Broadhurst ‘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
Pyrex 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.
Yeoman 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
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!
Impact, British Anchor, Staffordshire England,
This beautiful set- in de rigueur ‘avocado green’ – a quintessential 60s colour- comprises coffee pot, sugar bowl and creamer, and five espresso cups and saucers. The sugar bowl was always as shown- it didn’t come with a lid- but I suspect there were once six cups and saucers in the set. My attitude is just to pretend it’s a Japanese espresso set- the Japanese favour 5 pieces over six in a set.
The British Anchor Pottery Company was established in 1884 and production continued until the 1970s, only stopping for a brief period during the Second World War. I have previously posted British Anchor ‘harlequin’ plates, called Trianon Ware, which were made around the same time as the coffee set, in 1961.
This set has stood the test of time- there is no coffee staining to the coffee pot, and only minor internal crazing to the interior of one of the cups. I love the form of the oversized, elongated coffee pot – such a funky 60s shape. Impact indeed!
I use these canisters- with their funky 60s colours – to store my retro sewing collection. Any sort of see-through canister is great for re-use – as is stackability – a great 60s invention. These Pyrex canisters came in 4 different sizes- the largest is shown here.
You can collect the canisters in the colour-ways; green, yellow, orange, red or blue: make sure the sealing ring is intact; and that the Pyrex motif is on the base- there are a few fake imitations around. They don’t make them like they used to.
These glasses are ‘swanky swigs’- and they are collected by my partner. Originally the glasses held Kraft products and had a metal lid: then Kraft hit upon the idea of decorating the glasses in a range of themes- so making the glasses collectible. The term ‘swanky swig’ was coined to denote the [obviously] swanky glass from which one swigged! Each design came in six bright colours to form a set; an early innovative use of repurposing.
These swanky swigs have a distinctive Australian theme: eucalyptus flowers & gumnuts, and waratahs. They are getting harder to find now- I think because the glasses were considered fairly kitschy when first produced and many glasses were not kept. But for nostalgic collectors- nirvana consists in obtaining a complete set of six. If anyone has the dark blue and yellow gumnut glasses- I need to talk to you!
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.
This is one of my latest obsessions- repurposing old industrial chemical apparatus. I found this fantastically large filter flask and have been using it as a vase. Here it’s shown in front of a window- I love how the light works with the transparent glass and water. And I particularly like the contrast between the soft, round Eucalypt leaves and the cold hard functional shape of the flask.
I’ve seen bunsen burner and other scientific apparatus- reminiscent of school science experiments- repurposed for all sorts of things- lights, bookends, funky sculptures… the purely functional nature of the elements seem to lend themselves to imaginative repurposing. I’m on the lookout for more!
Black Forest swinging cuckoo clocks
made in Germany, c1970s
Strictly speaking these clocks aren’t cuckoo clocks- they are “swinging souvenir clocks.” The woman on the spring provides the pendulum action, and instead of a cuckoo on the hour, you have a German couple dancing – to the strains of ‘The Blue Danube’.
Still, I love these clocks- in all their kitschness. They are adorned with bambis, blue birds and polka dotted mushrooms, ie: all the things one associates with the Black Forest. Both are wind-up, and while both clocks are still working – the smaller clock’s key is missing. On anecdotal evidence, I take this to be a good thing- apparently ‘The Blue Danube’ on the hour, every hour is hard to live with. I think we can safely say the clocks are for aesthetic pleasure only.
The clocks were made by J. Engstler- the greatest name in German swinging souvenir clocks. They are styled here with a vase of ornamental cale in the foreground- I think they reds and greens are very complementary.