60s kitschiness [is my kinda kitschiness]

60s kitschinessMelbourne tray, made in Hong Kong, 1960s
Hornsea sugar bowl, made in England, 1960s
Diana ramekins, made in Australia, 1960s.

An ode to 60s kitschiness – a bar tray featuring the beautiful city of Melbourne in the 60s- terrible image, much touched-up and with an explanatory label; a green ‘Heirloom’ sugar bowl, stoneware designed and produced by John Clappison in 1966 for Hornsea; and a pair of Diana ramekins, made in Marrickville, Sydney in the late 60s.

A range of 60s aesthetics: the tacky, the patterned and the late-modernist. All now very desirable and collectable. People collect bar-themed paraphenalia [‘barphenalia’] – Hornsea is oh-so collectable now, and Diana pottery [and ramekins especially] is becoming very desirable.

All these items are in good vintage condition, and are for sale: Melbourne bar tray: $AU20, Hornsea Heirloom sugar bowl: $AU25, and the Diana ramekins: $AU20.

Diana collection

re:retro shelves & collection1940s Diana pottery

This is an image of bookshelves I designed for our front entrance room. The bookshelves were envisaged as a series of ‘boxes’ to allow me to catalogue the books, and as a framing device for parts of my collection.  I can change the ensemble pieces around easily – and so far it’s half / half between the books and the collection. These pieces are 40s and 50s Diana, from a pottery that operated in Marrickville, Sydney from 1940 to 1975. Diana pottery had many iterations, but I like these brown and green coloured pieces the best, and I particularly like those jugs with the quasi-kangaroo leg shapes.

I don’t think I can part with my brown-and-green Diana collection, but thought I could use the shelving device to showcase other parts of the collection that I can reluctantly say goodbye to.

 

50s jug/vase

Diana jugDiana J-7 jug
made in Sydney, Australia 1958

This art deco inspired jug had many incarnations: it was made from 1941-1966. This particular jug was made in the late 50s- when textured splatter glaze was all the rage. You have to hand it to Diana- they could reproduce an essentially 20s form in a whole range of finishes- from single colour, shiny glazes, to sponge dual glazes – to this sort of typical 50s ‘modernist’ glaze – to sell the same shaped jug in earthenware.

The J-7 jug has been documented by the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney: http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/menu.php and appears on anniescollectables.com as being worth $138. I think it can be equally be used as a jug or a vase. I have styled it here with Gerberas.

The Diana jug/vase is for sale: $AUD95

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40s Australiana

Diana Flannel Flower pie dishDiana ‘Flannel Flower’ pie dish, made in Sydney, Australia 1940s

I collect Diana pottery- and as a landscape architect I am particularly fond of the Australiana series of flowers produced in the 40s. Here we have the flannel flower, hand-painted- in a pie dish. The Flannel Flower is the floral emblem of NSW [and has been associated with this State since Federation in 1901.] I wouldn’t say that this is a terribly accurate or particularly artistic rendering of the flannel flower but it represents an important milestone in Australian pottery- where the fashions and obsession with all things English were replaced with a nationalistic interest in Australian iconography.

I have posted several other Diana Flannel Flower pieces [see several posts, below] but this is the first pie dish I have come across. It’s in excellent condition and clearly stamped Diana on the back.

I’ve teamed the pie dish with a little whimsy- a 40s koala figurine smoking a pipe. Not so much Australian iconography as Australian kitsch at its best!

The pie dish is for sale: $AUD75 [and I’ll throw in the koala as well!]

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50s Diana jug

50s Diana jugDiana jug
made in Sydney, Australia 1950

This is a fantastic Diana jug- described as J4 and selling for 9/- in 1950, when it was made. That’s 9 shillings- 9 ‘bob’ in the old parlance [or just less than half a pound!]

The jug was produced in this matt white glaze, and the brown and green drip glaze that has featured previously on this blog. I collect Diana in the brown & green colourings- but love the deco stylings of this jug and am sorely tempted to keep it.

I’ve styled the jug as a vase- the matt white glaze looks fabulous with the off-white colour schemes of most contemporary walls- and it’s nice to have a retro piece that has a few functions.

The jug is for sale: $AUD75

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Diana vases

Diana vasesDiana vases
made in Sydney, Australia c.1940s

Here are two more vases from my vast Diana pottery collection. I particularly like these post-war pieces with their ‘kangaroo- haunch’ bases. The vase bases -together with the green & brown colours – represent Australian nationalism at its best.

I’ve teamed the Diana vases with a black perspex / cream Goudy font reprographic board. This board is c. 1960s but I like way it frames the vases- as well as the simpatico cream coloured font.

50s Diana

Diana coffee pot & vaseDiana coffee pot & vase
made in Sydney, Australia c.1950s

I have posted Diana pottery before…I am very partial to Diana as it was made in a pottery that operated in Marrickville, Sydney from 1940 to 1975- very close to where I now live. These two pieces are quintessentially 50s pieces – the vase has a lovely mottled grey outer colour and a beautiful yellow inner. The yellow is repeated in the coffee pot’s lid, the two-toned theme being popular in the 50s.

The shapes of the pieces are also very 50s- the funky asymmetric form of the vase and the tilted line of the coffee pot. You’ll notice that the vase still has its original Diana sticker – stickers tend to make a piece more valuable, and it’s in perfect condition. Likewise the coffee pot, which has never been used.

Regulars to my blog will know that I collect Diana- from the 40s in the colour marking of green and brown [this evidencing my nationalistic streak] and while I love these pieces, they are not part of my permanent collection.

For sale: $AUD125

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Sydney winter

Diana pottery Diana and daffodils

Some more of my Diana pottery collection- an inter-war pottery manufacturer located very close to where I now live. The pottery operated from 1940 to 1975 – and these vases evidence a post-war nationalism in the use of drip glaze colours : the particular Australian browns and greens of the Eucalypts.

Winter is daffodil time in Sydney: I like the colours here and particularly like the Diana vases on the timber table. Daffodils and Eucalypts are a bit of a mixed metaphor – but the old adage that a group of three a collection makes, I think, is true.

50s kitchenalia

50s kitchenaliaDiana casserole dish, made in Sydney 1950s
Fowler Ware mixing bowl, made in Sydney 1950s
Alfred Meakin serving bowls, made in England 1950s

A collection today united by colour and age- rather than by maker. The 50s colourings of baby blue, pastel pink and pastel yellow are exemplified by this grouping. Mix the ingredients in the mixing bowl, cook in the casserole dish and then serve on the serving bowls- tuna casserole anyone?

My own kitchen is a mixture of contemporary cooking appliances and retro kitchen pieces- but I choose retro which is still functional. And that’s the case with this collection- looks good, works just as well as it did in the 50s. The only caveat is: no dishwasher for retro pieces- wash by hand.

This collection is for sale: $95

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