Martin Boyd condiment pottery
made in Sydney, Australia c.1950s
This collection of Martin Boyd showcases some of the pottery’s other well-known designs: to date on this blog I’ve only included the two-toned pottery pieces.
The two cream jugs that bookend the image illustrate the handpainted ‘Australiana’ themes that Boyd is famous for. The jug to the left sports a grass tree, and the jug on the extreme right shows a worker in a field of bamboo. Both jugs have the beautiful pink background which is so associated with Boyd pottery.
In the middle of the image is a crimson double cruet set with bamboo handle; the mustard pot is lidded. To the rear and front of the group are pieces with a ‘dot’ design – another classic popular in the 50s. The jug is the same pink colour as the other jugs, and the salt and pepper shakers are the same crimson as the cruet set.
All the pieces are in excellent condition, with the exception of the grass tree jug which has a small chip on the pouring lip. I debated whether to buy and show this piece, but the beautiful rendering of the grass tree won me over.
Aboriginal motif salt & pepper shaker sets, and small jug
made in Australia c.1950s
While none of these items has a maker’s mark, the salt and pepper shakers at the back are possibly by Terra Ceramics, and the round shakers to the left are possibly Florenz Pottery. The small jug is probably Studio Anna. All these potteries were making tourist and souvenir pottery by the 1950s, and these appropriated [and westernised] indigenous motifs were hugely popular. Post war arts and crafts saw a rise in the popularity of Australiana – replacing traditional English motifs with ‘Australian’ themes; invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.
This group works well as a set, or could form the basis of a larger collection. The items on their own are very kitsch…but somehow when grouped the kitschness is subverted into a subtler aesthetic.