#70sstyle

Bessemer platter, made in Australia 1970s
Vogue jugs, made in Australia 1970s

I have posted 70s melamine ware previously- I am drawn to the colours and forms of these beautifully designed pieces.  I collect two Australian manufacturers- Bessemer and Vogue.

Bessemer products – made from melamine – were made by the Nylex Melmac Corporation which started production in the mid 60s. This beautiful platter [and the subject of previous posts, I have collected a lot of Bessemer!] was designed by Lionel Suttie, an industrial designer.

It’s interesting that Mr Suttie is remembered as Bessemer’s lead designer: this was the first time that tableware made from plastic [melamine] was thought to be worthy of design – with an illustrative art statement. The platter certainly pays homage to late mid-century modernist design in its colours and abstract forms.

Bessemer is now quite collectable: I have seen some incredible prices on items in ‘antique’ shops. I’m not sure I can come at the idea of retro collectables being antiques, but clearly others can. Bessemer rates a mention in Adrian Franklin’s Retro: A Guide to the mid-20th Century Design Revival [2011, NewSouth Publishing.]

While Bessemer led the way, employing an industrial designer to design tableware, Vogue followed suit. ‘Vogue Australia’ is imprinted on the bottom of these jugs; since the manufacturer name Vogue was also used in North America, at about the same time.

The platter and jugs can be used as intended- melamine is a strong plastic resistant to scratching and these pieces are ‘as new’ – or they can form part of a funky 70s display. 70s melamine is totally collectable.

The platter and jugs are for sale: $AU45
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70s kitchenalia

70s Bessemer 'avocado' platter and cup& saucer, Owl trivetBessemer platter and cup & saucer, made in Australia 1970s
Wrought iron owl trivet, made in Taiwan 1970s

Bessemer ‘avocado’ ware is very collectible- here we have a platter and cup and saucer. Avocado refers to the particular shade of 70s green; this colour is rarely seen nowadays and is so heavily associated with the 70s.

Owls too- in all their forms- are highly collectible. This is a must-have for any owl collector; a wrought iron trivet for the kitchen. Highly stylised in that quintessential 70s way, the trivet has little rubber feet to lift it from the work surface, and it is simply marked ‘Taiwan’ with no other makers’ mark.

All pieces are in excellent [unused] condition, and are for sale: $65

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