sans lid- and now use it as a vase [see post, below.] And that just recently I posted a set of matching graduated jugs- same hand-coloured green glaze and with the same art deco styling.

The tea canister is in fantastic vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU65

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Boomerang dish

MCP boomerang dish
made in Sydney, Australia 1950s

MCP [Modern Ceramic Products] started production in the 1940s, in Redfern, Sydney. The simple geometric forms of their vases have a very modernist styling and each has a highly textured exterior finish which contrasts with the smooth internal glaze. The two-toned aesthetic meant each vase could be made in a wide range of iterations- albeit along the 50s spectrum of baby blue, pale pink, pale yellow and pastel green.

This is a boomerang dish, with the usual MCP textured green exterior and smooth pink interior. Like most 50s pottery, the fine edge between the two glazes is described in white. So elegant. The boomerang shape was a 50s staple: not only was it ‘Australian’ but it had the added benefit of being ‘unusual’; not a pure geometric shape like most round or square dishes.

The dish was used to serve sweets; but here I have loaded it with bakelite teaspoons from the same era. I like the colours; the spoons are Tilley bakelite, also made in Sydney. Tilley specialised in cutlery, especially picnicware [and I have collected quite a bit.]

The MCP boomerang dish is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU45

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Penny Inkwells

Penny inkwells,
made in Victoria, Australia 1880-1910

This is a collection of ‘penny’ inkwells; there are ceramic and so-called because they were cheaply made bottles that cost a penny to buy. They were crudely made and one of the first ‘disposables’- they were simply thrown out when they were empty. So this little collection is quite rare: most penny inkwells that survived the nineteenth century are chipped or broken.

The ceramic is stoneware with a salt glaze. Each inkwell is a different colour, depending on the mix of the original clay colour and the finished glaze: they range from a light tan to a deep russet brown. No two the same!

Most penny inkwells were used by school children; but would occasionally also be bought to be used in homes. There are many websites devoted to the collection of inkwells, and Ebay has a section for ‘collectable inkwells and ink pots’. Single penny inkwells in good condition are selling for around $45.

The collection of 8 penny inkwells is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale: POA

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Bakewells jugs

Bakewells graduated jugs
made in Australia 1930s

Bakewells started production in 1884 and like so many potteries, moved away from making industrial ceramic products -like bricks and pipes- to domestic wares in the early part of the twentieth century. By the early 30s Bakewells was making pudding bowls and graduated jugs in multi colours-  all to meet the insatiable demand of the new middle class. Bakewells is now very well known and very collectible.

This is an image from my own kitchen [and kitchenalia collection]- but I draw your attention to the Bakewells graduated jugs in green on the top shelf. I have just recently added to this collection – and find I have no more room to display it: so for sale are three green graduated jugs: similar to the first three of the four jug set seen here. You only need find the fourth- smallest- to create a set.

The jugs, being made in the 30s, have art deco flourishes: the shape, handle and applied decoration are all deco inspired. And the jugs are functional, as well as beautiful: we use ours to serve sauces and gravies [especially if we make art deco gravies. Only kidding- that sounds horrible!]

The three green graduated jugs are in excellent vintage condition, and are for sale: $AU95

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