Gem Iron

Gem Iron
made in Australia 1940s

Gem scones are unique to Australia: they are ‘damper’ scones made from flour, water and milk – the basics- as this was all that was available during the war. Damper is a rough bread that can be made over a camp fire.

Real scones are made with sugar…and- served with jam and cream. Real luxury after the war. But during the war when this gem iron was made – you were lucky to be able to assemble flour and milk. Water was available as an alternative to the milk…if necessary…or to water down the milk to make the gem scones.

This gem iron made twelve scones over the fire, or in the oven. It is made of cast-iron, and now has a patina of rust. Good thing that it can be easily cleaned [if you wish] – or if like me you like the historical patina…

…the gem iron is for sale: $AU45.
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Timber rules!

Timber rules!
made in Australia 1950s

Since I have – in the olden days- drafted using old fashion timber scales – and also love dressmaking – HOW MUCH do I love these oldy-timey timber rules?

Here we have a dressmakers square, a triangular scale ruler and – a ruler. All in solid timber. Beautifully made and still useful. Made to last. Increasingly rare to find now- [and now all made in plastic] I have teamed the three timber rulers with a fabulous 50s packet of photographic corners.

The three rulers are for sale: $AU75
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Crazy coloured photo

Glass ashtray
made in Australia 1950s

I LOVE vintage retouched photographs! They are always OTT and totally kitschy. This one is in the form of a glass astray and was made as a souvenir piece in the 50s.

I’ve collected a few of these – and even though they were originally ashtrays- the nostalgic photos of 50s Australian icons makes them so much more. And nowadays of course glass ashtrays can be used as pin dishes – with the added delight of a crazy coloured photo.

Marine Parade, Coolangatta- ashtray is for sale: $AU10
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Date stamp #lastcentury

Timber handled date stamp
made in Australia, last century

I love stationery – and vintage stationery even better. I have collected a number of date stamps [see countless posts below] and a fantastic anodized stamp-holder [also see post below.]  To this collection I have added another vintage date stamp.

Made in Australia 1960s [as attested by the timber, rather than plastic handle] this date stamp was used in a Post Office. It’s still functional, though only if you’re interested in last centuries dates. [And who isn’t?}

I have some ink pads [also vintage – fancy that] that render all these stamps useful.

Stamp like it’s 1999!

The stamp is for sale: $AU25
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Framed rose print

Framed rose print, 60sFramed rose print
made in Australia 1960s

Kitsch to the max- this rose print has a bakelite frame. Roses are so evocative of the 60s – and the OTT retouched photo is so retouched it’s difficult to tell where the photo finishes and the retouching begins.

The rose print is only small- 100mm diameter, but boy the red/green/blue [technically ‘cyan’] palette packs a punch .I’ve styled the frame with a small dolly, also from the 60s. I had one of these…I remember the over-sized head and wild hairstyle.

The framed rose print is ready to hang, and is for sale: $AU15
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50s Atlas

Australasian WONDER ATLAS
published in Australia 1950s

Australasian WONDER ATLAS! An Atlas for the AIR AGE. NEW Up-to date Edition.

My partner and I collect Australian Atlases. Because: Maps. Kitsch. Graphs. Kitschy drawings. Idealised images of Australia in the 50s.

This one is a beauty!

It’s in fantastic vintage condition. Last week at our local primary school book fair we found another 50s Atlas. It has ink blobs on the cover, thumbed pages, scrawls from numerous children throughout, and the old library card in the front. It’s similarly fantastic- I love the use, wear and tear and obvious appeal that maps have.

If anyone has an old Australian Atlas- let me know!

Cast-iron shoe last

Cast iron shoe last [1920s]Cast-iron shoe last
made in Australia 1920s

This is a ‘dual’ cast-iron cobblers shoe last- there are two different shapes on which to stretch and shape leather to make shoes. Cast-iron was used as it maintains its shape when in contact with wet leather and the mechanical stresses of stretching and shaping shoes.

Nowadays these heavy items are used as book ends, door stops or simply as decorative industrial forms.

There is something very satisfying about repurposing an industrial antique- giving it a new purpose and lease of life- and the functional design of the last means it is stable either end up.

Pictured here with a pineapple- the shoe last lends gravitas to anything!

The cobblers last is for sale: $AUD45

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#Crystal Craft!!!

Crystal Craft, made in Australia 1970s

Crystal Craft has become uber trendy for collectors: it’s a resin-covered fabric that originated in Queensland in the 70s. These two pieces – turtle ashtray and dolphin wall plaque- feature ‘marine opal’ [aka polished abalone shell for New Zealand readers.] ….Although, clearly, marine opal sounds much better.

I take some comfort in knowing that while abalone was “taken by divers from the Pacific” [as Crystal Craft labels inform] at least the whole animal was used. The abalone shell polishes up a treat and looks great under resin!

The Crystal Craft turtle and dolphin are for sale: $AU35

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Depression era hand-made scone-cutter

Depression era hand-made scone-cutter
Australia, 1930s

Depression era hand-made items are having somewhat of a resurgence at the moment. Especially kitchenalia; into which category this scone-cutter neatly fits.

It was made by someone in their kitchen [with the help of a soldering iron] in the 1930s. Scones were a simple flour-and-water batter cake so most depression era families relied on them to either bulk out their evening meal; or – with any luck- by adding jam the ‘cake’ became a sweet item for desert.

Scones – with jam AND cream became popular in the 1940s and 50s- after the depression- and as a direct influence from England. Clotted cream and scones served at high tea became good old Aussie scones with a cup of tea. Either way, the scone-cutter lived on and has been cutting scones for decades!

The scone-cutter is for sale: $AU15
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