20s toast rack

Manto Ware toast racksManto Ware toast racks
made in Japan 1920s

At the turn of the century, Manto Ware pottery started producing work that mimicked Royal Winton; here we have an example- very English looking toast racks, textured ceramic for a ‘naturalistic’ look and topped by an acorn. These were made for the export market- for Australia and New Zealand- markets that wanted Royal Winton but couldn’t afford the price- or the time- for the products to arrive. Manto Ware stepped in to fill the breach.

It’s rare to find a pair of anything vintage these days- and indeed- I collected these two toast racks separately. But they make a fine pair, and –as attested by Etsy and Pinterest- toast racks are very collectible and are eminently repurposeable. I use mine as a vintage letter/business card holder. [Or, you know, you can use them for toast.]

Silver plate toast racks are good too- see my recent post of a 1920s EPSN toast rack.

The toast racks are for sale: $AUD45

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Smiths Ringers

Smiths RingersRetro kitchen timers
Smiths Ringers, made in England, 1940s,1950s, 1960s

Perhaps I should have styled these three ‘ringers’ chronologically- as it is, the green ringer is bakelite and steel, with a glass cover- circa 1940, the middle ringer is the youngest- a mere slip of a thing from the 60s – brown coated metal, and the last, red ringer is all plastic- from the 1950s.

Each ringer is somewhat redolent of its age. I do like the fact that the 60s ringer is called ‘Ringer Girl’- if only the other two had similarly inspired names. All the ringers have different bell sounds- naturally- and due to their age and hard working life, are more suited as objects of beauty, rather than function. The green bakelite is a little faded, the brown metal is a little rusted in parts- as you’d expect from vintage items.

The ‘lemon’ tray lends a stylistic note to the image- but if you’d like to have it along with the ringers- let me know. This set is for sale: $AUD95

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Bakewells tea canister

Bakewells tea canister
made in Australia 1925-1935

This fabulous ceramic kitchen canister is called ‘Beulah Ware’- named for Bakewell’s wife, Beulah. The fantastic ‘tea’ font and decoration is all art deco.

Bakewells started production in 1884 and like so many potteries, moved from making bricks and pipes to domestic wares in the early part of the twentieth century. By the 1920s, they were manufacturing vases [‘exclusive ware’] and domestic ware [kitchenalia, including canisters.]

The earthernware canisters came in a set of five: Flour, Sugar, Rice, Tea and the smallest, Sago. A full set of canisters is next to impossible for find now – and originally, they came in this pastel green, a pastel yellow and a baby blue.

You may remember that I found the ‘Flour’ canister, sans lid- and now use it as a vase [see post, below.] And that just recently I posted a set of matching graduated jugs- same hand-coloured green glaze and with the same art deco styling.

The tea canister is in fantastic vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU65

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Arabia ‘Kosmos’

Arabia ‘Kosmos’ espresso cups
made in Finland, 1962-1976

Arabia is so collectable at the moment! These are ‘Kosmos’ espresso cups & saucers, designed by Gunvor Olin Gronqvist [or GOG as noted on the backstamp!] in the early 60s.

Kosmos came in brown, blue, and olive [as with this set.] The cups are marked ‘66’ and the saucers ‘69’, which are the catologue numbers rather than the date. It’s interesting to note that Kosmos was the first ceramic set to introduce espresso cups – previously only coffee and tea cups were produced. Perhaps there was something in 1962 that influenced Finnish people to embrace the espresso?

The espresso cups and saucers and in great vintage condition, and ready for use. They are for sale: $AU55/pair.

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Bakewells jugs

Bakewells graduated jugs
made in Australia 1930s

Bakewells started production in 1884 and like so many potteries, moved away from making industrial ceramic products -like bricks and pipes- to domestic wares in the early part of the twentieth century. By the early 30s Bakewells was making pudding bowls and graduated jugs in multi colours-  all to meet the insatiable demand of the new middle class. Bakewells is now very well known and very collectible.

This is an image from my own kitchen [and kitchenalia collection]- but I draw your attention to the Bakewells graduated jugs in green on the top shelf. I have just recently added to this collection – and find I have no more room to display it: so for sale are three green graduated jugs: similar to the first three of the four jug set seen here. You only need find the fourth- smallest- to create a set.

The jugs, being made in the 30s, have art deco flourishes: the shape, handle and applied decoration are all deco inspired. And the jugs are functional, as well as beautiful: we use ours to serve sauces and gravies [especially if we make art deco gravies. Only kidding- that sounds horrible!]

The three green graduated jugs are in excellent vintage condition, and are for sale: $AU95

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30s sugar canister

30s sugar canisterSugar canister
made in Australia, 1930s

A wonderful example of a depression era canister – this aluminium sugar canister evidences all the hallmarks of the 30s- drilled, green bakelite handles, mismatched green tones, applied ‘Sugar’ label, and graduated rings to the cream base.

Anodised aluminium was in its infancy- and achieving colour matching next to impossible. So each green lid was slightly different across the whole set of five canisters [and added to this of course, is colour fading over time.] Meanwhile bakelite technology was forty years old- you could get any colour you wanted there.

The size of this canister tells you something about the storage of sugar in the 40s. This canister was second in size only to the Flour canister. Everything else in the series was smaller: Suet, Rice, Tea and coming up last, Coffee. My how things have changed in the modern world! [Coffee should always be the largest!- and what the hell is suet?]

The canister has a few dings due to age, but the anodised aluminium base and lid are in good condition. The canister is for sale: $AUD45

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70s Australiana

Crystal Craft trivet, made in Australia 1970s
Wiltshire ‘Vogue’ cutlery, made in Australia 1970s

Crystal Craft has become uber trendy for collectors: it is a resin-covered fabric that originated in Queensland in the 70s. This is a super 70s trivet- just look at the forms and colours! And it is great that the piece has it’s original sticker on the base.

The ‘Vogue’ cutlery was designed for Wiltshire by Stuart Devlin- famous for his other work designing the images on Australian coins [all native fauna & flora.] This was his day job – but once those coins were minted I think he gave up his day job! The cutlery are ‘new in box’ never opened or used, and in great condition.

I styled these two items together – I love the 70s colours! – but am happy to sell them separately: $AU35 each.

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Donald Clark placemats

'Cigarette' ashtray & Daniel Clark placeats‘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

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An ode to 70s design

Fred Press cheeseboard & Bessemer piecesFred Press, American artist
Lionel Suttie, Australian industrial designer

Fred Press was an American artist, and from 1950 to the 1980s was the chief designer of Rubel & Co on NY’s Fifth Avenue. He set out to revolutionise giftware, bringing his artistic sensibilities to domestic ware. Here we see a cheese/fruit board, in the shape of an apple, with one of his iconic drawings reproduced on the ceramic tile. The tile itself was made in Japan and is set in American teak, and it is signed Fred Press.

Lionel Suttie was an Australian industrial designer, bought in to Bessemer to revolutionise the design of utility ware– butter dishes, sugar bowls and table ware. This was the first time mass produced melamine products were thought worthy of design – or that they could make could make a design statement. In this image- a russet brown lidded condiment bowl, an avocado cup and saucer and a yellow sugar bowl.

Altogether a fine homage to the 70s -and- 70s designers.

This set is for sale: $AUD105

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Carlton Ware ‘contemporary ware’

Carlton Ware leaf dishes and salt & pepper shakersCarlton Ware ‘Contemporary Ware’ dishes and salt and pepper shakers, made in England 1951-1961

Many people are familiar with the botanically-themed Carlton Ware ceramics [and having a background in horticulture, I am quite ‘familiar’ with them myself.]  Various daisy/foxglove/wild rose motifs were made in the 30s, 40s and continuing into the 50s, but in 1951 a modernist theme emerged.  These leaf-shaped dishes and cubic salt and pepper shakers are an example of this and were dubbed ‘contemporary’ ware.

The four monochrome dishes have a wonderful abstract leaf shape, and so appeal to me. I also like the austerity and the somewhat obtuse cube-shaped shakers. These pieces are now quite hard to come by, and are all in perfect condition.

For sale: $AUD150

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