Aboriginal motif kitsch

50s Aboriginal motif s&p, jugAboriginal motif salt & pepper shaker sets, and small jug
made in Australia c.1950s

While none of these items has a maker’s mark, the salt and pepper shakers at the back are possibly by Terra Ceramics, and the round shakers to the left are possibly Florenz Pottery. The small jug is probably Studio Anna. All these potteries were making tourist and souvenir pottery by the 1950s, and these appropriated [and westernised] indigenous motifs were hugely popular. Post war arts and crafts saw a rise in the popularity of Australiana – replacing traditional English motifs with ‘Australian’ themes; invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.

This group works well as a set, or could form the basis of a larger collection. The items on their own are very kitsch…but somehow when grouped the kitschness is subverted into a subtler aesthetic.

This set is for sale: $AU125

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60s novelty S & P

Retro beer bottle S & PBeer’s good…at Port Macquarie
salt and pepper shakers, c.1960s

Beer’s good at Port Macquarie. Ain’t that the truth! Well, actually, beer’s good any place.

These salt and pepper shakers are souvenir ware from the 60s. Those were the days when you bought back a tea towel from your travels…or salt and pepper shakers in the form of beer bottles. Nothing encapsulated the 60s Australian holiday quite like a novelty beer bottle.

For 60s nostalgia lovers or collectors of salt and pepper shakers- or indeed current Port Macquarie domiciles, this set is for sale: $AUD25

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60s kitschy salt & pepper shakers

kitschy salt & pepper shakersKitschy salt and pepper shakers
made in England & Japan, c. 1960s

For lovers / collectors of salt and pepper shakers- and I know you’re out there! And these are 60s and kitschy to boot!

None of the sets has makers marks – but that could be due to the fact that the base is too small. However, the ‘cabbagey’ set on the right was made by Brentleigh Ware, in Staffordshire England.  The cats- which are Siamese- were made in Japan, but by whom, I don’t know. And the flowery pair on the left- haven’t a clue. I just like the catty/flowery ensemble that this set makes.

All the pieces of the set are fully functional [stoppers are in place] – but WHY would you use these lovely objects for their erstwhile function? Put them on display in the kitchen, and let them be the proud figurines that they are. Somehow those two cats look totally happy to be surrounded by flowers!

This collection is for sale: $AUD65

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Bakelite salt and pepper shakers

Bakelite salt and pepper shakersBakelite salt and pepper shakers
made by Sellex and Marquis, in Australia, c.1940s

I have previously posted bakelite salt and pepper shakers – in a grouping of green bakelite picnic ware. I am very fond of these salt and pepper shakers, with their ingenious design – the top and bottom separate to reveal the two shakers; and you can see that the screw-on bases were often different coloured bakelite. This set of six shakers showcases bakelite colours in all its glory…the middle blue and white set colour is called ‘end of day’ – this refers to a mixing of colours that were left – you guessed it- at the end of the working day.

The salt and pepper shakers were made for the picnic basket- the two shakers designed to fit into one piece presumably took up less room in the hamper. The ends screw off to allow the addition of either salt or pepper – which is designated by the number of holes in the pouring end.

For bakelite collectors, and salt and pepper shaker collectors- you know who you are!

For sale: $AUD145

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Green bakelite

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!

The ten companies [I know you want to know!] were: Nally [see picnic cups, in post below] Eon, Helix [see blue bakelite post below] Sellex, Iplex, Nylex [names ending with ‘ex’ particularly modern!] Tilly, Bristilite and Duperite [‘ite’ endings evoking bakelite.]

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.      For sale: $AUD165

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Carlton Ware leaf dishes and salt & pepper shakers

Carlton Ware ‘Contemporary ware’ dishes and salt and pepper shakers, made in England 1951-1961

Many people are familiar with the botanically-themed Carlton Ware ceramics [and having a background in horticulture, I am quite ‘familiar’ with them myself.]  Various daisy/foxglove/wild rose motifs were made in the 30s, 40s and continuing into the 50s, but in 1951 a modernist theme emerged.  These leaf-shaped dishes and cubic salt and pepper shakers are an example of this and were dubbed ‘contemporary’ ware.

The four monochrome dishes have a wonderful abstract leaf shape, and so appeal to me. I also like the austerity and the somewhat obtuse cube-shaped shakers. These pieces are now quite hard to come by, and are all in perfect condition.

For sale: $AUD175

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Aboriginal motif kitsch c.1950

Aboriginal motif salt & pepper shaker sets, and small jug
made in Australia c.1950s

While none of these items has a maker’s mark, the salt and pepper shakers at the back are possibly by Terra Ceramics, and the round shakers to the left are possibly Florenz Pottery. The small jug is probably Studio Anna. All these potteries were making tourist and souvenir pottery by the 1950s, and these appropriated [and westernised] indigenous motifs were hugely popular. Post war arts and crafts saw a rise in the popularity of Australiana – replacing traditional English motifs with ‘Australian’ themes; invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.

This group works well as a set, or could form the basis of a larger collection. The items on their own are very kitsch…but somehow when grouped the kitschness is subverted into a subtler aesthetic.

For sale: $AUD125

Buy Now