Electronic calculator

Sharp electronic calculator,
made in Japan 1977

An electronic calculator, I hear you say! Ten digit with VFD? Yes- VFD [vacuum fluorescent display.] [Ok, I had to look it up.] But ten digits! In bright green fluro display.

This is the Compet, CS-1109A electronic calculator, made in 1977. With absolutely fantastic 70s styling – including the key fonts and colours. I love everything about this calculator!

Check out www.vintagecalculators.com and read about their take on the ol’ CS-1109A. And also Ebay has a vintage calculator category. Vintage calculators!

The vintage electronic calculator is in great condition, and could be yours for $AU85

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!!Cuban Fantasy!!

Midwinter Modern ‘Cuban Fantasy’ plate
made in England 1957

Cuban Fantasy! the name given to this fantastic 50s ‘atomic’ design plate says it all.

The plate was designed by Midwinter’s in-house designer, Jessie Tait [b. 1928]- who also designed ‘Cannes’, ‘Bali Hai’, ‘Tonga’ and ‘Patio Hollywood’. Clearly she had a taste for the exotic!

The divided plate has a “permanent underglaze colour, acid resistant, hand engraving” as it attests on the backstamp.  The Cuban Fantasy pattern also came in a vase, cup & saucer set, condiment jar, and a cake plate.

Midwinter pottery is having a renaissance at the moment – collectors are going mad for it. I’ve seen this plate on Ebay for $75. For you, dear reader, the plate [which is in excellent vintage condition] is :$AU55

I’ve teamed the Cuban Fantasy with a Debonair camera from the same period- as are the Observer books. The camera and books are available for sale also on the blog.

Bakelite perfume-holder

Bourjois bakelite owl perfume-holder
made in England, 1930s

I am very interested in bakelite, as you know: and blue bakelite is the rarest. I came across this owl-shaped perfume holder, and though it is a little time-worn, I had to have him.

The owl was made to open at the back to take a bottle of ‘Evening in Paris’ perfume. He would have been in every elegant ladies bag in the 30s. It’s made of ‘marbleised’ bakelite : and when you open it you can see the colour of the original [now eighty-year old] bakelite. But his eyes, hinges and feathery detail are all still intact.

The inscription on the back reads: ‘Bourjois, London-Paris, Reg No 825,003, Made in England’. I love the idea of a perfume-holder; no-one uses them these days. You are considered sophisticated if you walk around with perfume in your backpack. This owl harks back to the 30s- and days of glamour!

I’ve teamed the bakelite owl with a plastic telephone toy from the 50s. I kinda like the disparaging look on the owl’s face…

The bakelite perfume-holder is for sale: $AU40

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70s goblets

Diana ‘Safari’ goblets
made in Australia 1970s

My regular readers know how much I love Diana pottery- made in a pottery near where I now live, in Marrickville, Sydney from 1940 to 1975. I especially love the 40s and 50s pottery…and until recently have not so much enjoyed the 70s [having actually lived through it in Australia– it was rough.]

BUT now I have a photographer son- who takes all my images- and he totally embraces the 70s. Where I see brutalist brutalism, he sees a weird, fresh take on colour and form.

I have not- I note- seen him embrace my love of the 40s and 50s. I have tried. Lord knows. Parental responsibility is taken seriously. But- no dice. Clearly, we can only embrace that which we have not personally lived through. Until… we see it through fresh eyes.

For Diana ‘Safari’ aficionados- I have other pieces available on the blog. And- the goblets are for sale: $AU25.  They are in great vintage condition.
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#30s style

Woods Ivory Ware cup & saucer set
made in England, 1930s

This delightful cup, saucer and cake plate set is Woods Ivory Ware; distinguished by the black and white ‘checkered’ rim. The checked rim, and the abstract flower motif on the pieces are all hand-painted, which means each piece is slightly different.

Woods Ivory Ware [the ‘Ivory’ referring to the pure white of the fine bone china] was made in Burslem in England- where many potteries hail from. The pieces are hand-signed ‘36’ on the back; presumably this was the painter’s number; and the plate is impressed W83 and the cup 126. All pieces are stamped Woods Ivory Ware, England.

The set is in fine vintage condition; ready for tea and cake! It is for sale: $AU55

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Linguaphone

Linguaphone Corso D’Italiano
made in England 1954

This fantastic vinyl case holds an Italian language course – with 50 ‘Lezione’ on 45 RPM records, and various student books – such as “Vocabularies and Text of Sound Record” and the like. The books are published by Linguaphone Institute Ltd, in London by The Woodbridge Press.

There’s a “Reading Book” in Italian, “Students Instructions”, and “Explanatory Notes”- all supporting the lessons on the records. The illustrations in the books are pure 50s- as are the pictures on the records [I confess that I bought this set on the drawings alone. And the vinyl case is totally funky.]

The case has never been opened [until now!]- the records are unused and the books unread. A 50s course in Italiano awaits you! Classic Italian sentences that will assist your next trip to Italy such as : “Do you have a light”? and “Have you seen Sophia Loren in ‘It Started in Naples’?”

The Linguaphone- unused, is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU55

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3 black cats

Black Cat condiment tray
made in Japan, 1950s

Three Black Cats walk into a bar…two are salt and pepper shakers, the third is for mustard. Or for toothpicks- who knows what those crazy 50s people were thinking?

I love this set: the black cats all look slightly crazed and ready for action, and yet they are on a lovely orange tray with handles: they are only condiments servers. On second thoughts, maybe they are black panthers…[my zoology knowledge is somewhat limited.]

For 50s collectors and cat collectors- the perfect combination: for sale- $AU45

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Bakelite inkstand

Velos Classic Inkstand,
made in England, 1930s

Here we have a bakelite inkstand: the two quill-holders swivel to accept a pen from multiple directions, and the stand has numerous cavities for ink bottles, pens and the like.

On the base, the relief bakelite stamp assures us that this is a ‘Classic’ inkstand, model no: 1270, made in England. Just in case you thought it might be of the un-classic variety.

I have of course stuffed flowers into the quill holders- for artistic purposes, you understand; but the whole thing is in excellent condition. I did give it a bit of a buff with Greys Paste No. 9- and the top bakelite surface came up a treat [and matched the underside, which has never seen the light of day.]

For bakelite, and inkstand collectors, this is a lovely piece of history. It is for sale: $AU75

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SylvaC

SylvaC terrier dog
made in England 1960-1979

An exciting find! I often buy small figurines to ‘style’ my photos- to provide scale and context.

I picked up this terrier figurine; and then when researching it to add to my post discovered it is by SylvaC, model 1378. As I have collected, and showcased SylvaC figurines before, I was intrigued.

The post was supposed to showcase the Gambit Ware ‘Mulga’ leaf pate, by Ceramique: an early melamine material that was developed in Australia to revolutionise ceramic – it would ‘never chip or break.’ I have collected a whole of Gambit Ware – because I am a landscape architect, interested in Australian flora- and have collected every piece I have come across.

The stylised plates came in simple pastel colours, but are quite botanically detailed- they include wattle, banksia, kurrajong, acacia leaves- to name a few. The simple colouring meant that each leaf shape was reproduced in six colours- so one could buy a set of six ‘for display OR kitchen purposes’!

So- what to showcase? The SylvaC terrier or the Gambit Ware Mulga plate?

The SylvaC terrier is for sale: $AU25

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Wild Rose toast rack

Shorter & Son ‘Wild Rose’ toast rack
made in England, 1940s

Today, for your delight – a ceramic 40s toast rack, with ‘wild rose’ pattern. I’ve teamed the rack with a fabulous picture of Mary- chosen for the complimentary colours, and because it looks like Mary is holding a sundae – sort of a food tie-in with the toast rack.

Religious iconography – especially vintage iconography- is always fascinating. I don’t understand any of the symbolism here- [and perhaps it’s just my fascination with deserts] – I do know it’s Mary due to her blue dress.

But back to the toast rack: Shorter and Son pottery was established in 1900 and finished production in 1964. By the 1940s- when this rack was made, Short and Son were known for their ‘novelty’ ceramic kitchenalia. These earthenware pottery pieces typically featured English flowers, and were:

“cleverly modelled and effectively decorated…” [to quote the Pottery Gazette, published March 1941.]

People collect toast racks. And people collect pottery featuring flowers. Here’s a piece to suit everybody! The toast rack is in great vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU35

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