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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Pates table vases

Pates vases, 40s-50sPates vases
made in Sydney, Australia 1946-1958

I have waxed lyrical previously about my love of the ‘Australian’ green and brown hues of Sydney pottery of the post-war period…and here are some more examples from my collection. Pates pottery operated out of Belmore- an industrial suburb of inner-Sydney, from 1946 and only ceased production in 1990.

Here is a selection of Pates vases in brown/green hues; two ‘lotus’ vases and a ‘log’ vase. Like many Pates vases, these shapes came in a variety of colours to suit the late 40s, early 50s décor. I decided my personal collection would be these ‘Australian’ colours [reminiscent of the bushland] – rather than the baby blues and powder pink or pastel yellow tones; but have rather too many to use or display now.

This set of Pates vases is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU65

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Green spotty pottery [sold]

Green spotty pottery, 1950sGreen and white spots
made in Australia c 1950s

This is the third installment of my friend Maisie’s Australian spotty pottery collection- first was black & white spotty, then blue and white spotty- and now – green & white spotty. Maisie sure loved the spots!

This collection is a funky 50s shaped bowl with matching jug and spoon. The spots are raised areas of glaze rather than merely an applied shape in the glaze.

Like the previous spotted pottery- these pieces are unmarked. This isn’t unusual for 50s Australian pottery- and while literally thousands of spotty pieces were made it is increasingly difficult to find these pieces. The pieces are all in good condition with only minor crazing to the exterior. I have had great success reducing crazing on ceramic pieces by sitting them in a bleach solution overnight – very effective when the background is white or a light colour like these pieces.

This collection is for sale: $AUD65

Pyrex Agee [sold]

Pyrex Agee 3" condiment bowlsPyrex Agee ‘Coloured Pyrex’ 3” bowls
made in Australia 1952-1959.

How collectable is Pyrex right now? Crazy collectable, that’s how! I had been quietly collecting the ‘Coloured Pyrex’ series for a while: I like the harlequin colours, the stackability and use in the kitchen. They come in three sizes [3”, 5” and 7”] and six colours. I had an oversupply of green 3” condiment bowls so posted them for sale. They were quite literally- snapped up.

The ‘Agee’ was Pyrex manufactured in Australia. These 3” condiment bowls are stamped “PR 234, Agee Pyrex, Made in Australia” on the base. And that’s another thing to look for: Pyrex colours that have deteriorated after being in a dishwasher- or a Pyrex bowl that has done heavy duty and has colour worn from the base. The interior of the Agee is glass; the colour is applied to the exterior, so it’s food grade – and so if any wear happens, it happens to the exterior base.

These beauties are in excellent condition, with no wear. And a fantastic green to boot.

This set of 3 green condiment bowls sold for $AU25

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.

Christmas kitchen canisters

Kitchen canisters, 1960sKitchen canisters
made in Australia 1960s

I’ve posted an image of our kitchen previously: I have been collecting these glass canisters FOREVER. I like them because you can see what food stuff is contained within: and because they were made in the 50s the glass is thick and the seal is strong. These canisters can be repurposed to contain anything that needs an air-tight seal.

I also like the canisters because my partner’s family actually bought them – every Christmas- filled with sugared almonds or salted nuts. So she has an association with them too. Now our kitchen is replete with them.

The lids were made in bakelite up until the 50s – then – every colour of plastic lid was used. This is especially helpful now in the kitchen: as I associate flour with red, baking soda with yellow, sugar with green…

I have several here in Christmas colours. The glamour! The five canisters are for sale: $AU100

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Bonzo trinket tin

Bonzo trinket tin, 1930sBonzo tin
made in England, 1930s

Bonzo the dog was the first cartoon character created in England, by George Studdy in 1922. Bonzo has been reproduced in a myriad ways since those early comic books- from figurines to kitchenalia and of course, in tin. You might be familiar with the very popular salt and pepper shakers, which have “I’m Salt” and “I’m Pepper’ emblazoned on two upright Bonzos. Bonzo paraphernalia has been in and out of fashion since the 20s – and I’m pleased to say he is coming back in again.

I have researched this Bonzo tin – it is unmarked- but have been unsuccessful in ascertaining the maker. I do know from other collectors that this is a Bonzo trinket tin [rather than, say, a sweets tin] made in the 30s.  It has a little wear to the hand-painted finish and some rust but is still air-tight for the keeping of trinkets.

I also have a Bonzo napkin ring [see post below.] So now I have two Bonzo pieces a fledgling Bonzo collection has started. Not that I need another collection – it’s just those kitschy large eyes on the very 20s-looking dog that gets me in.

The Bonzo tin is for sale: POA

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