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.
Hipster Christmas decorations
made in Sydney, Australia 2013
How cool are these Christmas baubles? Hand-knitted – in pure Australian wool- these decorations will lend your Christmas tree some real hipster cred.
Made by a lovely Nanna using a 1970 knitting pattern, this set of 20 baubles is both environmentally sustainable and – quite hilarious. Environmentally sustainable because she used her left over wool pieces, and hilarious because she used her left over wool pieces [~not so much the red and green or tinselly colours.]
You’ve seen the urban art of knitted wraps around trees and poles – now see the knitted Christmas decorations! Christmas just got 1970 crafty!
The set of 20 [all different] Christmas baubles is for sale: $AUD40. Buy now for Christmas!
This bakelite canister came with a set of transfers [Flour, Rice, Sugar, Sago, Coffee, Tea] in the 60s- so the homeowner could affix the labels as they saw fit- although the graduated size of the transfers meant most people stuck with the nominal order of the day. It makes me laugh that Flour was the largest canister – and coffee one of the smallest- nowadays it would be the other way around!
The transfer is in pretty good order for a canister that’s been in use since the 60s- normally these are quite perished when I find them. The red bakelite lid is also still tight-fitting, so you can store all the flour you wish!
I love souvenirware! It’s so of its time – and kitschiness is guaranteed. Here we have two pieces from Queensland. An ashtray- although no indication of such in its form – until you read the text:
Please use this bloody ashtray- its [sic] paid for, the carpet isn’t!
Ah Surfers Paradise! The name says it all- endless beaches of white sand where surfers come to experience paradise. And smoke cigarettes, pausing only to stub them out on the hotel carpet.
And – the rolling pin. Nothing says Kuranda [‘the Village in the Rainforest’] like a miniature rolling pin. Perhaps the pin is made of rainforest timber? Quelle horreur! No, wait, that’s only pine.
These two Queensland souvenirs are for sale: $AU15
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!
Gempo pottery – like much of the 70s- is having a resurgence at the moment. Gempo pottery was made in Japan between1962 – and 1974 for the export market.
The koala [and her joey] – have the large-faced form that marks all Gempo pottery. It is also particular to the 70s era with the stylised features, and the stoneware pottery glazed in rustic creams and browns.
I’m not sure how many animals Gempo stylised on their mugs, but currently in my collection I have a spotted hippo, giraffe and elephant. Oh, and a leo-the-lion moneybox!
Globite school cases were made by the Ford Sherington company– a well-known purveyor of luxury leather goods which started production in Sydney in 1912 and continued until the mid- 70s.
Interestingly the Ford Sherington company was started by a woman– Ada Sherington- and in the 30s Ford Sherington created the now famous Globite school case which millions of Australian children took to school [myself included.]
By the 60s, the well-known Globite technology was being used for reel-to-reel cases, as is this example. The Museum of Arts and Sciences notes:
“These were certainly very sturdy, being made of vulcanised rather than composite fibre, and much more expensive than most other school bags…”
The case has plasticised reinforced corners, which are riveted. The reel case is in fantastic vintage condition, and looks to be ‘as new’- and unused. It is for sale: $AU25
Westminster ‘Sierra’ platter
made in Australia, 1962
Despite both exotic names [Westminster, evoking England] and Sierra [evoking America] this platter with it’s gay 60s abstract flowers was made in Australia.
Westminster started making souvenirware under the name Stanley Rogers & Sons in Melbourne in 1954. They imported blank ceramic pieces from Japan which they then decorated locally. By the 60s the name was changed to Westminster Fine China – to suggest a longer and more illustrious history – and a much larger range of tea sets and dinner sets where produced. These were decorated with bright, abstract flower arrangements [sometimes in very 60s and 70s gaudy colours.] On the whole, this platter in the ‘Sierra’ pattern is quite restrained.
The platter is in good vintage condition, and is for sale: $25
Schweppes soda siphons,
made in Sydney, c.1948-1950
These lovely soda bottles are very collectible and all have etched & faceted glass– such a deal of detail just for soda water! Because the soda bottles are so highly prized they have been well researched and described – there is a wealth of information about them – which allows them to be accurately dated.
The glass bottles don’t photograph too well on my timber background, but if you click on the image and zoom in you can see the intricate glass etchings to the bottles.
All three bottles are etched: ‘Schweppes, [Australia] Ltd, 30 Fl Oz Soda Water’ and were one of the first soda bottles to have a plastic and metal top. I’ve seen all sorts of upcycling with siphon bottles, but for my money, I think they look great massed together on a bar, or near a window where light picks up the fantastic etching.
Gambit Ware ‘Australiana’ leaf plates
made in Australia 1950s
Here is another part of my collection: anything botanically themed always gets me in. Add to that these plates were designed and made in Australia- celebrating our unique flora in the post war period. AND this is ‘ceramique’ – an early melamine material, that was developed to revolutionise ceramic – it would ‘never chip or break.’
The stylised plates came in simple pastel colours, but were quite botanically detailed- they include wattle, banksia, kurrajong, mulga leaves- to name a few. Each leaf shape has its name on the underside, should you fail to recognise these iconic shapes. The simple colouring meant that each leaf shape was reproduced in six colours- so one could buy a set of six ‘for display OR kitchen purposes’!
This image shows about half of my collection- at last count I had 20 plates. Plates with their labels intact are worth significantly more. The ceramique has certainly lived up to its name- there isn’t a chip or a crack on any of the plates, although colour fading has occurred on a few.
Kitschy – yes. But 50s Australian kitsch- I love it.