Wiltshire ‘Damascene’ salad servers
made in Melbourne, Australia 1960s
These servers have never been out of their crimson satin lined box: a must for every Christmas-believer.
Stuart Devlin specialised in gold and silversmithing and went on to design the first decimal coinage for Australia in 1964. All his work is now highly regarded.
‘Damascene’ relates to the City of Damascus, the story in the Bible where an ‘important moment of insight’ occurred- ie: on the Road to Damascus. Stuart Devlin designed the salad servers in the mid 60s- they are silver plate and now highly sought after [especially in the original box.]
My collection rarely ventures into the 70s- but I had to make an exception for this: an owl letter holder and a teapot trivet both displaying ‘marine opal’ [aka polished abalone shell, aka Paua shell for New Zealand readers.]
The owl letter holder has a stand behind for the letters [not seen in the image] and terrible doggerel [thankfully not seen in the image]:
“Your letters here
Just stand in view
Reminding you of
Friends so true.”
That was the 70s people! Both pieces were ‘crafted’ by Crystal Craft- the trivet notes on the back that the ‘marine opal’ was “taken by divers from the Pacific.” No word on who wrote the terrible poem.
For all your 70s needs- this collection is for sale: $AUD55
Mid-century modern table lamp
made in Australia, c. 1950s
I love this timber-reeded light. Particularly its asymmetric cylinder shape [there isn’t a name for that shape- I looked.] I also can’t ascertain who made this lamp- all I know is it’s Australian made as it’s wired for Australian conditions. It takes a maximum 40watt lamp, and the timber reeding looks to be hand-produced. The metal legs give it that 50s spaceship vibe; this lamp is just made to grace the top of a mid-century sideboard!
The lamp has been checked by an electrician who has certified it’s good to go.
Green bakelite pieces by Marquis and Duperite made in Australia, c.1940-1950s
And so to the green bakelite. All the pieces in the image are made by Marquis, with the exception of the scoops which were made by Duperite. There were ten companies producing bakelite domestic ware in Australia in the post-war period, and I have examples of them all!
I particularly like the salt and pepper shakers – there are three sets in this collection, seen in the middle at the back of the image. The top and bottom of the shakers separate to reveal the two shakers; and you can see that the screw-on bases were often different coloured bakelite.
The green bakelite containers also have screw-on lids. They were originally used to contain spices or condiments, and have a somewhat ‘deco’-styling. These containers are particularly collectable – people like to collect them in every colour possible.
Pink & Green Pates vases
made in Australia c.1940-1950
More pink & green speckled Pates pottery- here we have some delightful kitschy vase shapes. Fish and swan in the middle, with a floating flower trough to the front and a posy vase behind. One kitschy vase does not a set make…look how good they look when grouped en masse.
I’ve speculated previously that this pink and green pottery colouring was produced to match a 50s interior- it wasn’t until the 60s that the ‘Australian’ tones of green and brown were seen. I like the hand applied colour glazes- it means despite these vases being turned out in the hundreds- no two were ever the same.
These four vases would make a nice collected set with the three vases posted below. This set is for sale: $AUD110