Sewing Paraphernalia

DF Tayler & Co pins, made in England 1940s
Southern Cross pins, made in Australia 1940s

Being a sew-er [rather than a sewer] and a vintage collector, I am quite partial to vintage sewing paraphernalia. I make clothes for myself from vintage fabric, using vintage patterns, threads, buttons, trims, etc. So I have collected [but not used] these vintage pins.

I love the graphics on the boxes- so of the times- and the pins from the 40s are both described as ‘short whites’. Short whites are steel, with thick heads, and fine points- made for most sewing occasions. The term ‘short’ was used to indicated they were made for use in dressmaking- longer pins in the 40s were still used to hold garments together when worn.

For collectors of sewing paraphernalia- or vintage dressmakers who enjoy the total vintage experience, the pins are for sale: $AU20

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Westclox

Westclox clocks :
‘Big Ben’ made in USA  c.1916
‘Baby Ben’ USA  c.1964
‘America’ USA  c.1932 and
Five Rams clock, made in china c.1970s

All clocks are wind-up, with alarms, in working order. Big Ben is missing a ring on its top, but I think it looks better without it. America is quite rusted, but it being made in the 30s it’s entitled to be. Baby Ben, being of a later vintage, has a funky 60s aesthetic and glow in the dark numbers and hands. Westclox are very collectible, with whole websites devoted to their identification, buying and selling.

Clocks look great massed together – just make sure you have three or more.  For sale: $AUD115

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Vintage pudding bowls

Fowler Ware pudding bowls,
made in Sydney, Australia 1940s

Fowler Ware pudding bowls are now quite collectable: and this crimson colour is the most sought colour. Vintage pudding bowls do double duty in the kitchen: they make excellent puddings- and when not being pressed into pudding work, they make great fruit bowls.

The monochrome shade of the pudding bowl looks great in a contemporary kitchen. The bowls originally came in a set of five –nested- bowls in the very 50s colours of grey, yellow, baby blue, green and crimson. I recently found a complete set of nested bowls – which is now unfortunately very rare.

These two bowls are from different sets- you can see this is the subtle differences in the rim patterning. However, they are the same fantastic crimson- and would look great holding apples or lemons- or – in the making of puddings!

The pudding bowls are for sale: $AU60/pair
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Happy Easter!

Vintage easter egg holder
made in Japan 1940s

Just in time for Easter, here is a timber easter egg holder: The cart is articulated and the wheels move as the chick pulls it along. The original pin holding the cart to the chicken has been amateurishly replaced with a pin, adding to the overall charm of the piece.

These egg-holders were made in the thousands, in Japan, and exported to countries who- in the 40s at least- celebrated Easter by the giving [and eating] of easter eggs. It is hand-painted and the egg would be placed in the cart by the country selling the Easter gift.

[Without an easter egg available I have styled the cart with a random racoon.] Given my propensity for kitsch, I love this little piece! and after all easter eggs have been consumed, you can see that it’s quite good for displaying random figurines.

The easter holder is for sale: $AU15
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Koalas!

Koalas- fabric & ceramicKoalas!
made in Japan, c.1960s

For your delectation, a collection of koalas- fabric print and ceramics. Made in Japan- because- the 60s!

The printed : a tablecloth 36” x 36” [914.4x 914.4mm] and 4 serviettes 11” x 11” [279.4 x 279.4mm.] Never been out of their box! Waiting to be used.

The ceramics: a monochrome koala figurine, a koala planter, and a koala souvenir from Launceston [Tasmania]. This last one is the most precious of the lot.

You can never have too many koalas. Especially since they are now on the threatened species list. Get them why you still can!

This set is for sale: $AUD95

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Swinging 60s

Arabia ‘Kosmos’ espresso cups
Broadhurst Kathie Winkle ‘Calypso’ platter
made in Finland, England 1960s

Arabia pottery is uber collectble right now: here we have Kosmos, designed by Gunvor Olin-Gronquist [or GOG, as noted on the backstamp.] Kosmos dinner service sets were made between 1962 and 1976; these are espresso cups, for that perfect morning cuppa.

Also featuring in the image- Kathie Winkle for Broadhurst pottery- a ‘Calypso’ platter. This was made in 1963; Kathie Winkle was so prolific in producing different designs [over one hundred] in the 60s that each design was made for less than a year. The transfer stencil outline has been hand-painted, and then over-glazed, so no two pieces are exactly the same.

The Arabia cups are for sale: $AU55/pair, as is the Kathie Winkle platter: $AU35. A fabulous ode to the 60s!

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Krups kitchen scales

Krups kitchen scales
made in Germany c.1954

I have a rather large collection of retro scales. So far I have posted Australian scales [Salter -50s and Persinware-60s] but the collection also includes these lovely metal German scales. Scales are both functional and beautiful – as long as the measuring bowl is intact [and one must make sure it’s the original bowl as well.]

These scales weigh items up to 25 lbs [approx. 11.5kg] in 2 ounce increments. The scales are completely made of metal- bowl included, and they are original – not reproduction- scales, in that the scale is imperial only. Kitchen scales that feature both imperial and metric scales were made post 1972 and are considered reproduction.

The scales show a little bit of wear and tear from a life of service in a kitchen, but there is no corrosion or deterioration of the material and the weight measure is accurate. As is typical, there is an adjustment knob at the rear to allow one to correct for the weight of the bowl itself.

Four lemons and a lime weight 1lb 7oz. The duck is just along for the ride.  For sale: $AUD75

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Xylonite collection #2

Australian xylonite
made in 1910-1920s

Following my last post where the origin of xylonite was [briefly] explained : here’s my second collection.

Here we see hinged boxes: the top, ‘piano’ box would have housed jewellery, as would the lower two boxes [the ring box still contains it’s beige velvet interior and closing mechanism.]

The brush and penknife have jumped in from the last post; but are now shown with a cut-throat razor and hand-held mirror.

As noted in the last post, xylonite deteriorates with time and exposure to direct sunlight. These pieces are in fantastic condition for their age [and careful storage away from the Australian sun.] The piano box is particularly pristine.

This set is for sale: $AU275

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Xylonite collection #1

Australian Xylonite 1910-1930sXylonite collection
made in Australia 1910-1920s

Xylonite was first produced in 1875 – to imitate ivory. It was the first thermoplastic made – as an ivory substitute it was first used for knife handles and jewellery, then all manner of domestic products. Xylonite has tiny parallel striations of yellow and bone- which gives it a faux ivory look- although, interestingly- this was an accident. The manufacturers were attempting to create a timber-look-alike, so named the new celluloid product xylonite – ‘xylon’ being Greek for wood.

Whatever, the production of xylonite saved much real ivory being used. I first became interested in xylonite when I was researching bakelite [after first becoming interested in resin.] So I now have an abiding interest/affection for all types of vintage plastics.

This set of xylonite illustrates how- over time [and exposure to direct sunlight] the normally off-white plastic colour starts to yellow. And this is in excellent condition!- it is of course a hundred years old. The set comprises four lidded ladies boudoir containers, a boudoir tray, hair brush and pen knife and a gentleman’s stud container sans lid.

For the Xylonite collectors, this set is for sale: $AU325

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Bakelite domestica

Nally blue bakelite tray, made in Sydney, Australia  c.1940s
Dalson Products bakelite retractable washing lines, made in Melbourne, Australia c.1940s

And now for some more bakelite domestica!

This lovely speckled blue and white bakelite tray has distinctive art deco styling, with its embossed sunburst pattern. The speckled form of bakelite was often used with blue pieces- it has been noted previously [see ‘blue bakelite post, below] that blue bakelite is prone to break down to a murky brown colour. One solution was to mix the blue bakelite with another colour- usually a neutral colour- to help disguise any such deterioration.

The tray has performed well at many cocktail soirees, and I can attest to the understated glamour it brings to any occasion.

The three retractable washing lines are also very cute. They were made for the interior hanging of clothes.  Being retractable meant that one could wash and hang clothes on a rainy day, or it was used when travelling. The winding mechanism is working well on all three – and I like that the manufacturer’s name is cast into the contrasting bakelite winding handle. One could certainly use them today – for retro travel in style!

I recently found another retractable clothes line: this one is plastic, later in date, and made in England; coloured beige and green. The mechanism is exactly the same, but the handle has been modified- this is a 50s version. Surely there is a collector of indoor washing lines out there; Washingalia?

For sale: $AUD85

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