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

Buy Now

1920s cobblers last

Cobblers lastCast-iron shoe last
made in Australia c.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.

The cobblers last is for sale: $AUD45

Buy Now

Cast-iron shoe last

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

Buy Now

Industrial vintage

Metters 'Beacon Light' oven doorMetters ‘Beacon Light’ oven door
made in Sydney c.1930s

Metters Limited, Australia made cast iron ovens in Adelaide from 1891, expanding to a Sydney foundry in 1920 – when the ‘Beacon Light’ ovens were made. Metters items are now very collectible- thanks to the ‘Kooka’ ovens featuring a kookaburra [and the synonym cooker / kooka.]

This old oven door has signs of rust but was rescued from a Council clean-up by a friend of mine: she recognized the intrinsic value of the 30s cast-iron door- and piece of history. No longer part of a functioning oven, this piece is a beautiful reminder of our industrial past.

Mount it on a wall; team it with a bit of Eucalyptus; use it as a door stop or a book end- this relic has a myriad uses. And is a fabulous piece of vintage Australian kitchenalia.

The Beacon Light oven door is for sale: $AUD95

Buy Now

1920s cobblers last

Cobblers lastCast-iron shoe last
made in Australia c.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.

The cobblers last is for sale: $AUD45

Buy Now

Gem Iron

Gem Iron, made in Australia c.1940s
Nipper, HMV figurine, made in Australia c.1950s

This is a beautiful cast iron ‘gem’ scone baking tray. Gem scones were popular in the 40s, and were more like rounded sugar cakes than the scones we know today. The cast iron made for an even heat, and the baking trays – while easy to produce – were expensive to buy. Consequently the gem iron was carefully and loving cleaned and greased after every outing, and so many have survived in good working order. Suffice it to say, with the right recipe [and the internet proliferates with them!] one can continue to pump out gem scones today.

Regarding the gem iron is Nipper, the fox terrier from HMV – His Master’s Voice. You might remember seeing him sitting keenly in front of a gramophone listening to – his master’s voice. HMV started in 1899, producing music recordings and gramophones- Nipper was adopted soon after as the company’s logo. Nipper has no markings to indicate his manufacturer, but he was bought as part of a larger Nipper collection that had begun in the 30s and his original owner remembers buying him in the 50s.

If the gem iron was full of cakes, you can imagine he might have a less forlorn look. He isn’t really part of this collection, but if you like him I’ll pop him in the gem iron package.    For sale: $AUD75

Buy Now