Pates lustreware platterPates lusterware plate
made in Sydney, Australia c. 1950s

Ah lusterware! Loved by me and…hardly anyone else –and….loathed by many. But it was such a quintessential expression of the 50s – and a world-wide phenomenon – in that it linked ideas of ‘modernity’ with ‘metal’ or machinery. In short, lustreware was all about the space-race.

Lustreware is a metallic glaze produced by using metal oxides in an overglaze, placed over an initial colour and re-fired in a kiln. Lustreware’s shininess and metallic-ness was very revolutionary in the 50s – so used to pastel pink and baby blues. It was all about the new ‘machine’ era.

This swan/peacock platter, though- is familiar in form. Pates produced this piece through the 40s in rather sedate glazed colours and then updated it using lusterware glazes in the 50s. The Pates catalogue actually describes this as a swan/peacock platter, as if it is an amalgam of the two. Either way, the bird’s head is the platter handle and the lusterware is – awesome!

The lusterware platter is for sale: $AUD75

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