Retro stationery

Vintage pencil sharpenersNovelty pencil sharpeners,
made in Hong Kong 1970s

I LOVE retro stationery [because I used it as a youngster, you understand. This explains everything.]

So – here we have a world globe pencil sharpener [which rotates on it’s axis] but it’s kinda inaccurate when you look at- you know- the world…but what do you want from a 70s pencil sharpener? Geographic accuracy? It’s a pencil sharpener!

Next up a pair of swan sharpeners. The pencil goes in where the sun don’t shine. Enough said.

And my favourite- a perpetual calendar- with three moveable wheels for the day, date and month. I’ve set it for my actual birth date- as you do.

The globe comes in it’s original box [no 7204] and the date indicator also [MW, no 153]- whereas the swans do not.

And in the background – a Globite square school case, which is rusted and old and creaky and half broken. I love it. I have been instructed to lose it- but – it’s square, and rusted and half broken. I can’t.

The swan sharpeners and the perpetual calendar sharpener are for sale: $AUD20 each

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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!

Perpetual calendar

Mulga wood perpetual calendar, 1950sPerpetual calendar
made in Australia, 1950s

I love these old perpetual calendars- so kitschy and SO different to the orderliness of the digital calendars we are forced to view every day.

This ‘Souvenir of Adelaide’ is made from Mulga Wood – – which has been cut and arranged to show off the timber and bark of the tree. Mulga wood was used in 1940-50s souvenir works like these as it is a hardwood –unusual in a native from the wattle family – and was considered ‘export quality’. The kitschy koala transfer print just adds to the hokey, kitschy quality. The whole ensemble has a little brass stand at the back to keep it upright, and a little brass pocket on the front for one to arrange the date. Alas, as everyone knows with perpetual calendars, one keeps forgetting to actually change the date and the digital calendar starts to seem not so boring after all.

The perpetual calendar is for sale: $AUD55

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