Swinging 60s

Arabia ‘Kosmos’ espresso cups
Broadhurst Kathie Winkle ‘Calypso’ platter
made in Finland, England 1960s

Arabia pottery is uber collectble right now: here we have Kosmos, designed by Gunvor Olin-Gronquist [or GOG, as noted on the backstamp.] Kosmos dinner service sets were made between 1962 and 1976; these are espresso cups, for that perfect morning cuppa.

Also featuring in the image- Kathie Winkle for Broadhurst pottery- a ‘Calypso’ platter. This was made in 1963; Kathie Winkle was so prolific in producing different designs [over one hundred] in the 60s that each design was made for less than a year. The transfer stencil outline has been hand-painted, and then over-glazed, so no two pieces are exactly the same.

The Arabia cups are for sale: $AU55/pair, as is the Kathie Winkle platter: $AU35. A fabulous ode to the 60s!

Buy Now

Coffee collection

Ceramic coffee canister
made in Japan, 1960s

Further to my life-long quest to collect every known coffee canister – here is one posing as a coffee house. I’ve styled it with a Nally plastic coffee canister – Australian – of the same vintage. It’s interesting [to me anyway] that coffee wasn’t a big deal in the 60s – so that the canisters were smaller usually than tea- the bigger sized canisters in nested sets always belonged to sugar, rice and flour. Nowadays- I expect- sugar would be the smallest canister and coffee the largest!

Anyhoo- I like the idea of putting all my various single origin and coffee blends in different, miss-matched vintage coffee canisters. So far, all canisters- both plastic and ceramic- are roughly the same size – and just so happen to fit a bag of 250g coffee. So maybe those 60s canister makers did know what they were doing!

The ceramic ‘coffee house’ canister is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale; $AU25

Buy Now

Swinging 60s

Arabia ‘Kosmos’ espresso cups
Broadhurst Kathie Winkle ‘Calypso’ platter
made in Finland, England 1960s

Arabia pottery is uber collectble right now: here we have Kosmos, designed by Gunvor Olin-Gronquist [or GOG, as noted on the backstamp.] Kosmos dinner service sets were made between 1962 and 1976; these are espresso cups, for that perfect morning cuppa.

Also featuring in the image- Kathie Winkle for Broadhurst pottery- a ‘Calypso’ platter. This was made in 1963; Kathie Winkle was so prolific in producing different designs [over one hundred] in the 60s that each design was made for less than a year. The transfer stencil outline has been hand-painted, and then over-glazed, so no two pieces are exactly the same.

The Arabia cups are for sale: $AU55/pair, as is the Kathie Winkle platter: $AU35. A fabulous ode to the 60s!

Buy Now

Wall pocket vases #50sstyle

Diana wall pocket vases
made in Sydney, Australia 1950s

I have posted much about Diana, a Marrickville [Sydney] pottery that produced from 1940 to 1975. I live very close to Marrickville, so became fascinated with this pottery and um…collected…a…bit…of it….. ..  .. . .

By the late 50s Diana was experimenting with ‘Australian’ colours [read: bush colours] and moving away from the classic 50s pastels of powder blue, baby pink, soft yellow, etc. These wall pocket vases were also made in those colours, but now they were being hand-coloured with the greens and browns of the eucalypt bushland.

The hand-applied glaze meant that no two vases were the same- and the new colours were enthusiastically taken up by a community eager to embrace new concepts of nationalism. Every vase shape and form was re-created using the new colourway; so you have art deco inspired shapes – to more modernist, assymetrical shapes- but now having the new nationalist colours.

These three wall pockets are part of my own collection- but alas- I do not have the wall space to do them justice and they have been boxed up for a decade. It’s now time they went to someone’s wall – to display eucalyptus sprays – of course!

The three Diana wall pockets are for sale: $AU225

Buy Now

Aboriginal motif pottery – hello 1950s

Studio Anna & Florenz potteryStudio Anna ‘crab’ plate, made in Sydney Australia 1956
Florenz Pottery dish and ashtray, made in Sydney Australia 1950s

Both Studio Anna and Florenz Pottery had their pottery studios in Marrickville, Sydney – very near when I now live. The potteries lasted until the 70s- when gentrification and housing pressures saw them close. Marrickville is still a gritty inner-city place with an industrial/suburban mix.

Florenz started producing studio pottery in the 1930s and Studio Anna in 1953. These slip cast pottery items were made as souvenirware – the 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; and invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.

The crab plate has some very minor chips on its edge [click on the image for zoom view] – and is marked Studio Anna on the underside. I am particularly drawn to the funky rounded-triangle shape of this piece. The dish and ashtray are unmarked, but presumed Florenz Pottery due to the quality/typology of the images and glazes. The three pieces make a nice ensemble with the rich ochres, and black and white patternings.

The three pieces are for sale: $AUD85 [price reflects the condition of the Studio Anna ‘crab’ plate]

Buy Now

Smiths Ringers

Smiths RingersRetro kitchen timers
Smiths Ringers, made in England, 1940s,1950s, 1960s

Perhaps I should have styled these three ‘ringers’ chronologically- as it is, the green ringer is bakelite and steel, with a glass cover- circa 1940, the middle ringer is the youngest- a mere slip of a thing from the 60s – brown coated metal, and the last, red ringer is all plastic- from the 1950s.

Each ringer is somewhat redolent of its age. I do like the fact that the 60s ringer is called ‘Ringer Girl’- if only the other two had similarly inspired names. All the ringers have different bell sounds- naturally- and due to their age and hard working life, are more suited as objects of beauty, rather than function. The green bakelite is a little faded, the brown metal is a little rusted in parts- as you’d expect from vintage items.

The ‘lemon’ tray lends a stylistic note to the image- but if you’d like to have it along with the ringers- let me know. This set is for sale: $AUD95

Buy Now

60s browny goodness

Graham Kerr lazy susan, Vogue plate, Mikasa jugGraham Kerr lazy susan, made in New Zealand, c.1960s
Vogue patterned melamine plate, made in Australia c.1960s
Mikasa jug, made in Japan, c.1960s

And now for something a little different- a collection of items connected by colour, and age.

You may remember the Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr? The original TV Masterchef. It not, then perhaps this quote from the introduction to one of his cookbooks from 1971 might jog your memory:

“To millions he was TV’s clumsily ingratiating Galloping Gourmet, a master of sauces and saucy innuendo…”

He seems to have also produced a line in timber veneer lazy susans, to which he added his name in fancy gold script. This lazy susan still works a treat- they made sturdy ball bearings in the 60s. It would be great to have it in the centre of one’s dining table, holding saucy-sauces for your dining companions’ pleasure!

The Vogue plate is a ‘squircle’- a round-edged square shape and it features a lovely abstract composition of cooking paraphernalia. And the lovely caramel/two-toned jug by Mikasa [“oven to table to dishwasher”, #c4800] completes the collection.

A lovely trio of browny-60s goodness. This set is for sale: $AUD65

Buy Now

#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
Buy Now

70s goblets

Diana ‘Safari’ goblets
made in Australia 1970s

My regular readers know how much I love Diana pottery- made in a pottery near where I now live, in Marrickville, Sydney from 1940 to 1975. I especially love the 40s and 50s pottery…and until recently have not so much enjoyed the 70s [having actually lived through it in Australia– it was rough.]

BUT now I have a photographer son- who takes all my images- and he totally embraces the 70s. Where I see brutalist brutalism, he sees a weird, fresh take on colour and form.

I have not- I note- seen him embrace my love of the 40s and 50s. I have tried. Lord knows. Parental responsibility is taken seriously. But- no dice. Clearly, we can only embrace that which we have not personally lived through. Until… we see it through fresh eyes.

For Diana ‘Safari’ aficionados- I have other pieces available on the blog. And- the goblets are for sale: $AU25.  They are in great vintage condition.
Buy Now

Hanstan coffee pot

Hanstan coffee pot & mugs
made in Australia, 1970s

Hanstan pottery was a collaboration between Hans Wright and Stan Burrage – hence Hanstan- that started in Victoria in 1962. The pottery continued to make domestic ware pottery well into the 1980s. Hanstan collectors will know that the pottery is always two-tone: either matt white and mission brown, or 70s orange and misson brown. The brown part of the pottery is rough glazed to contrast with the smooth slip glaze of the other colour.

The coffee pot, collectors will also know – is now quite rare and hard to find. I have had the mugs and the matching sugar bowl for some time, and the coffee pot, completing the set, has only just been found. All pieces are in excellent vintage condition; the coffee pot is completely unstained and looks like it’s never been used.

I also have examples of Hanstan white/brown pottery- spice jars and a salt pig – elsewhere on this blog.

The Hanstan coffee set is for sale: $AU125

Buy Now