I love bakelite and have collected Australian bakelite for some time. Although I don’t usually go for ashtrays these pieces show no sign of ever having been used and are in the form of Australia [‘Greetings from Brisbane’] and Tasmania. Who could resist?
Also, ashtrays [that haven’t been used and so have no physical scars] make great pin dishes – excellent for jewellery collections. And Australian bakelite collectors love bakelite in the shape of Australia.
These two pieces of 50s Australiana are for sale: $AU55 Buy Now
Diana made art pottery out of premises that operated in Marrickville, Sydney from 1940 to 1975. Unlike many other Sydney–based potteries of the time, Diana made only domestic and art pottery, rather than industrial items – capitalising on the huge demand for domestic wares with an ‘Australiana theme’.
These vases are doubles from my collection, so I am reluctantly parting with them. They’re from the Diana ‘Australiana’ collection; hand-painted in bushland colours of eucalyptus green and brown. Because the vases are hand-painted there is quite a variation in the glazed colours: in the back two vases you can see both colours whilst in the front vase you can just see some green tones creeping into the bark-coloured brown tones.
The vase collection is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU75
Hanimex ‘Mini’ folding slide projector
made in Sydney, Australia c.1950s
This neat little projector folds out to show slides in both 16mm and 35mm slide formats. It has a P-Rokkor 2.5/40mm lens and uses a 75watt lamp; I have it on good authority that replacement lamps are still available. The projector works a treat – it’s been checked over by an electrician – and has an ‘automatic’ slide feed to allow you to load two slides at a time [!!] It comes in its original box, which sadly has been mended with masking tape.
Perfect for your next slide night or to add to your burgeoning Hanimex collection. I am reluctantly parting this projector- it’s a beautiful as well as a functional object.
Gem scones are unique to Australia: they are ‘damper’ scones made from flour, water and milk – the basics- as this was all that was available during the war. Damper is a rough bread that can be made over a camp fire.
Real scones are made with sugar…and- served with jam and cream. Real luxury after the war. But during the war when this gem iron was made – you were lucky to be able to assemble flour and milk. Water was available as an alternative to the milk…if necessary…or to water down the milk to make the gem scones.
This gem iron made twelve scones over the fire, or in the oven. It is made of cast-iron, and now has a patina of rust. Good thing that it can be easily cleaned [if you wish] – or if like me you like the historical patina…
Since I have – in the olden days- drafted using old fashion timber scales – and also love dressmaking – HOW MUCH do I love these oldy-timey timber rules?
Here we have a dressmakers square, a triangular scale ruler and – a ruler. All in solid timber. Beautifully made and still useful. Made to last. Increasingly rare to find now- [and now all made in plastic] I have teamed the three timber rulers with a fabulous 50s packet of photographic corners.
I LOVE vintage retouched photographs! They are always OTT and totally kitschy. This one is in the form of a glass astray and was made as a souvenir piece in the 50s.
I’ve collected a few of these – and even though they were originally ashtrays- the nostalgic photos of 50s Australian icons makes them so much more. And nowadays of course glass ashtrays can be used as pin dishes – with the added delight of a crazy coloured photo.
Marine Parade, Coolangatta- ashtray is for sale: $AU10 Buy Now
Avid readers of this blog will know that due to my [real] life as a landscape architect, I am a sucker for all things botanical. Especially 50s kitschy botanical. This Peony Ware plate- featuring- Peonies….ticks all the boxes.
Peony Ware started manufacturing slip-cast raised ‘peony’ jugs, plates, tea cups and vases in the 50s as a response to the popularity of Carlton Ware. The quality of the peonies isn’t that of Carlton Ware- although it is hand-painted and the peonies are raised -it was sold as a sort of cheaper version; and only featured peonies. Carlton Ware in the 50s was producing Fox Glove, Wild Rose, Buttercup, Apple Blossom….while Peony Ware pumped out the peonies in every conceivable colour.
This is a green plate with cream peony – in excellent condition. It is stamped ‘Peony Ware, made in Japan’ on the underside. I’ve teamed it with a green apple for scale and colour.
For avid Peony Ware collectors, I have also a matching double-sided, handled dish- green with cream colour peonies.
Timber handled date stamp
made in Australia, last century
I love stationery – and vintage stationery even better. I have collected a number of date stamps [see countless posts below] and a fantastic anodized stamp-holder [also see post below.] To this collection I have added another vintage date stamp.
Made in Australia 1960s [as attested by the timber, rather than plastic handle] this date stamp was used in a Post Office. It’s still functional, though only if you’re interested in last centuries dates. [And who isn’t?}
I have some ink pads [also vintage – fancy that] that render all these stamps useful.
Kitsch to the max- this rose print has a bakelite frame. Roses are so evocative of the 60s – and the OTT retouched photo is so retouched it’s difficult to tell where the photo finishes and the retouching begins.
The rose print is only small- 100mm diameter, but boy the red/green/blue [technically ‘cyan’] palette packs a punch .I’ve styled the frame with a small dolly, also from the 60s. I had one of these…I remember the over-sized head and wild hairstyle.
The framed rose print is ready to hang, and is for sale: $AU15 Buy Now
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!