Gem Iron

Gem Iron [1940s]Gem Iron, made in Australia c.1940s

This is a beautiful cast iron ‘gem’ scone baking tray. Gem scones were popular in the 40s, and were more like rounded sugar cakes than the scones we know today. The cast iron made for an even heat, and the baking trays – while easy to produce – were expensive to buy. Consequently the gem iron was carefully and loving cleaned and greased after every outing, and so many have survived in good working order. Suffice it to say, with the right recipe [and the internet proliferates with them!] one can continue to pump out gem scones today.

I have styled the gem iron with a couple of kewpie dolls – these are reproduction kewpies, but the originals were made around the same time as the gem tray. If you are a non-cook like me- you might like to use the iron to showcase small items. It has a multiplicity of uses!

The gem iron, being cast iron – is super heavy. This is one part of my collection that is not suitable for posting – pick-up from St Peters in Sydney only. If you like the kewpie dolls, I’ll throw those in as well!

The gem iron is for sale: $AU40

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Random retro assemblage

50-60s random assemblageIlford audio tape box c.1960s
Kewpie doll c.1950s
Cast iron switch plate c.1950s
Table marker c.1960s

An assemblage of retro things united by a scale//shape//colour theme; small, square, blue, black and white. And text.

All made in Australia, 50s-60s.

All four items were bought individually- waiting for some companion piece to make a collection. They are all still waiting…but while waiting…I like the collage they make together.

That’s the beauty of a retro collection…even while waiting to complete a collection – mixing and matching elements makes for an interesting – and ever changing- spectacle.

This weird and wonderful collection is for sale: $AUD75

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The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments for Children, 1956The Ten Commandments for Children
Rand McNally, 1956, USA

The Ten commandments- stars Charlton Heston as Moses on the cover, and is ‘edited’ by Mary Alice Jones. I didn’t think Biblical editing was encouraged- but this was 1956. Someone had to explain adultery to children.

And this is what Alice writes:

“It’s God’s plan that a man and a woman should love one another and make a home together and rear children. The father and mother and children have other friends……..who they like and enjoy. But the members of the family care for one another more than for any other friends….”

And so avoids the subject of adultery altogether. The accompanying picture shows a 1950s father reading the newspaper with mother, sister and brother playing a record on the floor. [At least I surmise that’s his wife…might be just….a good “friend”.]

I have teamed this fine tome with a kewpie doll – Australian- from the same vintage, mid 50s. She seems suitably embarrassed to find Charlton’s movie image doing duty on the cover and that Alice has edited the Ten Commandments.

The book is for sale: $AUD25 [noting that it cost 49 cents in 1956!]

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20s Kewpie figurine [sold]

1920s kewpie figurine20s Kewpie figurine
made in Australia

Kewpie dolls come from the comics produced by Rose O’Neill in America – first started in 1909. O’Neill described her ideal for Kewpie to be a “sort of round fairy whose one idea is to teach people to be merry and kind”. Just why Kewpie is always depicted as naked except for red shoes with underwear an optional extra has never been explained.

This Kewpie figurine is unusual in that it has gilt flourishes- very rare for 1920s pieces- and she is wearing a box brownie camera. Some sort of junior reporter or budding photographer? The figurine is also very detailed for a 20s hand-painted piece- particularly the face and hair.

A must for all kewpie collectors, the figurine is in excellent condition and is for sale: $AUD75