Aboriginal motif kitsch

50s Aboriginal motif s&p, jugAboriginal motif salt & pepper shaker sets, and small jug
made in Australia c.1950s

While none of these items has a maker’s mark, the salt and pepper shakers at the back are possibly by Terra Ceramics, and the round shakers to the left are possibly Florenz Pottery. The small jug is probably Studio Anna. All these potteries were making tourist and souvenir pottery by the 1950s, and these appropriated [and westernised] indigenous motifs were hugely popular. Post war arts and crafts saw a rise in the popularity of Australiana – replacing traditional English motifs with ‘Australian’ themes; invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.

This group works well as a set, or could form the basis of a larger collection. The items on their own are very kitsch…but somehow when grouped the kitschness is subverted into a subtler aesthetic.

This set is for sale: $AU125

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Black and white- and plastic chrome

Breakfast set,
made in Hong Kong, 1960s

This is an- as new- never been used- breakfast set; two eggcups and salt and pepper shakers. They are made in state-of-the-art plastics; you’ll note the ‘plastic’ chrome feet which were revolutionary in the 60s!

Plastics used for everyday kitchenware was also revolutionary- the space race bought more than just lustreware to the ceramic industry. This set of four was sold to the restaurant industry; the black and white colourings evoked the checkerboard tiles of every diner and milk bar in the western world.

The pieces haven’t been used, and so are in pristine condition- just ready for your use in the 21st Century.  They are for sale: $AU25

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Aboriginal motif kitsch

50s Aboriginal motif s&p, jugAboriginal motif salt & pepper shaker sets, and small jug
made in Australia c.1950s

While none of these items has a maker’s mark, the salt and pepper shakers at the back are possibly by Terra Ceramics, and the round shakers to the left are possibly Florenz Pottery. The small jug is probably Studio Anna. All these potteries were making tourist and souvenir pottery by the 1950s, and these appropriated [and westernised] indigenous motifs were hugely popular. Post war arts and crafts saw a rise in the popularity of Australiana – replacing traditional English motifs with ‘Australian’ themes; invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.

This group works well as a set, or could form the basis of a larger collection. The items on their own are very kitsch…but somehow when grouped the kitschness is subverted into a subtler aesthetic.

This set is for sale: $AU125

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Random retro assemblage

50-60s random assemblageIlford audio tape box c.1960s
Kewpie doll c.1950s
Cast iron switch plate c.1950s
Table marker c.1960s

An assemblage of retro things united by a scale//shape//colour theme; small, square, blue, black and white. And text.

All made in Australia, 50s-60s.

All four items were bought individually- waiting for some companion piece to make a collection. They are all still waiting…but while waiting…I like the collage they make together.

That’s the beauty of a retro collection…even while waiting to complete a collection – mixing and matching elements makes for an interesting – and ever changing- spectacle.

This weird and wonderful collection is for sale: $AUD75

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Retro gauges

Industrial gaugesIndustrial gauges made in Australia 1940s-1950s

This collection set comprises 6 gauges, all rescued from various machines now put out to pasture. I collected them with a view to making an art work – they all have that fabulous industrial vibe – but just haven’t gotten round to it. And truth be told- they look just as great heaped together as a collection on a shelf.

In the same way that I love vintage kitchen scales, slide rules and cameras – I love gauges. It’s something about the moving parts and the way that functional objects were crafted so beautifully in the 40s and 50s.

For sale: $AUD95 [I would love to see what you will do with the gauges…]

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Semak Vitamizer

Semak ‘Vitamizer’ electric blender
made in Melbourne, c.1953

This beautiful bakelite blender is fully functioning – it has starred at many cocktail parties at my house as it’s fantastic for crushing ice and blending drinks. [Haven’t tested its ‘Vitamizer’ qualities, being too far gone on cocktails….]

Later versions of the Vitamizer have a bakelite body and clear glass top, and Semak still makes Vitamizers today, having started the company in 1948.  As far as I can ascertain, the fully-bakelite models like this one were only ever made in black and white. Even the electric plug is bakelite.

The Vitamizer works on 240 V /120 W, and has serial number SN 6-510 stamped on the metal base. Perfect for the retro kitchen!      For sale: $AUD125

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