Carlton Ware ‘contemporary ware’

Carlton Ware leaf dishes and salt & pepper shakersCarlton Ware ‘Contemporary Ware’ dishes and salt and pepper shakers, made in England 1951-1961

Many people are familiar with the botanically-themed Carlton Ware ceramics [and having a background in horticulture, I am quite ‘familiar’ with them myself.]  Various daisy/foxglove/wild rose motifs were made in the 30s, 40s and continuing into the 50s, but in 1951 a modernist theme emerged.  These leaf-shaped dishes and cubic salt and pepper shakers are an example of this and were dubbed ‘contemporary’ ware.

The four monochrome dishes have a wonderful abstract leaf shape, and so appeal to me. I also like the austerity and the somewhat obtuse cube-shaped shakers. These pieces are now quite hard to come by, and are all in perfect condition.

For sale: $AUD150

Buy Now

Blue Moon

Poole Blue Moon tea cups,
made in England 1960-1975

Poole is a very well known pottery, which started operating in Dorset, England in 1873 – and continues today. I am particularly fond of the pottery produced between the 30s and 60s.

These tea cups – very modern in shape and sans handle – are part of the Cameo range. The colour is ‘Blue Moon’ –a deep blue exterior, with a slightly off-white interior [pure white would be too stark…this off-white is just right.] The set of eight tea cups and saucers have the traditional mid-century Poole mark on each piece.

The cups don’t hold much tea – not that I have used them as such – the lovely colour and repetition of form has had them serve a purely decorative function. But they would make for a lovely tea party.

For sale: $AUD145
Buy Now

Blue spotty pottery [sold]

50s blue spotted potteryBlue spotty ware
made in Australia 1950s

Today’s collection comes from a friend- who has been collecting 50s spotted ceramics since she was a design student in the 70s. No-one was collecting spotty things then- and she cleaned up! Now of course every one recognises 50s things as soon as a spot is sighted.

The shakers are in the classic ‘acorn’ shaping – and like the bowl, the spots are raised areas of glaze rather than merely an applied shape in the glaze.

Like the black and white spotted pottery- also collected by Maisy, and featured below -these pieces are unmarked. This isn’t unusual for 50s Australian pottery- and while literally thousands of spotty pieces were made it is increasingly difficult to find these pieces. The pieces are all in good condition without chips or cracks or crazing- which makes them even rarer.

Each piece is in great condition without cracks or chips [click on the image for a zoom image]- and are for sale: $AUD45

Airline travel bag

Orbitours travel bag, 1960sAirline travel bag
Made in Hong Kong, 1960s

Airline bags have become SO popular and collectable that there are now reproductions of classic Qantas bags- made in China, c. 2014- being sold for crazy prices on EBay. A REAL Qantas travel bag should cost in the order of $AU100 – but a repro? That should go for ten bucks [that’s 2 bucks for materials & assembly, 1 buck to ship it, and 7 dollars or 70% profit to the seller.] AND it should be clearly marked as a repro.

So- how to tell a fake? Well, take this Orbitour travel bag for example. It has its original sticker inside:

‘Nylon Coated Plastic
Made In Hong Kong”.

Sporting an original sticker, and made in Hong Kong [rather than China]; plus – it has some stitching missing on one handle and a little on the zip. Repros are startlingly perfect, looking like a facsimile of the original. You can’t fake age!

And the colour- that super cobalt blue with slightly wonky white font – it’s correct for the 60s.

I’ve teamed the Orbitours bag with an old 40s school case. It’s had some repair work- new rivets hold a new internal timber frame to the lid, but the locks and hinges and metal handle are all still original and working. It was made by the ‘American Bag Stores, Travelling Goods Specialists’, in Australia [as described on the internal label.] Talk about an original!

The Orbitours bag [Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane] is for sale: $AU55
Buy Now
The old school case is for sale: $AU45
Buy Now

70s water jugs

70s whiskey water jugsWhiskey water jugs,
made in Australia, England and France, 1970s

These are whiskey water jugs – and they are both practical and highly collectable. They are ‘advertisement’ jugs mass produced and given away to pubs –not sold to the public- with the idea that the public would be so impressed by the glamour of having water added to their drink by a ‘branded jug’ that they would continue to order their brandy/whisky by name. Ah! the70s, when advertising and impressing people was so easy!

The White Horse Scotch Whiskey jug was made by Wade; the Haig Scotch Whiskey jug was made by Carlton Ware- and has a beautiful integral handle and fantastic 70s square-shaped styling. The last jug is now quite rare: a Marie Brizard Liquers de France, made by Digoin – with a fabulous pouring spout.

All jugs are in fantastic vintage condition- with the slight exception of the Marie Brizard, which has some wear to the print on the reverse of the jug.

I also have some 60s whiskey jugs: a Rene Briand Brandy jug marked ‘Ceramica E. Piloa, Carpignano S.’ and a McCallum’s jug with the usual Wade branding. You really can’t have too many whiskey jugs!

These jugs are for sale: $AUD45 each.

Butterscotch bakelite

Alton butterscotch bakelite utensilsAlton utensils
made in Bankstown, Sydney Australia 1940s

This collection features butterscotch bakelite- very collectable; with silver plate [EPSP A1] – which is inscribed on each piece. EPSP stands for ‘electro-plated silver plate’, and the A1 indicates that this is the best silver plate. Enough said!

Alton made cutlery from its factory in Bankstown from the late 1890s until the 1950s. With the demise of large cutlery settings [consisting of forty or fifty pieces] which were purchased as wedding gifts in the 50s for more practical utensils – like Splayds, also a Sydney invention, the factory closed.

From left to right we have: a pair of salad servers, a fish knife and a teaspoon. All relics from one of those large cutlery sets – but all in pristine vintage condition; silver plate is intact and the butterscotch bakelite handles are entire, with no chips or fading.

The utensils are shown on a blue bakelite Sellex plate, also made in Sydney in the 40s. It showcases the butterscotch handles beautifully.

This collection is for sale: $AU75

Buy Now

TAA- the friendly way [sold]

TAA flight food containersTAA inflight food boxes
made in Australia 1960s

TAA – Trans Australian Airlines; who doesn’t remember ‘Up, Up and Away with TAA…..” was an Australian domestic airline operating between 1946 and 1996. These two melamine inflight food boxes were made exclusively for TAA- the baby blue colour being the branded colour for the airline. The boxes are in excellent condition which is good news for the airline paraphernalia collectors out there.

I have previously posted TAA inflight boxes- a pair of square boxes- these are the accompanying rectangular-shaped boxes. They are marked underneath: ‘TAA B6-1-7 74 Melmac’. The Nylex Melmac Corporation started production in the mid-60s in Melbourne and TAA was one of their biggest customers.

The boxes are for sale : $AUD25

Bakelite picnic & measuring cups

Selex and Helix bakelite picnic and measuring cupsBakelite picnic and measuring cups
made by Sellex and Helix, in Australia c. 1940-1950

These bakelite pieces have retained their wonderful colour, and work beautifully as a set. The set of 5 nested picnic cups in green and the large red measuring cup have an ‘inverted beehive’ shape, and both were made by Sellex. The red measuring cup measures 1 cup on its upper rim, then ½, 1/3, and ¼ cups on the graduated rings of the ‘beehive’.

The set of blue measuring cups are by Helix, and measure ½, 1/3 and ¼ cups. I thought perhaps the larger 1 cup was missing from the set, but apparently Helix only ever made a set of three measuring cups, in this style. It was the 40s and bakelite was costly to produce- it was considered an extravagance to make a 1 cup measure when you had a perfectly good ½ cup measure that could be used twice!

I recently found another set of Helix graduated measuring cups in red- they fit right in with this colourful kitchenalia set of bakelite pieces.

This collection is for sale: $AU95 [and another set of red Helix measuring cups available upon request.]

Studio glass paperweight

Controlled glass paperweightStudio glass paperweight
made in Australia, c. 1960s

This egg-shaped paperweight shows the 60s fascination with ‘controlled bubbles’ glass technique. Controlled bubbles turns up in objects as diverse as vases, ashtrays and objects de art. And paperweights.

Paperweights seem slightly redundant in these days of the ‘paperless’ office. But how lovely is this studio glass piece? Click on the image for a larger view and admire the colour and bubbles!

The paperweight is unsigned, which is not unusual in art pieces of the 60s, but I have it on good authority that it is Australian. Murano glass in Italy, and art glass makers in France, Britain and America were all producing controlled bubbled pieces in the 60s.

There are many paperweight collectors out there [check out www.paperweight.org] and museums dedicated to collecting and exhibiting paperweights. From the Paperweight Collectors Association I learnt that there are three periods of paperweight collecting:

The Classic Period [1840-1880] – mostly French made paperweights
The Folk Art Period [1880-1940] and
The Contemporary Period [1940 to present]

A very venerable history!

I have several other controlled bubbles paperweights from the 60s for sale on this blog: and this very collectible paperweight is for sale: $AUD75

Buy Now

Footed egg cups

Shoe Shoe egg cupsShoe Shoe footed egg cups
made in Hong Kong, c.1970s

I collect – and love- Carlton Ware, as you know from all your avid reading of my posts to date. Carlton Ware produced ‘Walkingware’ teapots, cups, salt & pepper shakers – you name it – in 1973. Very beautifully crafted crockery items on two legs, often with jaunty socks or stockings or with great shoes. Some static, some running.

I don’t have any Walkingware. It’s now far too expensive for my meager budget.

So – when I came across these plastic ‘Shoe Shoe’ [fabulous name, no?] egg cups from Hong Kong – I had to collect them. I have now have four black, four red, and four blue egg cups – one in its original box. It is my love of kitsch, and my appreciation for a good knock-off when I see one that led to this collection.

And they are practical to boot! Won’t break when you wash ‘em. That sturdy plastic will outlast us all.

This set of four is for sale: $AUD30 [but let me know if you’d like more!]

Buy Now