1920s cobblers last

Cobblers lastCast-iron shoe last
made in Australia c.1920s

This is a ‘dual’ cast-iron cobblers shoe last- there are two different shapes on which to stretch and shape leather to make shoes. Cast-iron was used as it maintains its shape when in contact with wet leather and the mechanical stresses of stretching and shaping shoes.

Nowadays these heavy items are used as book ends, door stops or simply as decorative industrial forms.

There is something very satisfying about repurposing an industrial antique- giving it a new purpose and lease of life- and the functional design of the last means it is stable either end up.

The cobblers last is for sale: $AUD45

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Christmas kitchen canisters

Kitchen canisters, 1960sKitchen canisters
made in Australia 1960s

I’ve posted an image of our kitchen previously: I have been collecting these glass canisters FOREVER. I like them because you can see what food stuff is contained within: and because they were made in the 50s the glass is thick and the seal is strong. These canisters can be repurposed to contain anything that needs an air-tight seal.

I also like the canisters because my partner’s family actually bought them – every Christmas- filled with sugared almonds or salted nuts. So she has an association with them too. Now our kitchen is replete with them.

The lids were made in bakelite up until the 50s – then – every colour of plastic lid was used. This is especially helpful now in the kitchen: as I associate flour with red, baking soda with yellow, sugar with green…

I have several here in Christmas colours. The glamour! The five canisters are for sale: $AU100

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50s trophies

50s trophiesTrophies
made in Australia 1950s

I have seen vintage trophies repurposed as business card holders: and so decided to collect them.

Here we have, from left to right:

A silver plate cup, with no inscription; on a Marquis bakelite base.
A silver plate cup inscribed: “Presented to V. Kane, Fairest Player on and off field, 1956” on a Marquis bakelite base.
A hallmarked silver cup inscribed: “Selangor Golf Club Services Trophy 1958, Winners D.C. Hurst & L.M. Riedel” on a bakelite base.

Of course, once you’ve figured out that a trophy is great as a repurposed card holder, you can think of many great repurposing ideas. Drinking champagne comes to mind.

The trophies are for sale: $AUD75

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Cast-iron shoe last

Cast iron shoe last [1920s]Cast-iron shoe last
made in Australia c.1920s

This is a ‘dual’ cast-iron cobblers shoe last- there are two different shapes on which to stretch and shape leather to make shoes. Cast-iron was used as it maintains its shape when in contact with wet leather and the mechanical stresses of stretching and shaping shoes.

Nowadays these heavy items are used as book ends, door stops or simply as decorative industrial forms.

There is something very satisfying about repurposing an industrial antique- giving it a new purpose and lease of life- and the functional design of the last means it is stable either end up.

Pictured here with a pineapple- the shoe last lends gravitas to anything!

The cobblers last is for sale: $AUD45

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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

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20s toast rack

Manto Ware toast racksManto Ware toast racks
made in Japan 1920s

At the turn of the century, Manto Ware pottery started producing work that mimicked Royal Winton; here we have an example- very English looking toast racks, textured ceramic for a ‘naturalistic’ look and topped by an acorn. These were made for the export market- for Australia and New Zealand- markets that wanted Royal Winton but couldn’t afford the price- or the time- for the products to arrive. Manto Ware stepped in to fill the breach.

It’s rare to find a pair of anything vintage these days- and indeed- I collected these two toast racks separately. But they make a fine pair, and –as attested by Etsy and Pinterest- toast racks are very collectible and are eminently repurposeable. I use mine as a vintage letter/business card holder. [Or, you know, you can use them for toast.]

Silver plate toast racks are good too- see my recent post of a 1920s EPSN toast rack.

The toast racks are for sale: $AUD45

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Funky 60s

Funky 60s platesBroadhurst ‘Kontiki’ plate, made in England 1965
Kelston Ceramics plate, made in New Zealand, 1964

Repurposing vintage plates as wall decorations; these two beauties from the mid-60s complement each other so well.

The plate on the left is a Kathie Winkle Design ‘Kontiki’ [very collectible right now]- it has a handpainted underglaze [the pattern] but is detergent and dishwasher proof. The plate on the right is Kelston, which was part of Crown Lynn- these plates are now also very collectible.

Imagine a whole wall of funky 60s plates…if they were easily detachable you could store your entire dinner service in this way! Form AND function- the ultimate 60s ideal.

Start your wall plate collection with these two- they are for sale: $AUD25

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Pyrex #60sstyle

Pyrex Stack 'N' Store canistersPyrex Stack ‘N’ See canisters
made in USA 1968-1972

I collected each of these containers individually, although back in the day they could be purchased in sets of four. The containers came in three colours: Avocado, Yellow and White and then in the early 70s a fantastic fake woodgrain was introduced.

The Stack ‘N’ See kitchen canisters were called Store ‘N’ See in America: why the name change here is anybody’s guess. In this collection of eleven canisters there are three 6oz, five 16oz, two 32oz and the large one is 48oz.

Transparent canisters are fantastic in the kitchen; you can see exactly what you’re storing, and each of the Pyrex canisters has a silicon sealing ring for air-tightness. Or – do as I do- store your vintage sewing notions in them. The stackability is a great design; the canisters take up minimal space and those funky 60s lids lend a great 60s vibe to any space.

The Stack ‘N’ See collection is for sale: $AUD125

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20s silver plate

20s silver plate toast rack & tea strainerYeoman Plate toast rack made in England 1920s
Clarendon tea strainer made in Australia 1920s

Silver plated items- EPNS- have been out of favour for the last few years – [all that polishing needed! reminds one of one’s childhood when one spent days polishing the stuff] – but gradually it’s becoming collectible again: especially if it’s still functional or can be upcycled for a funky new purpose.

Both these items- toast rack and tea strainer- have fantastic 20s styling; very art deco. They are not part of a set- they were collected separately but they look as if they are. They are both somewhat tarnished but are still good for tea and toast – or – do what I do: use the toast rack as a letter holder. And Etsy is replete with upcycled tea strainers- made into jewellery or other frivolities.

Add instant glamour to your office with a silver plate letter holder. The set is for sale: $AUD55

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Crown Corning [sold]

Pyrex pie dishes, new in boxCrown Corning pie dishes
made in Australia, 1970s

I love the funky 70s graphics on these boxes; almost more than the pie dishes themselves. The dishes are ‘as new’ – never been out of the box; and are a large 10” scalloped dish in orange and a medium 8” scalloped dish in ‘apricot’ [as described on the box.] The original ‘Crown Ovenware Guarantee’ is there too- not sure if it’s still good after 40 or so years…

Crown Corning made domestic wares under the ACI glass label in Australia. These fancy scalloped dishes were responsible for countless quiches, tuna mornays and apple pies; the glass allows an even cooking and they are a dream to wash up afterwards- just don’t put them in the dishwasher!

The pie dishes are for sale: $AUD65