Shalom! and a Christmas story

Shalom ceramic wall tile, c.1960s
a Christmas story, by Richard Burton, 1966

Shalom and Merry Christmas! These two pieces have a lovely synchronicity, in shape, colour and form. The funky symbol of Shalom- Hebrew for peace- has a handwritten message on its timber back – ‘Jerusalem’ which I take to be its place of manufacture. The deep blue and orange of the ceramic tile are so very 60s. As is the simple timber framing.

Meanwhile Richard Burton- THE Richard Burton has written a story about his [impoverished] Welsh childhood and Christmases. He also provided the illustrations. It’s a bit of a turgid read, but this book was continually republished until the late 80s. Must have been doing something right. I bought it mainly for the lovely graphics on the hardback cover.

Wishing all my readers Shalom, and Merry Christmas! And I am sure Richard Burton would want to send his wishes also.

Donald & Piglet

Donald Duck clock & PigletBayard Donald Duck clock, made in France c.1960s
Beswick Piglet figurine, made in England 1968-1990

This lovely Donald Duck clock is currently for display only – the clock mechanism still works but its time keeping is not exactly accurate. It could possibly be repaired- and it would be fun to see Donald’s arms holding red paint brushes move around the dial – but for my money, he’s quite adorable as he is.

The other issue with these clocks is…the hands are well known to fall off. In fact, if you find a clock with the hands still attached- you are doing well. So, I think since the hands are in a delightful twenty minutes to three configuration, all well and good.

The blue metal casing has some rust – and a tiny nick in the plastic dial ring between numbers 8 and 9 – click on the image to enlarge to see – both of which are a product of the clock’s age. This particular Donald clock is now quite rare in that it has little plastic feet in place of the more commonly produced metal pedestal rest.

All vintage Disney products are now very collectable. Donald’s friend Piglet, by Beswick, is no exception. He has a ‘gold’ back stamp indicating he was made by Beswick, under license for Walt Disney Productions. Figurines with a gold back stamp are more expensive than those with a mere brown back stamp. I have seen gold back stamp Piglets for sale for over $150! And for a fella with such a forlorn face too!

Piglet is in excellent condition; both items are for sale separately or together.

For sale: Donald Duck clock: $AUD75, Piglet : $AUD75 or both: $AUD125

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Dog on the Tuckerbox, #50sstyle

Royal Stafford cup and saucer, made in England 1950s
Glass ashtray, made in Australia 1950s

More of my ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’ collection – a transfer printed cup and saucer and a glass ashtray with 50s photo of said dog on the base.

The cup and saucer are bone china, with gilt edging to both cup and saucer, and marked 3395 to base. Meanwhile, the glass ashtray- a souvenir item, made in Australia, has a rather crudely hand-coloured 50s photograph in the moulded glass. But if nothing else, that photograph shows how accurate the transfer prints on the cup and saucer are- and they were made in England.

Both are kitschy, one more refined kitsch than the other!

Start your Dog on the Tuckerbox collection today: the cup and saucer is for sale: $AU25 as is the ashtray: $AU10 [or $AU30 for both.]

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60s Pyrex

Pyrex canistersPyrex ‘Stack & See’ canisters
made in USA, c.1968

I use these canisters- with their funky 60s colours – to store my retro sewing collection. Any sort of see-through canister is great for re-use – as is stackability – a great 60s invention. These Pyrex canisters came in 4 different sizes- the largest is shown here.

You can collect the canisters in the colour-ways; green, yellow, orange, red or blue. Check the Pyrex motif is on the base- there are a few fake imitations around. They don’t make them like they used to.

Of course, you can still use the canisters in the kitchen for their original purpose: just make sure the sealing ring is intact. I have only collected canisters with the original rings, even if they are only storing buttons. Email me if you’d like to buy!

Guy Boyd goblets

Guy Boyd goblet set
made in Sydney, Australia 1950s

This is a really, really rare set of Guy Boyd goblets. The form of the vessel- the goblet- was only produced in very limited quantities. To find an original set [rather than re-create a set, one piece at a time] is also rare.

The Boyds are a famous Australian family of artists. Martin Boyd pottery started in Cremorne, Sydney in 1946- but Martin doesn’t exist, instead it was Guy [Martin] Boyd who was the chief ceramicist. The pottery was in operation from 1946-1964, with 1957-58 being the peak production period.

All Guy Boyd pottery is made [and signed] by hand so there is a slight variation between any pieces in a set. The pottery is instantly recognisable from the edge band of unglazed pottery that always separates the two toned pieces. The colours are quintessentially 50s.

This fabulous goblet set would be great for Christmas drinks! It is for sale: $AU75
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Retro milk bottle holders [sold]

vintage millk bottle holdersRetro milk bottle holders
made in Australia c.1950s

Who doesn’t remember the nightly ritual of putting out the milk bottle holder, with a note for the milkman as to the number of milk bottles required? Okay, that was in the olden days…but I can just remember.

These two milk bottle holders are lovely examples of the then ’new’ technology of PVC coated steel. The PVC coating was ‘kinder on the hands’ than the raw metal and it had the added benefit of delaying the corrosion of the metal. And all kinds of colour were possible!

Both these holders could carry four pint-sized [glass] milk bottles. Nowadays, the holders are good for all sorts of repurposing – I have seen them used as mobile vase holders, or mobile herb gardens.  Four terracotta pots fit snuggly into the spaces and the holder sits on the window sill in the sun to grow various herbs. When it’s time for harvesting, the holder is moved to the kitchen. Funky and practical!

The milk bottle holders are in excellent condition – even the white holder shows no sign of wear and tear. I haven’t been able to ascertain the manufacturer, but the person from whom I bought the holders assured me they were Australian in origin.  From prosaic functional item of yesteryear, milk bottle holders are now quite sought after and highly collectible. That’s nostalgia for you!          For sale: $AUD65

Kodak Brownies

Kodak Brownie camerasKodak Brownie cameras
127 Model 1 camera, 1952-1959
127 Model 2 camera, 1959-1963
Baby Brownie, 1948-1952 : all made in London, England.

From left to right in this image are the Model 1, Model 2 and Baby Brownie cameras. They are all made of bakelite, and all take 127 film. This film is no longer available but instructions exist [YouTube] that explain how to cut down 35mm film to suit- and of course 35mm film is still able to be processed today.

Model 1 has lost its winding mechanism, but comes in its original carry case. It has a Meniscus f/14 lens. Model 2 has a larger, Dakon f/11 lens. The Baby Brownie has a Meniscus lens and a flip up viewfinder. It has a button under the lens for brief time exposure, and it too has its own original carry case.

The three cameras are for sale: $AUD125

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Old Australiana tins

Old Australian tinsAustraliana tins
made in Australia, 1960s

For your amusement/delight, this post is dedicated to the collection of tins. And many- many-many people do collect tins. I didn’t set out to collect them- but the kitschy images on these three totally sucked me in.

We have two old biscuit tins and a sweets tin.

The ‘Australian Wildflower Series’ tin is a Brockhoff biscuit tin, made in the 1960s. There were 2 lbs of biscuits in there- and after the biscuits were eaten the tin could be used for storing all manner of things.

The ‘Koala’ tin held 1½ lbs of Arnotts biscuits- back in the day when Arnotts was a wholly owned Australian company [ie: the 1960s.] A recent tin sold on Ebay for $61. These things are hot right now!

And the ‘Budgie’ tin held sweets made by Gibsons, in Perth.

All the tins have well preserved images on the front- and the lids and hinges are all in working order. The tin inside has discoloured in places, due to age; but I gather that’s what you want in these things. Too sparkly bright might mean it was a reproduction tin- and nobody wants one of those!

The three tins are for sale: $AUD75

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Carnation champagne flutes

Retro champagne flutes
made in Australia, c.1950s

I’m rather fond of these kitsch decorated champagne flutes – the gilt rim and base helping somewhat to offset the rather garish carnations. The glasses were won in a golf tournament by my partner’s brother- and they had pride of place in the family’s display cabinet for many, many years. I don’t think they were ever used to imbibe champagne…they were considered far too precious. They were for display [and admiration] purposes only.

The set now needs a new home – I’m imagining a nice mid-century modern drinks cabinet…where they can be taken out from time to time to drink champagne. Or beer. Beer would also be good.

For sale: $AUD55

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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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