Martin Boyd 50s #powder pink

Martin Boyd pottery, 1950sMartin Boyd pottery
made in Sydney, Australia c.1950s

This collection of Martin Boyd showcases some of the pottery’s other well-known designs: to date on this blog I’ve only included the two-toned pottery pieces.

The two creamers that bookend the image illustrate the handpainted ‘Australiana’ themes that Boyd is famous for. The jug to the left sports a grass tree, and the jug on the extreme right shows a worker in a field of bamboo. Both jugs have the powder pink background which is so associated with Boyd pottery.

In the middle of the image is a crimson double cruet set with bamboo handle; the mustard pot is lidded. To the rear and front of the group are pieces with a ‘dot’ design – another classic popular in the 50s. The jug is the same pink colour as the other jugs, and the salt and pepper shakers are the same crimson as the cruet set.

All the pieces are in excellent condition, with the exception of the grass tree jug which has a small chip on the pouring lip. I debated whether to buy and show this piece, but the beautiful rendering of the grass tree won me over.

For sale: $AU150

Pates vases

Pates vases, Sydney, 1940sPates vases
made in Sydney, Australia 1940s

Pates Pottery operated out of Belmore, Sydney from 1946 -1990. As you may have noticed, given the tenor of the posts of this blog, being a Sydneyite I have an affinity for the potteries that were producing domestic ware in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Pates’ designs and colours were influenced by the 1950s furnishing and domestic colour trends; and like Diana pottery – another Sydney pottery operating between the wars [and examples of which are in a couple of posts below] produced vases in baby blue, powder pink and pastel yellow. Pates, however, also continued to use a dual- drip coloured glaze– as evidence in these four vases.

The quite deco-shaped vase in front is a wall vase: designed to be hung on the wall and filled with flowers. The swan and fish-shaped vases are very typical of the animal themed vases made in the 40s. And the last posy vase has restrained deco-shaping; it’s an attempt to transition from the 20s to the 50s.

Start your Pates collection today! The four vases are for sale: $AUD125

Buy Now

Bakelite hairdryer [sold]

50s bakelite hairdryer, Pifco 'Princess'Pifco ‘Princess’ hairdryer
made in Manchester, England 1958

This ‘silent, electric’ hairdryer [model # 1060] is a fantastic pink bakelite [I might have mentioned I am fond of bakelite?] It comes in its original box, with a Guarantee & Instruction Card [it’s possible the guarantee has expired.] The hairdryer is in perfect working order, having been checked by an electrician.

Unfortunately, its previous owner, one E.S. decided to claim ownership by writing her/his initials on the box, scarring the beautiful pink embossed pattern. Other than that, it’s all good.

The Princess came in a powder blue, white, pastel purple, and this lovely pink colour. I can image a rockabilly enjoying perfecting their bouffant with this hairdryer…it’s so perfectly 50s!     For sale: $AUD70

50s Roses

Rose plate collection, 1950sRose plates
made in England & Australia 1950s

My idea with the 50s Rose collection is this: collect in a theme [roses] and a date [1950s] – then mass together on a wall.

These ten plates are by Myott, England; Swinnertons, England, Wood & Sons, England and Sovereign pottery, Australia. I collected them all individually, then once a certain mass has been obtained- display them altogether. Some of the plates are paired, and there are four of the ‘squircle’ Sovereign Pottery plates: arrange them randomly or in groups to fit the space available.

Start you own Rose collection today; or add to an existing collection- the plates are for sale: $AUD100

Buy Now

Pates swan vases [sold]

Pates swan & bud vasesPates swan & posy vases
made in Sydney, Australia c1950s

I told you I liked 50s swans! Following from my last Pates post, here are two small swan vases, and a posy vase.

The swan on the left is similar to the large swan planter of the previous post- drip- glazed in 50s pinks & crimsons. The swan vase on the right is identical in shape but has a pastel pink and textured over-glaze. I’m not sure which one I like best- but that textured swan is surely the kitschiest.

The posy vase came in a number of sizes; this being the smallest. It’s also pastel pink, with a clear glaze finish to both the exterior and interior: the interior showing the clay colouring to its best advantage. Meanwhile the two swans have the same internal colourings as their exterior.

And there you have it- the ABC of 50s glazed ware; the shape, the colour, the texture, and the contrast. The three vases are for sale: $AUD75

Pates swan planter [sold]

Pates swan planter, 1940sPates Swan planter
made in Sydney, Australia c1950s

Pates operated out of Belmore from 1946 -1990- and as you may have noticed, given the tenor of the posts of this blog, being a Sydneyite I have an affinity for the potteries near where I now live that were producing domestic wares in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Pates’ designs and colours were influenced by the 1950s furnishing and domestic colour trends. Swans were a big theme; from tiny vase forms to large planters, like this one. The 50s colours were applied as a drip glaze, so no two pieces are exactly alike.

My friend Roz gave me this planter; she was had an inkling that I would love it. I love swan pottery precisely because they are such a 50s icon- if you search this blog you’ll find all manner of plastic, gilt and ceramic swans all hailing from the 50s.

I’ve teamed the planter- which has a hole for water egress, as you’d expect in the base- with a dried bunch of eucalypt. It would look great with a potted maiden hair fern, or other indoor plant; but also doubles as an impromptu vase.

The swan planter is for sale: $AUD145

Pates pottery vases

Pates pottery vases [50s]Pates Pottery vases
made in Sydney Australia, c.1950s

These beautiful vases were made by Pates Pottery, which operated out of Belmore, Sydney from 1946 -1990. As you may have noticed, given the tenor of the posts of this blog, being a Sydneyite I have an affinity for the potteries that were producing domestic ware in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Pates’ glaze colours were influenced by the 1950s furnishing and domestic colour trends; the stippled pink and green is typical of this period. Also typical, but harking back to the Art Deco – are the forms and shapes of the pieces. Pates pottery had a foot in both camps- shapes that were very familiar but in colours that were funky and 50s.

The three vases here are: Deco wall vase, posey ‘scroll’ vase and a stylized ‘log’ peony vase. All in top order and ready to receive flowers. I’m particularly fond of the wall vase- we don’t see enough of them in homes today- and it’s a great idea to hang flowers rather than take up table space.

The three vases are for sale: $AUD95

Buy Now

40s Australiana

Pates basket potsPates baskets,
made in Sydney, Australia 1940s

Pates Pottery operated out of Belmore, Sydney from 1946 -1990; so a similar period to Diana pottery. Pates was slower to develop an Australian response to the design and colouring of its pieces and was still producing baskets and swans well into the 50s. These baskets, with their twisted handles, seemed to have been produced all over the world.

Pates used a ‘drip-glaze’ method on most of their pieces and indeed one way to spot a Pates piece is by its mottled colouring. I have collected many Pates pieces- and some of these pieces have made it onto this blog.

The three baskets look great together as an ensemble: here they are showcasing wattle- another Australian iconic flower. They are for sale: $AUD55

Buy Now

Vintage shaving mugs

shaving mugs; KSP and KoalaShaving mugs
Keel Street Pottery [KSP] shaving mugs, made in England c.1900-1930s
Koala shaving mug, made in Australia, c.1930-1940s.

Shaving mugs are highly collectible and becomingly increasingly hard to find.

The ceramic ‘woodgrain’ finish shaving mugs [woodgrain- presumably to render the pottery more ‘manly’?] by KSP predate the pastel colours of the 50s, and yet anticipate those very colours. Yes, now I am certain the woodgrain would help with the whole manly act of shaving. The pink, yellow, & green shaving mugs are all in perfect condition, and marked ‘KSP, made in England’ on the underside.

By contrast, the blue shaving mug is made in Australia by Koala. Koala pottery had a short run, and produced- as far as I can tell- only shaving mugs. I would love if the shaving mug had a koala’s face on it, but alas, it’s a purely perfunctory item, with no novelty value other than that cool blue colour.

The four mugs are for sale: $AUD100

Buy Now

50s Poole vase

Poole 'wave' vasePoole ‘Wave’ vase
made in England 1950s

An experiment in styling: a beautiful 50s ‘wave’ vase by Poole with a reproduction glass vase. The old and the new together; ceramic and glass. And pink tulips; a gift from my partner.

The twintone Poole vase was designed by Alfred Read in the 50s – as part of Poole’s ‘Freedom’ range. This range saw asymmetric forms created in the same colour range as existing pieces – so one could introduce a bit of funkiness without going completely crazy. A little bit of modernism could creep into your conservative tea service!

This vase is stamped C97 which indicates a vase in the ‘peach bloom’ [pink interior] and ‘seagull’ [mottled grey exterior] colouring. I have other examples of this ‘twintone’ [Poole’s descriptor] – tea cups and saucers – elsewhere on my blog. The pastel shades of the powder pink and muted grey are such classic 50s colours – but I love how this free-form shape starts to anticipate the 60s.

The wave vase is in great condition, and is for sale: $AUD70

Buy Now