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 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 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.

Styling Retro

Pyrex glass & plastic kitchen ‘stack & see’ canisters
Made in the USA, c. 1968
1 quart canister [=0.95 litres]

I use these canisters- with their funky 60s colours – to store my button collection. Any sort of see-through canister is great for use in the kitchen- so is stackability – but I have repurposed these canisters in my design studio.