#70sstyle

Bessemer platter, made in Australia 1970s
Vogue jugs, made in Australia 1970s

I have posted 70s melamine ware previously- I am drawn to the colours and forms of these beautifully designed pieces.  I collect two Australian manufacturers- Bessemer and Vogue.

Bessemer products – made from melamine – were made by the Nylex Melmac Corporation which started production in the mid 60s. This beautiful platter [and the subject of previous posts, I have collected a lot of Bessemer!] was designed by Lionel Suttie, an industrial designer.

It’s interesting that Mr Suttie is remembered as Bessemer’s lead designer: this was the first time that tableware made from plastic [melamine] was thought to be worthy of design – with an illustrative art statement. The platter certainly pays homage to late mid-century modernist design in its colours and abstract forms.

Bessemer is now quite collectable: I have seen some incredible prices on items in ‘antique’ shops. I’m not sure I can come at the idea of retro collectables being antiques, but clearly others can. Bessemer rates a mention in Adrian Franklin’s Retro: A Guide to the mid-20th Century Design Revival [2011, NewSouth Publishing.]

While Bessemer led the way, employing an industrial designer to design tableware, Vogue followed suit. ‘Vogue Australia’ is imprinted on the bottom of these jugs; since the manufacturer name Vogue was also used in North America, at about the same time.

The platter and jugs can be used as intended- melamine is a strong plastic resistant to scratching and these pieces are ‘as new’ – or they can form part of a funky 70s display. 70s melamine is totally collectable.

The platter and jugs are for sale: $AU45
Buy Now

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

Buy Now

Retro Ice buckets

Ice bucket collection

I collected these ice buckets because I loved the idea of using them with the bakelite blender [the ‘Vitamizer’, posted below] at cocktail parties. I am very partial to a martini, which while not strictly needing a blender, does require the service of an ice bucket. The blender was good for making frozen daiquiris, which my guests favoured. Either way – an ice bucket was totally necessary, and who wants to use a modern one?

I have ended up with a few ice buckets…and in researching these, I found quite a few avid collectors out there. People collect ice buckets. And why not- they look fantastic displayed together [and they’re good for storing ice…amongst other things…]

The bucket to the left in the image is made from Scandinavian teak, and has matching tongs.  The red plastic bucket has a brass handle, and has matching tongs. The only ice bucket with any branding – the Dia Ice Pail, made by Dia Vacuum bottle Industries Co. Ltd, is anodised aluminium and steel [with a ‘vacuum’ white plastic interior] and it comes with…you guessed it…matching tongs. Matching tongs are so important at a cocktail party.

For sale: $AUD75

Buy Now

Pudding bowls [sold]

Fowler Ware pudding bowls,
made in Australia 1940s

Fowler Ware created industrial pottery in Glebe, Sydney commencing in the 1840s. After WWII, Fowler Ware moved to producing pottery for the domestic market : their pudding bowls were so popular that they opened a second pottery to cope with the demand.

This image shows the range of colours and sizes the pudding bowls were made in – and other posts evidence the rest! [I have collected a number of Fowler Ware pudding bowls….] The bowls and are still fit for purpose : I received a lovely christmas pudding made in one of these bowls- and after eating the pudding – I got to keep the bowl!

The large crimson and medium grey bowl are for sale : $AUD25 & $AU15 [or $30 for the pair.]

Aboriginal motif kitsch

50s Aboriginal motif s&p, jugAboriginal 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.

This set is for sale: $AU125

Buy Now

Australiana Kitchenalia [sold]

bakewells jug & bowl, fowler ware jugFowler Ware jugs & pudding basin
made in Australia 1940s

This set is a monochrome collection of Fowler Ware jugs and pudding bowl- in a creamy, off-white. Collecting in a single colour is quite dramatic, and these pieces look fantastic in a white or neutral toned kitchen. I was inspired by a friend who has about 15 off-white bowls sitting on the top of her kitchen cupboards- in that space below the ceiling.

These pieces are stoneware, and from the Fowler Ware ‘Utility’ range – perhaps off-white wasn’t as glamorous as the coloured pieces [see post below] and could be used every day.

The beauty of the off-white bowl is that any fruit/food/kitchen implement stored in them looks fantastic. And as mentioned in previous posts- the bowls are still great for…cooking puddings!

For sale: $AU80

Koala canisters

Kraft koala canistersKraft koala canisters
made in Australia 1980s

More glass kitchen canisters! These are made by Kraft, and are in the shape of koalas. Originally sold with Vegemite or Peanut Butter, the form of the koala is much more apparently when the glass is filled with any kitchen food stuff [lentils spring to mind- only because they seem so hipsterish- as two of the koalas – with the red lids- are knitting.]

These canisters were made in the 80s; they have plastic lids [which are still air-tight and good for storing stuff]; canisters made in the 60s and early 70s had metal lids which weren’t so practical for re-use. Like the canisters below, the lids came in all manner of colours to make it easy to tell the jars apart. And they came in two sizes: as here, where we have one smaller size and two of the larger size.

The set of three canisters are for sale: $AU75

Buy Now

Art deco Pierrots

Art deco pierrots from the 20sSitzendorf Pierrot pipe rest dish, made in Germany 1910-1920
Klimax Pierrot ceramic citrus juicer, made in Japan, 1920s

Here we have two Pierrots- one from Germany, the other from Japan, but both hailing from the 20s. The Sitzendorf porcelain pipe-rest dish has Pierrot reading a newspaper, as you do. Sitzendorf began porcelain production in 1760 and continues today; this dish has the double-crossed ‘S’ crown logo on the base, and is impressed with the no: 25044. Sitzendorf [or to give it its full title: Sitzendorf Porzellankfabrik Gebruder, Voight, AG] is now highly collectible.

Next to the paper reading Pierrot is a citrus juicer- sadly missing its jug. Perhaps you have the jug? – It was made in a simple lemon or orange shape, with appropriate colouring. This Pierrot is handpainted, and is impressed with a ‘K’ on the base- encased in a circle of tiny dots. Klimax, a porcelain factory in Japan, is most well-known for its handpainted Samurai and Geisha tea sets, and lustreware. Despite missing its jug, the juicer is still quite functional and the two Pierrots together make for a nice art deco ensemble.

The Pierrots are for sale: $AU75 [Sitzendorf] and $AU55 [Klimax]

Buy Now

Kathie Winkle ‘Electra’

Kathie Winkle 'Electra'Kathie Winkle ‘Electra’
made in England 1965

Continuing my love affair with Kathie Winkle – the lead designer at Broadhurst  in the 60s- here is another of her designs: Electra. Kathie Winkle designs are very collectible right now – and indeed are currently being re-released. Winkle designed over 140 patterns- all very groovy and typical of the 60s.

This tea set of tea cups and cake plates has a handpainted underglaze [the pattern] but is detergent and dishwasher proof. So it’s beautiful and functional! But being handpainted means that no two sets are the same.

I have now posted seven different Kathie Winkle’s designs: start your Kathie Winkle collection today!- this collection is for sale: $AUD50

Buy Now

Bakewells canister

Bakewells 'flour' canister, 1930sBakewells ‘Flour’ canister,
made in Sydney, Australia 1930s

This is a fabulous- and large- ceramic canister from the 30s. Originally from a set of five- Flour, Sugar, Rice, Sago and Tea – this canister is missing its lid. Hence, it is acting as a vase.

How art deco is the ‘flour’ font? The set was produced in the 30s so was a little late for art deco : but I like the play on words: Flour/Flower.

The canister is made from earthenware, and the sets also came in blue, yellow and white. It’s incredibly rare to find an intact set of five – but – should anyone have the flour lid- I have the flour canister!