Retro picnic teacups

Selex picnic teacupsSellex bakelite picnic teacups
made in Australia, c.1940s

I have quite a collection of Australian bakelite – and a representative sample has appeared on this blog – pieces ranging from kitchen canisters to picnic ware. There were ten companies producing bakelite domestic ware in Australia in the post-war period, and I have examples of them all!

The ten companies are: Nally Eon, Helix Sellex, Iplex, Nylex [names ending with ‘ex’ presumed particularly modern!] Bristilite and Tilly. Here we have a delightful pair of Sellex picnic cups.

The picnic set from which these teacups came was a ‘harlequin’ set- a range of four colours which could be mixed and matched. These cups and saucers show the four colours- and since they are in excellent condition- they should how vibrant the harlequin set was.

These teacups are for sale: $AUD50

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Retro picnic cups [sold]

retro anodised picnic beakersAnodised harlequin beakers
made in Australia and Hong Kong, c.1950s

The six cups on the left- from the vinyl maroon case- have never been used. Each cup is wrapped in its original tissue paper, and there is a bottle-opener installed in the cap. Research leads me to believe that this set was made in Australia.

Harlequin is a catch-all phrase for multi-coloured items- many of my 50-60s collections are ‘harlequin’.

The five cups on the right where manufactured in Hong Kong [it’s stamped on the base] –and in deference to its age/Asian origin, it is a set of only 5 cups. The bottle opener is housed on the outside of the vinyl case.

Both sets have the obligatory incised rings – these are machine-turned and date the cups to the 50s- a little bit of modernist styling.

All the beakers are in fine fettle, ~ still shiny and colourful aluminium despite their age ~ I suspect they have never been near a picnic. This set is for sale: $AUD75

Sellex bakelite picnic ware

Sellex picnic ware
made in Australia, 1940s

The strong colours of these bakelite pieces are quite mesmerising. I don’t think the plates and bowls have ever been used, as they are pristine, with no scratches and no diminishing of those superb colours. I have mentioned before that yellow bakelite is particularly prone to deterioration and ‘mudding’ of its colour, so this set is in particularly good condition. Ironically for picnic ware- I would suggest it’s never seen the light of day!

We can date the plates and bowls to Australia in the 40s due to the ‘rounded-square’ shape, and the edge fluting. And the plates’ markings, which have ‘Sellex Reg.’ in cast lettering on the underside. In a previous post I have discussed Sellex kitchen canisters – they are beautiful also.

This would make a great starter set for the bakelite collector or enthusiast.  For sale: $AUD80

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