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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60s candlestick

Scheurich candlestick,
made in West Germany 1960s

By now you are all familiar with the term ‘fat lava’- the West German pottery that happened in the 60s and 70s that used crazy glazes, crazy shapes and crazy thick lava-esque patternings. Kinda grotesque at the time, but now much embraced and much celebrated.

Here is a more modestly coloured Scheurich candlestick. Although if orange wasn’t the colour of the 60s, I don’t know what was. And while Australians might call this a candle-holder; the European name for this device is a candlestick.

Like all Scheurich pottery, it has marks on the base: 255 /10. The first number is the pattern number, the second number is the height [in cm.] Those Scheurich potters!- so practical! I love the anti-gravity shape of the candlestick; and the colours of the candles I have teamed it with.

The candlestick has a tiny fleabite at the back, on the middle ring. I nearly didn’t buy it.  But it’s Scheurich, it’s fat lava, it’s a 60s candlestick! So, I have styled it with the fleabite to the back, and it is priced accordingly.

The Scheurich candlestick is for sale: $AU45

60s bowling case

Bowling case,
made in Australia 1960s

This is a polished leather bowling case – inside it has compartments for two bowls and a jack. The interior is crimson flock – which makes for a nice contrast for whatever stuff you want to carry in it.

On the exterior lid  is a dymo label that reads: West Walllsend B.C. – so I guess this once belonged to a bowling club in West Wallsend. This is lawn bowls, people – not ten pin.

The lock – and key provided- still work; but the hinge at rear has some wear, and there is some delamination of the leather edges internally. Nothing you wouldn’t expect from a polished leather case that is utilitarian in purpose and over fifty years old!

I love vintage suitcases and despise modern handbags- so this mini-case has housed my wallet, phone and keys for a good while. I kept the dymo label because it is an authentic piece of history – and it makes me laugh- and also marks this out as my bag. [In case, you know, anyone mistakes it for theirs!]

The polished leather bowling case is now for sale: $AU25

Travelling Requisites

Ford Sherington suitcase,
made in Australia 1940s

This delightful suitcase was made by Ford Sherington – a well-known purveyor of luxury leather goods in Sydney which started production in 1912 and continued until the mid- 70s.

Interestingly the Ford Sherington company was started by a woman– Ada Sherington- and in the 30s Ford Sherington created the now famous Globite school case which millions of Australian children took to school.

The suitcase has an internal label –with flourishing 40s fonts- which says:

“Airway” Made By Ford Sherington Ltd, Manufacturers & Importers of Travelling Requisites, 319 George Street, Sydney.

While the “genuine cowhide”, hinges and fixings were all manufactured in Australia- the locks were made in England. Unfortunately the keys are long gone. The interior is lined with brown tartan, which is clean and intact, with an upper elasticised pocket. Another fantastic overnight case!

The suitcase is for sale: $AU125

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1940s doctors bag

1940s cow hide case,
made in Australia

This is a fabulous ‘barrel-shaped’ case, possibly a doctor’s bag or briefcase, from the 40s. It is made of ‘genuine cow hide’ – as it attests on the interior label, although the leather has been tricked-up to resemble crocodile skin.

The case is in fantastic shape for its age- lock and key still work, hinges in-tact, handles and bottom studs all in-tact. The interior is also in remarkable shape- it’s red tartan-lined with two interior pockets. It would make [and indeed has made me] a wonderful overnight bag.

Suitcases and doctor’s bags from the 30s and 40s are now super collectable; and clean, pristine vintage cases are so much nicer to travel with than modern cases.

The doctors bag is for sale: $AU125

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Swinnertons Chelsea Blue

Swinnertons Chelsea Blue crockerySwinnertons Chelsea Blue
made in Staffordshire, England c.1950s

This set comprises 4 dinner plates, 4 side plates and 4 cake plates. The colour is described as ‘duck egg blue’.

I had been hunting for the matching Chelsea Blue coffee and tea sets, but upon reflecting how lovely the harlequin crockery sets are [see for example Swinnertons Nestor Vellum ‘Moonglo’ sets, below] I can’t actually imagine having a set all one colour.

Also, for some unexplained reason, the Chelsea Blue jug looks so wrong with the rest of the set- it is overblown, and has some quasi-20s affectations…what were they thinking? This is the 50s, people! I couldn’t bring myself to buy it – and left it on the shelf- which was probably a first for me.

This would be a good starter set for a harlequin table setting for 8 – just collect similar 50s colours in the same simple, rounded forms. Or just use as is – how good would cake look on those duck egg blue plates!

For sale: $AUD120

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Sellex canister set

Selex canister setSellex bakelite kitchen canister set
made in Australia c. 1940s

I have posted Sellex canisters previously – but this is an entire set, which is now rare to find. It’s a transfer label, white bakelite set consisting of Flour, Tea, Sugar, Rice and Sago. The Tea label has now been lost- probably due to over-use..but you notice the Sago label is still going strong….I’m just saying.

These canisters would look great in a monochrome white modernist kitchen.

This delicious creamy-white, hard-worn bakelite canister set is for sale; $AUD95

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1920s cobblers last

Cobblers lastCast-iron shoe last
made in Australia c.1920s

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.

The cobblers last is for sale: $AUD45

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Super, super 8

Diamond Super 8 Editor, 1950sDiamond Super 8 Editor
made in Japan, 1950s

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

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Bakelite amp meter [sold]

Bakelite amp meter,
Lamb sugar-figurine, made in Australia 1950s

I love bakelite, as you know, and I love scientific/measuring instruments. So this gauge [which measures amps, and still works] is totally up my alley. I am so pleased that the buyer is giving it to a artist who makes toys out of found objects. Imagine this as part of a toy, where the amp needle moves as the toy moves~ magic!

I have resisted collecting figurines, but you know- this sugar lamb – was kinda irresistible.  The ‘sugar’ refers to the rough clay texture which gives the figurine some semblance of realism, and unbeknownst to me, this is highly sought after. This lamb is going to a remote sheep station in Western Australia.

I shall endeavour to buy bakelite gauges and sugar figurines- it’s not just me but you!