SylvaC

SylvaC terrier dog
made in England 1960-1979

An exciting find! I often buy small figurines to ‘style’ my photos- to provide scale and context.

I picked up this terrier figurine; and then when researching it to add to my post discovered it is by SylvaC, model 1378. As I have collected, and showcased SylvaC figurines before, I was intrigued.

The post was supposed to showcase the Gambit Ware ‘Mulga’ leaf pate, by Ceramique: an early melamine material that was developed in Australia to revolutionise ceramic – it would ‘never chip or break.’ I have collected a whole of Gambit Ware – because I am a landscape architect, interested in Australian flora- and have collected every piece I have come across.

The stylised plates came in simple pastel colours, but are quite botanically detailed- they include wattle, banksia, kurrajong, acacia leaves- to name a few. The simple colouring meant that each leaf shape was reproduced in six colours- so one could buy a set of six ‘for display OR kitchen purposes’!

So- what to showcase? The SylvaC terrier or the Gambit Ware Mulga plate?

The SylvaC terrier is for sale: $AU25

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50s Australiana kitsch

Gambit Ware 'Ceramique' Australiana leaf platesGambit Ware ‘Australiana’ leaf plates
made in Australia 1950s

Here is another part of my collection: anything botanically themed always gets me in. Add to that these plates were designed and made in Australia- celebrating our unique flora in the post war period. AND this is ‘Ceramique’ – an early melamine material that was developed to revolutionise ceramic – it would ‘never chip or break.’

The stylised plates came in simple pastel colours, but were quite botanically detailed- they include wattle, banksia, kurrajong, mulga leaves- to name a few. The simple colouring meant that each leaf shape was reproduced in six colours- so one could buy a set of six ‘for display OR kitchen purposes’!

This image shows another part of my collection- at last count I had 50 plates. Plates with their labels intact are worth significantly more. The Ceramique has certainly lived up to its name- there isn’t a chip or a crack on any of the plates, although colour fading has occurred on a few.

Kitschy – yes. But 50s Australian kitsch- I love it!

This selection of Gambit Ware is for sale: $125 [13 pieces]

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50s Australian souvenirware

50s souvenirwareAboriginal motif souvenirware,
made in Australia 1950s

Post war arts and crafts saw a rise in the popularity of ‘Australiana’ – replacing traditional English motifs with Australian themes; invariably Aboriginal motifs. In the 1950s these appropriated [and westernised] indigenous motifs were hugely popular as souvenirware.

The beaten copper image of an Aboriginal tribesman here is laid on an indigenous timber – with a handy thermometer [still working, btw] what’s not to love?  The timber is Mulga wood – much collected and much documented on this blog. This is hugely collectible.

The Aboriginal motif sourvenirware is for sale: $AUD45

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Kookaburra perpetual calendar

Kookaburra perpetual calendarKookaburra perpetual calendar,
made in Australia 1940s

This pewter kookaburra sits on a boomerang-shaped timber base: the timber is traditional Mulga wood- which has been cut and arranged to show off its famous bi-colouring. Mulga wood was used in 1940s souvenir works like these as it is a hardwood –unusual in a native from the wattle family – and was considered ‘export quality’. A transfer sticker on the base, in the shape of Australia, proudly proclaims “Genuine Australian Mulga” in case one confuses it for fake Mulga, or worse still, a non-Australian Mulga.

Kookaburras are very collectible right now: and I have a great fondness for a perpetual calendar. The daily ritual of changing the date as one sits down to work in a mostly digital world is very pleasant. You’ll notice if you look closely at the image that the calendar pieces were made by The Daily Set, printed in England. This is the only part of the item that was imported; seems Australia couldn’t print calendar pieces in the 40s.

The perpetual calendar is not for sale as it makes up part of Trish’s burgeoning kookaburra collection. I have tried to claim is as part of my burgeoning Mulga wood collection – but nothing doing!