50s Australiana souvenirware

Retro Australiana souvenirwareStudio Anna souvenir dishes, made in Sydney, Australia c.1953
Coronet souvenir dishes, made in Sydney, Australia c.1954

I am particularly drawn to kitsch pottery that has landscape or botanical images…souvenirware 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.

The first three dishes- to the left of the image -are by Studio Anna; the Cornet plates are the funky blue plate with flannel flowers, and the shell-shaped dish which features a eucalypt flower. Coronet pottery was a small pottery that operated in Sydney between the wars.

The topmost dish, with a funky 50s hotel image [pool side perspective] is inscribed ‘Hayman Island’, which is a popular tourist destination in Queensland. The round, green dish under Hayman Island is inscribed “Lilac Time, Goulburn’ – a town featured recently on a silver tea strainer, and the last landscape dish is a view of ‘Hobart’. Having never been to Australia’s island state, I can’t attest to its 1950s accuracy, but it’s what I image Hobart would have [perhaps still does?] look like.

For Studio Anna collectors, Coronet enthusiasts, or souvenirware devotees – this collection is for sale: $AUD145

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Shiny, shiny, shiny, shiny, kinda very shiny

Australian souvenir thermometersShiny, shiny, shiny
souvenir thermometers, made in Japan c. 1970s

I agree with you! This post is more kitsch than the most kitschy-kitschness. Never before has so much unnecessary shininess been jammed into one image.*

BUT wait. Those gilt eagles – which seem more appropriate to…oh, I don’t know, AMERICA, contain other hilarious geographic oddities. The eagle on the right has renamed our iconic Sydney Opera House as the “Harbour Bridge Opera House”…and the eagle on the left has the temerity to house a group of kangaroos – it should be a giant kangaroo holding a tiny little eagle [though that would still be wrong.]

At least those thermometers are accurate…why they record -30 to +50 degrees. Mmm, not sure Sydney has ever seen those extremes, but one can’t be too careful. Did I mention that you hang these babies on the wall by a gilt chain?

Okay, so far, so funny. What do I have to say about the swans? I kinda like them. Their thermometer range is from 0 to 40 degrees, which seems much more reasonable. And – they are wearing blue eyeshadow! They are totally glitzy, 70s swans! And they have a place to put your pens and stuff. Totally useful.

This set is for sale…and if that person is you, I salute you!  $AUD60

[*I had to browbeat my photographer to take this image, such were his aesthetic sensitivities misgivings.]

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