Lomography

Debonair camera, made in Hong Kong 1967
Observer books, published 1958- 1975

I love old cameras – which now have a new life as lomography cameras. This Debonair “all plastic” camera was made in the 50s- it takes 120 film, and had a ‘super lens no. 809’.

It’s a point-and-shoot camera, fixed f/8 lens. Luckily 120mm film is still available – and – did I mention that lomography photos are uber cool?

Meanwhile, I also collect Observer books. This lovely series [1-100] started in the UK with no.1 British Birds published in 1937; and to collect all 100 in series is a prise.

Here we have a couple of my doubles:
1          Birds                1971
11        Aircraft             1958
21        Automobiles    1975
41        Heraldry          1966

However- you have already seen that the first in the series has been reprinted under many titles, and dates. And- to add to the collector enthusiasm- real enthusiasts only collect nos. 1 – 79, when the outer cover became hardback [with an image, no less.] So gauche.

Some Observer collectors just collect every edition of one published number. Some Observer collectors collect the first editions of every title. The rest of us are happy to have as many of the 1- 100 series in our collections.

The Debonair camera is for sale: $AU18
Observers [with dust jackets]: AU$10 each

Jetset- jet….- set….

Jetset solid state radio & phonograph
made in Japan 1969

The radio and phonograph work on this portable turntable, which has the standard 33 and 45 settings, but I suspect a new stylus would improve the sound quality substantially. I like the way the phonograph arm is recessed into the body of the player, you can just see the round metal section that houses the needle, to the middle right of the housing. How good would it be to take it on a picnic and play some old vinyl?

The Jetset runs on mains power – or- takes 4 x c size batteries- it is good to go, or on the go.

The aluminium knobs are a little scuffed- probably from 40 years of use, but other than that, this lovely orange portable radio/turntable is good to go.  For sale: $AUD95

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Cardboard scales

Martin’s technical scales, made in Australia c.1930s

Eyre & Spottiswoode Publishers Ltd draughtsman’s set of cardboard scales, made in London c.1920s

Both sets of cardboard scales are complete, having a series of scales from  A – H, and come in their original boxes. Cardboard scales were used before plastic scales took over, and it’s rare to find complete sets which aren’t too battered. I confess to loving scales- it’s something to do with the detail and their mechanical nature, and of course nostalgia…these days all my drawing is digital and one rarely uses physical scale rules.

The British set of scales was owned by one F. Gelburn, who attended the British Institute of Engineering Technology.

For sale: $AUD75

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Westclox

Westclox clocks :
‘Big Ben’ made in USA  c.1916
‘Baby Ben’ USA  c.1964
‘America’ USA  c.1932 and
Five Rams clock, made in china c.1970s

All clocks are wind-up, with alarms, in working order. Big Ben is missing a ring on its top, but I think it looks better without it. America is quite rusted, but it being made in the 30s it’s entitled to be. Baby Ben, being of a later vintage, has a funky 60s aesthetic and glow in the dark numbers and hands. Westclox are very collectible, with whole websites devoted to their identification, buying and selling.

Clocks look great massed together – just make sure you have three or more.  For sale: $AUD115

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Gayart Flower Wheel

“Easy to use! Fun to make! Gay and colourful flowers may be used to decorate bags, hats & dresses or make novelty earrings & costume jewellery!”  The blurb on the packaging says it all.

I can’t find any information on the date/age of the Flower Wheels, but anecdotally a friend of mine remembers making raffia flowers with them in primary school in the early 70s. I hope she made the raffia flowers into novelty earrings! or costume jewellery! Wouldn’t that be fun!

I like- and collect- sewing and knitting paraphernalia, and love these two gauges: the transparent plastic “Korbond 4” x 1” knitting gauge and the “Delyta dressmaker gauge”.

For sale: $AUD65

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Faux tortoise shell knitting needles & needle box

These vintage faux tortoise shell knitting needles are much prized by knitters and artists alike : very collectable. Knitters like them because they are super flexible and so easier to work with, and artists refashion the needles into art / jewellery : see Etsy and Pinterest for examples. Because the material is very pliable, artists use hot water to mould the needles into new shapes/patterns.

This collection has twenty pairs of needles, up to needle gauge 6mm, this being the largest gauge made in this material.

The knitting needle box is made by Continental Plastics Pty Ltd, Melbourne [very continental!] – is a fantastic baby blue colour, with needles gauge sizes on the lid. If you were to collect these boxes – they come in a range of classic 50s pastel colours [baby blue, pink, yellow] although they were manufactured in the late 60s.

For sale: $AUD165

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Retro Italian souvenir images

This collection was inspired after I visited Italy. It comprises a c.1960s Venice guidebook, 60s postcards in book form from Venice, Roma and Florence and 60s souvenir film slides from Rome and the Vatican.

The souvenir guide book is in excellent condition and is quite funny to read with its mangled English. The souvenir postcard books have never been used and are still complete – the old retro photographs are very stage-managed and have been colour-touched in that delightful 60s era style.

The souvenir slides have never been opened, and I expect they will have that lovely rosy patina of all old slides. They could be viewed using the Haminex slide viewers, posted below!  For sale: $AUD55

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Retro Italian souvenir plates

A selection of melamine printed plates, coasters and ashtrays, all c.1960. They were all made in Italy, and while three are have classic photos of Milan, Florence and Pisa, I am drawn to the horrible office block depicted in the ashtray [!] and the electrical goods made by AEPI which are described as ‘electrodomestica’.

For sale: $AUD55

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Jetset

Jetset solid state radio & phonograph
Runs from the mains & takes 4 x c size batteries
Made in Japan c.1969

The radio and phonograph work on this portable turntable, which has the standard 33 and 45 settings, but I suspect a new stylus would improve the sound quality substantially. I like the way the phonograph arm is recessed into the body of the player, you can just see the round metal section that houses the needle, to the middle right of the housing. How good would it be to take it on a picnic and play some old vinyl?

The aluminium knobs are a little scuffed- probably from 40 years of use, but other than that, this lovely orange portable radio/turntable is good to go.  For sale: $AUD95

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Rex Aluminium Company

Rex Aluminium Company
Raco Quality Kitchenware
Made in Australia c. 1960s

These aluminium canisters are also in my studio- they house more sewing paraphernalia. some of these containers have sections for removable labels, which is ideal for describing the new contents. the two larger containers have bakelite handles, while the small ‘sago’ labelled container to the front has an extruded aluminium handle.