Retro stationery

Vintage pencil sharpenersNovelty pencil sharpeners,
made in Hong Kong 1970s

I LOVE retro stationery [because I used it as a youngster, you understand. This explains everything.]

So – here we have a world globe pencil sharpener [which rotates on it’s axis] but it’s kinda inaccurate when you look at- you know- the world…but what do you want from a 70s pencil sharpener? Geographic accuracy? It’s a pencil sharpener!

Next up a pair of swan sharpeners. The pencil goes in where the sun don’t shine. Enough said.

And my favourite- a perpetual calendar- with three moveable wheels for the day, date and month. I’ve set it for my actual birth date- as you do.

The globe comes in it’s original box [no 7204] and the date indicator also [MW, no 153]- whereas the swans do not.

And in the background – a Globite square school case, which is rusted and old and creaky and half broken. I love it. I have been instructed to lose it- but – it’s square, and rusted and half broken. I can’t.

The swan sharpeners and the perpetual calendar sharpener are for sale: $AUD20 each

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Pates vases

Pates vases, Sydney, 1940sPates vases
made in Sydney, Australia 1940s

Pates Pottery operated out of Belmore, Sydney from 1946 -1990. As you may have noticed, given the tenor of the posts of this blog, being a Sydneyite I have an affinity for the potteries that were producing domestic ware in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Pates’ designs and colours were influenced by the 1950s furnishing and domestic colour trends; and like Diana pottery – another Sydney pottery operating between the wars [and examples of which are in a couple of posts below] produced vases in baby blue, powder pink and pastel yellow. Pates, however, also continued to use a dual- drip coloured glaze– as evidence in these four vases.

The quite deco-shaped vase in front is a wall vase: designed to be hung on the wall and filled with flowers. The swan and fish-shaped vases are very typical of the animal themed vases made in the 40s. And the last posy vase has restrained deco-shaping; it’s an attempt to transition from the 20s to the 50s.

Start your Pates collection today! The four vases are for sale: $AUD125

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Pates swan planter [sold]

Pates swan planter, 1940sPates Swan planter
made in Sydney, Australia c1950s

Pates operated out of Belmore from 1946 -1990- and as you may have noticed, given the tenor of the posts of this blog, being a Sydneyite I have an affinity for the potteries near where I now live that were producing domestic wares in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Pates’ designs and colours were influenced by the 1950s furnishing and domestic colour trends. Swans were a big theme; from tiny vase forms to large planters, like this one. The 50s colours were applied as a drip glaze, so no two pieces are exactly alike.

My friend Roz gave me this planter; she was had an inkling that I would love it. I love swan pottery precisely because they are such a 50s icon- if you search this blog you’ll find all manner of plastic, gilt and ceramic swans all hailing from the 50s.

I’ve teamed the planter- which has a hole for water egress, as you’d expect in the base- with a dried bunch of eucalypt. It would look great with a potted maiden hair fern, or other indoor plant; but also doubles as an impromptu vase.

The swan planter is for sale: $AUD145

50s coffee set

50s aluminium coffeeSwan Savoy Coffee Percolator, made in England 1950s
Glamaware sugar bowls, made in Australia 1950s

The Swan ‘Savoy’ coffee percolator was made for THAT famous restaurant in the 50s. With all its working parts intact it’s a functioning piece of 50s coffee memorabilia. The glass top tells you when the coffee is ready for pouring and the deco-shaped bakelite handle tells you this is a show piece! It’s good for 8 cups of coffee [2.5 pints.]

The three anodised sugar bowls are ‘Glamaware’- the name says it all! When I first started this blog, my lovely sister-in–law Pam gave me her Glamaware tea set and I used it as my blog icon, vowing never to sell it. These three sugar bowls show the range of colours the sets came in: baby blue, gold and pink gold. If you zoom into the image, you’ll see my photographer son taking the photo. I quite like that he is finally being acknowledged for all his great photography work, albeit somewhat subtly.

For coffee aficionados/collectors this aluminium collection is for sale: $AUD95

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Pates lustreware platterPates lusterware plate
made in Sydney, Australia c. 1950s

Ah lusterware! Loved by me and…hardly anyone else –and….loathed by many. But it was such a quintessential expression of the 50s – and a world-wide phenomenon – in that it linked ideas of ‘modernity’ with ‘metal’ or machinery. In short, lustreware was all about the space-race.

Lustreware is a metallic glaze produced by using metal oxides in an overglaze, placed over an initial colour and re-fired in a kiln. Lustreware’s shininess and metallic-ness was very revolutionary in the 50s – so used to pastel pink and baby blues. It was all about the new ‘machine’ era.

This swan/peacock platter, though- is familiar in form. Pates produced this piece through the 40s in rather sedate glazed colours and then updated it using lusterware glazes in the 50s. The Pates catalogue actually describes this as a swan/peacock platter, as if it is an amalgam of the two. Either way, the bird’s head is the platter handle and the lusterware is – awesome!

The lusterware platter is for sale: $AUD75

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