30s sugar canister

30s sugar canisterSugar canister
made in Australia, 1930s

A wonderful example of a depression era canister – this aluminium sugar canister evidences all the hallmarks of the 30s- drilled, green bakelite handles, mismatched green tones, applied ‘Sugar’ label, and graduated rings to the cream base.

Anodised aluminium was in its infancy- and achieving colour matching next to impossible. So each green lid was slightly different across the whole set of five canisters [and added to this of course, is colour fading over time.] Meanwhile bakelite technology was forty years old- you could get any colour you wanted there.

The size of this canister tells you something about the storage of sugar in the 40s. This canister was second in size only to the Flour canister. Everything else in the series was smaller: Suet, Rice, Tea and coming up last, Coffee. My how things have changed in the modern world! [Coffee should always be the largest!- and what the hell is suet?]

The canister has a few dings due to age, but the anodised aluminium base and lid are in good condition. The canister is for sale: $AUD45

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60s bowling case

Bowling case,
made in Australia 1960s

This is a polished leather bowling case – inside it has compartments for two bowls and a jack. The interior is crimson flock – which makes for a nice contrast for whatever stuff you want to carry in it.

On the exterior lid  is a dymo label that reads: West Walllsend B.C. – so I guess this once belonged to a bowling club in West Wallsend. This is lawn bowls, people – not ten pin.

The lock – and key provided- still work; but the hinge at rear has some wear, and there is some delamination of the leather edges internally. Nothing you wouldn’t expect from a polished leather case that is utilitarian in purpose and over fifty years old!

I love vintage suitcases and despise modern handbags- so this mini-case has housed my wallet, phone and keys for a good while. I kept the dymo label because it is an authentic piece of history – and it makes me laugh- and also marks this out as my bag. [In case, you know, anyone mistakes it for theirs!]

The polished leather bowling case is now for sale: $AU25

Travelling Requisites

Ford Sherington suitcase,
made in Australia 1940s

This delightful suitcase was made by Ford Sherington – a well-known purveyor of luxury leather goods in Sydney which started production 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.

The suitcase has an internal label –with flourishing 40s fonts- which says:

“Airway” Made By Ford Sherington Ltd, Manufacturers & Importers of Travelling Requisites, 319 George Street, Sydney.

While the “genuine cowhide”, hinges and fixings were all manufactured in Australia- the locks were made in England. Unfortunately the keys are long gone. The interior is lined with brown tartan, which is clean and intact, with an upper elasticised pocket. Another fantastic overnight case!

The suitcase is for sale: $AU125

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1940s doctors bag

1940s cow hide case,
made in Australia

This is a fabulous ‘barrel-shaped’ case, possibly a doctor’s bag or briefcase, from the 40s. It is made of ‘genuine cow hide’ – as it attests on the interior label, although the leather has been tricked-up to resemble crocodile skin.

The case is in fantastic shape for its age- lock and key still work, hinges in-tact, handles and bottom studs all in-tact. The interior is also in remarkable shape- it’s red tartan-lined with two interior pockets. It would make [and indeed has made me] a wonderful overnight bag.

Suitcases and doctor’s bags from the 30s and 40s are now super collectable; and clean, pristine vintage cases are so much nicer to travel with than modern cases.

The doctors bag is for sale: $AU125

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Bakelite amp meter [sold]

Bakelite amp meter,
Lamb sugar-figurine, made in Australia 1950s

I love bakelite, as you know, and I love scientific/measuring instruments. So this gauge [which measures amps, and still works] is totally up my alley. I am so pleased that the buyer is giving it to a artist who makes toys out of found objects. Imagine this as part of a toy, where the amp needle moves as the toy moves~ magic!

I have resisted collecting figurines, but you know- this sugar lamb – was kinda irresistible.  The ‘sugar’ refers to the rough clay texture which gives the figurine some semblance of realism, and unbeknownst to me, this is highly sought after. This lamb is going to a remote sheep station in Western Australia.

I shall endeavour to buy bakelite gauges and sugar figurines- it’s not just me but you!

Studio Anna kitsch-fest

Studio Anna wall plates & salt and pepper shakers
made in Australia 1950s

I am particularly drawn to kitsch pottery that has landscape or botanical images…so souvenir ware 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.

This very kitschy souvenirware was very popular in the 50s – and then it went out of fashion [in a big way] in the 70s and 80s. Rightly so, the appropriation – and kitschisation- of indigenous motifs was debated and condemned. Now, in this post-modernist era, enough time has passed and enough discussion ensued that we can now look on these very dated images with fondness and nostalgia.

The wall plates have a hanging device on the back, so they can be – hung on a wall; here the cities of Adelaide and Albury are celebrated.  The salt and pepper shakers celebrate Moree. A nice start to a Studio Anna collection.

This collection is for sale: $AU80

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Terra Ceramics ‘Patio’

Terra Ceramics ‘Patio’
made in Australia, c.1965

Terra Ceramics was a pottery run by Bernhard Fiegel, a Dutch-trained potter who immigrated to Australia after the second world war. Like much of my Australian collection, the pottery was in Ashfield [and then Greenacre]- very close to my own locale in Sydney. His pottery produced art pieces, under both the names Terra Ceramics and Terama. The pieces were hand-worked in shape, and then handpainted.

Terra Ceramics was proudly Australian, but I think you can see in these ‘Patio’ pieces, and in another collection ‘Daisy’ featured on this blog, that Fiegel’s Dutch heritage is evident in the motifs. Very modernist, and together with the asymmetrical shapes – very funky and very 60s!

The pottery produced art pieces from the early 60s to the early 80s, so was in production for less than twenty years. This set comprises a teardrop plate, a wall pocket-vase and a pair of – funky-shaped plates. Like many pieces produced in Terra Ceramics in the early days, these have a simple ‘Patio’ backstamp.

All pieces are in excellent vintage condition, and are for sale: $AU75

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70s Australiana

Crystal Craft trivet, made in Australia 1970s
Wiltshire ‘Vogue’ cutlery, made in Australia 1970s

Crystal Craft has become uber trendy for collectors: it is a resin-covered fabric that originated in Queensland in the 70s. This is a super 70s trivet- just look at the forms and colours! And it is great that the piece has it’s original sticker on the base.

The ‘Vogue’ cutlery was designed for Wiltshire by Stuart Devlin- famous for his other work designing the images on Australian coins [all native fauna & flora.] This was his day job – but once those coins were minted I think he gave up his day job! The cutlery are ‘new in box’ never opened or used, and in great condition.

I styled these two items together – I love the 70s colours! – but am happy to sell them separately: $AU35 each.

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50s candlesticks

50s candlesticks
made in Australia

Here is my burgeoning brass & timber candlestick collection. You’ll note they all have the same candle [important stylistically] but the only things that unite the candlesticks is the material and the age.

Admittedly, the second one is timber veneer on top of timber, but timber is timber [especially in the 50s!] The first candlestick is ecclesiastical [came from a church]; and the last two are teak, fashioned after Danish pieces. All made in Australia! – another element that unites the collection.

This could be the start of a great collection – or just be four stylish candlesticks to adorn the dinner table. The candlesticks [sans candles- they are from Ikea!] are for sale: $AU55

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Barometer [sold]

60s barometer,
made in Tasmania, Australia

This is a fabulous wall barometer- and temperature gauge- made from blackwood timber, in the shape of Tasmania.

The barometer was a wedding gift to a couple in the 60s – and has faithfully recorded the air pressure [barometer] and air temperature [thermometer] since then. I particularly like the fonts used for the barometer – it is very old school, where each condition has its own curlicue lettering: ‘stormy, rain, change, fair, very dry.’ That last one is -of course- referring to wit.

In excellent working order, and ready to hang, the barometer is for sale: $AU45