‘Fish’ placemats by Donald Clark,
made in Australia 1960s
The Australian artist – cum graphic designer- Donald Clark is having a resurgence right now. The pattern on these linen placemats is [unsurprisingly] ‘Fish’ and the limes and greys and very funky 60s-ness reminded me of this 60s ashtray. There are four placemats in the set, all with Donald’s signature.
Yes- that’s an ironic 60s ashtray that features cigarettes on a painters easel. Surrounded by abstract art forms, in a funky 60s shape, that’s an astray that I can enjoy. [Plus it’s never been used and would make a great pin dish.]
As an ode to the funky 60s, this set is for sale: $60
Halinamat 300 slide projector
Empire Made [Hong Kong] 1962
It’s been a while, but here’s another slide projector. The count is now 9- I have nine slide projectors. I love the forms of these machines- the funky fonts on the front- and the fact that you can use them for slide nights. What’s not to love?
I also like that this Halinamat was made in the 60s- when ‘Empire Made’ referenced the British Empire and was code for Hong Kong. Along with its general funkiness, the projector has a bakelite side arm, on-off switch and electrical plug : it just gets better and better!
And the specs- this baby comes with an Anastigmat coated, f2.8/100mm lens, and is semi-automatic. Semi-automatic means you have to push the button on top to move to the next slide- full automation didn’t eventuate until the 70s.
I really, really, really don’t need nine slide projectors…this one is for sale: $AUD85
Broadhurst ‘Kontiki’ plate, made in England 1965 Kelston Ceramics plate, made in New Zealand, 1964
Repurposing vintage plates as wall decorations; these two beauties from the mid-60s complement each other so well.
The plate on the left is a Kathie Winkle Design ‘Kontiki’ [very collectible right now]- it has a handpainted underglaze [the pattern] but is detergent and dishwasher proof. The plate on the right is Kelston, which was part of Crown Lynn- these plates are now also very collectible.
Imagine a whole wall of funky 60s plates…if they were easily detachable you could store your entire dinner service in this way! Form AND function- the ultimate 60s ideal.
Start your wall plate collection with these two- they are for sale: $AUD25
Bambi bookends, made in Japan 1958
Bambi nursery night-light, made in Melbourne, Australia c.1959
I thought after my last kitsch post, you might be ready for some more Bambis…
The ceramic bookends were made for the 50s souvenir trade in Japan…originally they would have had a sticker placed on the horizontal front section: “Greetings from Alaska” [where deer are known to frequent] or “Greetings from Honolulu” [you get the picture.]
Unfortunately the deer on the left has had an ear repaired; it’s the one facing away from the viewer so you only see it if you look from behind. The mend is sympathetic to the ceramic, a hairline fracture, but it is a repair none-the-less and that is reflected in the sale price.
The night-light is in excellent working order, and has been checked by an electrician. It was made by Pan Pacific Plastics in Melbourne, and uses a 15 watt lamp and AC/DC power. Who doesn’t want a Bambi night-light in their nursery? Nine out of 10 babies give it a thumbs up! For sale: $AUD75
Nally bakelite picnic cups
made in Sydney, Australia, c.1940s
I love bakelite and have collected Australian bakelite domestic and photographic ware for some time. Nally first started bakelite production in 1923 and was one of the first in Australia to do so. The factory was in Glebe, Sydney.
These picnic cups are unusual in that the cup sits in a doughnut-shaped, curved saucer, and the two pieces were priced and sold separately. Nally’s advertising blurbs of the time made much of the fact that replacement pieces could always be bought, and as the cups and saucers were ‘harlequin’ [ie: different colours] they could be mixed and matched. And it’s true- the cup and saucer sets don’t look half as attractive when they are mono-toned.
The cups -and saucers- ‘nest’ for ease of transport, and what about those funky handles! Very modernist for the 40s! And the colours seem more 50s to me: pink, powder blue, cream, yellow and vibrant red.
Diana ramekins & condiment bowls
made in Australia c. 1950s
I have posted before 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….. .. .. . .
These fantastic 50s ramekins are all in good condition – with the exception of the bottom square blue ramekin, which has two tiny nicks in its rim [zoom in on image, you’ll see them.] I love the way the ramekins, when stacked like this, resemble Daleks [the official nomenclature is ‘scroll ware’, but I can’t help thinking Dalek ware.]
The ramekins, that quintessential 50s soup accoutrement, came in either a square or round shape with scroll handle. Diana made sure that all the 50s colours were represented, and like the Martine Boyd ramekins [also below] started the trend towards multi-coloured dinnerware that could be bought piece by piece- rather than a patterned, unified set. Together with the condiment bowls, these ramekins would kick-start any Diana 50s collection. For sale: $AUD275
The Boyds are a famous Australian family of artists. Martin Boyd pottery started in Cremorne, Sydney in 1946- but Martin doesn’t exist, instead it was Guy [Martin] Boyd who was the chief ceramicist. The pottery was in operation from 1946-1964, with 1957-58 being the peak production period.
All Martin Boyd pottery is made [and signed] by hand so there is a slight variation between any piece in a set. The pottery is instantly recognisable from the edge band of unglazed pottery that always separates the two toned pieces. The colours are quintessentially 50s.
This set of eight ramekins is in excellent condition – it has never been used. The person I bought the set from told me they were her mother’s who bought them new in 1957. She decided they were too lovely to ever be used for such a prosaic purpose as soup- and put them on display. For sale: $AUD255
MCP Modern Ceramic Products
Vases # 207, 209, 218 & 222
made in Sydney, Australia c.1950s
MCP started production in the 1940s, in Redfern, Sydney. The simple geometric forms of these vases have a very modernist styling and each has a highly textured exterior finish which contrasts with the smooth internal glaze. The two-toned aesthetic meant each vase could be made in a wide range of iterations- albeit along the 50s spectrum of baby blue, pale pink and pale yellow.
When these vases are on display on the shelves, it’s easy to choose one to put flowers in – and the rest of the time the group makes a fantastic art piece. For sale: $AUD150