Here we have two jugs: the first – a green stripey jug made by Bakewells, and the second a pale yellow Fowler Ware jug- both made in local factories from whence I hail. Now no longer with us, I still like to collect from the potteries that were once in the inner-west of Sydney.
Fowler Ware created industrial pottery in Glebe, Sydney commencing in the 1840s. After WWII, Fowler Ware moved to producing pottery for the domestic market : their graduated pudding bowls and jugs were so popular that they opened a second pottery to cope with the demand. Fowler Ware is now much sought after. This is a 2 pint jug – as attested by the incised backstamp.
Bakewells operated out of Erskineville- very close to where we now live. Bakewells started production in 1884 and like so many potteries, moved from making bricks and pipes to domestic wares in the early part of the twentieth century. By the 1920s, Bakewells was manufacturing vases [‘exclusive ware’] and domestic ware [pudding bowls and jugs] in a range of sizes and colours. This jug with its banded decoration calls to mind Cornish Ware; a deliberate evocation
A fantastic set of Studio Anna pieces – across the states of Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria.
Studio Anna established their pottery in Sydney in the early 50s, and then proceeded to market to all states in Australia. Studio Anna is recognised by the hand-signed, and hand-drawn images- incised into the pottery.
Here we have a jug, “The Oasis, Brisbane”, with a pin dish “Tasmanian Devil” and then a plate “Bright, VIC”.
All recognised as Studio Anna work, but not hallmarked as such- each of the pieces are early, and small- and so don’t lend themselves to backstamps or labels.
I have numerous posts of other Studio Anna works- because it’s gorgeous and collectable- and Australiana and – contextual and botanica…
This collection of three Studio Anna pieces: $AU80 Buy Now
Johnson Bros, harlequin plates
made in England 1950s
What is the name for a round-cornered square? These plates are that shape. Wikipedia suggests ‘squircle’ – I wonder what the makers of these beautiful plates would make of that? *Turning in their grave*, comes to mind.
Harlequin is a catch-all phrase for multi-coloured items; you find harlequin glass ware, as well as plates. Multi-coloured harlequin sets was a genius marketing idea borne in the 50s – if you broke a plate then another – in the same or a different colour- was available. One needed abandon an entire dinner service due to the loss of one plate- it was all mix ‘n’ match. The four colours of these plates – tan, maroon, light blue and light green were joined by two other colours – a light grey and grey.
It’s rare to find a backstamp on these early Johnson Bros plates; and because it was printed in white glaze, even if it was printed, it’s rare that the backstamp survives. The green plate in this set is thus quite rare- the backstamp in white is intact, although a little worn.
Indeed, I have collected another set of Johnson Bros ‘squircle’ plates in three sizes – [see post below] and none of those twelve plates had a backstamp. It wasn’t until I found these plates that I discovered the original maker. I knew from the previous collector that the plates originated in England, and were made in the 50s – but the maker was unknown. Until now!
Crown Lynn ‘Daisy’ bowls
made in New Zealand, 1960s
Crown Lynn produced pottery in New Zealand from 1854-1989. By the 1960s Crown Lynn was producing export quality pottery with very funky 60s designs- of which this set ‘Daisy’ with those quintessential 60s flowers- was part. Crown Lynn was exported worldwide – which is why I frequently hear from people living in America who grew up with Crown Lynn crockery – and consequently it is now very collectible.
In researching the pattern I found the ‘Daisy’ pattern is quite rare- and increasingly hard to find. It was produced in only two colours- this rusty-orange and a pale yellow. The bowls are both in good vintage condition with only minor evidence of use in the past fifty years.
Blue bakelite Sellex plates
Red bakelite Helix measuring cups, made in Australia, 1940s
Here are the recently found red Helix graduated measuring cups : I noted a few posts ago that I also have a blue set.
When I first found the blue set of three measuring cups – ½, 1/3 and ¼ cups – I assumed that the 1 cup measure was missing from the set. But I assumed incorrectly- it was the 40s and bakelite was costly to produce- so it was considered an extravagance to make a 1 cup measure when you had a perfectly good ½ cup measure that could be used twice!
The blue bakelite plates are by Sellex. I’ve noted before that Australian bakelite manufacturers embraced the ‘x’ in their brand names – others of this period are Iplex and Nylex. The ‘x’ suffix was considered very modern.
Both the blue plates and red measuring cups are in good vintage condition – no scratches, chips or marks. And they are for sale: $AU80 [4 plates & 3 measuring cups.]
Green bakelite kitchenalia
made in Australia 1940s
Here we have green & cream bakelite kitchenalia from the 40s – the bread board [with incised ‘BREAD’ script] was made by British Plastics, in Melbourne; the salt canister was made by Industrial Plastics in Adelaide, and the canisters are by Nally, in Sydney.
The large Flour canister houses nested canisters inside – each with that fantastic cursive script; they are ‘Sugar’ and ‘Coffee’. I have waxed lyrical about the olden days when coffee canisters were the smallest – and how nowadays they would be the largest. So, ok, won’t belabour the point.
The salt canister has overt deco styling, despite being made in the 40s – and it is in good vintage condition and ready to hang. The bread board has never been used, and so has no cuts or abrasions – and the Nally canisters- an incomplete set of five – are also in excellent vintage condition.
Unusually I am offering the three for sale separately: although of course if you’d like to purchase the lot we can negotiate a fair price>
The bread board is $AU30, the salt canister is $AU30 and the Nally canisters  are for sale: $AU95
Bakelite picnic and measuring cups
made by Sellex and Helix, in Australia c. 1940-1950
These bakelite pieces have retained their wonderful colour, and work beautifully as a set. The set of 5 nested picnic cups in green and the large red measuring cup have an ‘inverted beehive’ shape, and both were made by Sellex. The red measuring cup measures 1 cup on its upper rim, then ½, 1/3, and ¼ cups on the graduated rings of the ‘beehive’.
The set of blue measuring cups are by Helix, and measure ½, 1/3 and ¼ cups. I thought perhaps the larger 1 cup was missing from the set, but apparently Helix only ever made a set of three measuring cups, in this style. It was the 40s and bakelite was costly to produce- it was considered an extravagance to make a 1 cup measure when you had a perfectly good ½ cup measure that could be used twice!
I recently found another set of Helix graduated measuring cups in red- they fit right in with this colourful kitchenalia set of bakelite pieces.
Crown Lynn ‘Clematis’ dinner plates
made in New Zealand c.1960s
I have previously posted ‘Clematis’ crockery: a breakfast set for 4. Here are two matching dinner plates.
This is my first collection from NZ, which is a terrible oversight. But since both Australia and New Zealand have Clematis- a perfumed flowery climber – I naturally responded to the botanical theme. And the funky retro graphics, and colourings. Botanical, flowery themes – and the spare graphics – will get me in every time.
Crown Lynn is very collectible right now – and so is the Clematis design [pattern #141.] I’ve had many inquires from ex-pats living overseas who are now collecting Clematis – but unfortunately the shipping costs make it too expensive.
Johnson OF Australia dinner plates
made in Queensland, Australia 1975
The back stamp of these 70s plates is Johnson OF Australia – [reminds me of Lawrence OF Arabia!] Johnson Bros [Australia] produced transfer printed stoneware crockery marketed as “tough, utilitarian ware” – which is why these plates are looking so fresh and unblemished today.
Johnson Bros [Australia] was a division of Johnson Brothers England- at the time one of the largest domestic pottery producers in the world. This design wasn’t given a name or a pattern number, but the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney has a record of the design: it is described as a “complex radial design with central sunflower”. The plate was collected and added to the Powerhouse collection by a Melbourne artist John Hind.
I have recently started to embrace the 70s – and Australiana from the 70s; and now I have an Instagram account, I have been seeing much 70s Australiana – and Johnson’s plates are much celebrated. There is one fantastic site where Johnson pieces are cut and sanded to make upcycled jewellery: rings and necklaces. It’s a lovely celebration of 70s iconography and the ‘tough, utilitarian ware’ that the Johnson Bros never imagined.
Super 8 film is having a resurgence, and super 8 cameras and editors are being dusted off and put back into use. You only have to look at YouTube to see how many videos are being made using this fantastic 50s technology.
This Editor is fully working, and comes in its original box with splicer, spare bulb, reels of film and even splicing cement [not sure how good it will be after sixty-odd years but the box packing is fabulous.] It’s been tested by an electrician and deemed good to go.
Even if you don’t use the editor to – you know- edit, it is a beautiful piece of engineering that will lend industrial cred to any space.
The Editor [and assorted accoutrements] is for sale: $AU150