An ode to 70s design

Fred Press cheeseboard & Bessemer piecesFred Press, American artist
Lionel Suttie, Australian industrial designer

Fred Press was an American artist, and from 1950 to the 1980s was the chief designer of Rubel & Co on NY’s Fifth Avenue. He set out to revolutionise giftware, bringing his artistic sensibilities to domestic ware. Here we see a cheese/fruit board, in the shape of an apple, with one of his iconic drawings reproduced on the ceramic tile. The tile itself was made in Japan and is set in American teak, and it is signed Fred Press.

Lionel Suttie was an Australian industrial designer, bought in to Bessemer to revolutionise the design of utility ware– butter dishes, sugar bowls and table ware. This was the first time mass produced melamine products were thought worthy of design – or that they could make could make a design statement. In this image- a russet brown lidded condiment bowl, an avocado cup and saucer and a yellow sugar bowl.

Altogether a fine homage to the 70s -and- 70s designers.

This set is for sale: $AUD105

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Soda syphons

Soda syphons
made in West Germany, and England c.1970s

Following on from the cocktail themes of recent posts, these soda syphons are a must have for the retro bar. The red syphon is unbranded, but marked ‘West Germany’ on the base, and the yellow syphon – although similarly unbranded, was made by Sparklets in England. Both syphons have a 1 litre capacity, have their original cartridge holders, and come with a box of Sparklets cartridges. I love the 70s image of mother and children contemplating the delights of making soda water on the Sparklets box!

The syphons are anodised aluminium and in good condition and working order. I can’t give any guarantees that the Sparklets cartridges still work…they are over thirty years old, but luckily soda cartridges are still available to buy as the design hasn’t changed.

Elsewhere on this blog I have showcased old glass soda syphons, made in Australia. If you are interested in syphons, and their history- read on!

These syphons are for sale: $AUD75

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60s goodness

Pyrex 'Sunburst' flask, Bessemer printed plate, 60sBessemer plate, made in Australia 1965-70
Pyrex ‘Sunburst’ flask jug, made in USA 1960s

This is Pyrex at its best- a jug modelled on a laboratory flask with an ‘atomic’ sunburst pattern in gold. The stopper is graduated plastic, in good old yellow plastic. The jug has a pouring lip, two litre capacity and being Pyrex, is good for hot and cold liquids. Pyrex is very collectible – and the jug is in excellent condition. And –it makes a terrific vase when it’s not serving hot and cold liquids.

The Bessemer plate is likewise very collectable. It is one of a series of six, designed by A. Wiederkehr – and is culturalyl important enough to be in the Powerhouse Museum collection. I would have loved to have collected all six- but alas- after so long hunting I have only found this one ‘in the wild’ [as collectors say.] I have found plenty of plates, of all the patterns – but they are invariably so scratched from use that I rejected purchasing.

If you are a Pyrex collector [and there are quite a few!] or a Bessemer collector, please check out the other items on my blog. I am a big fan of early 60s industrial designers – and Pyrex and Bessemer tick all the boxes!

The flask and plate are in excellent vintage condition, and are for sale: $AU45

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sUNBEAM bEATER mIX

Sunbeam Beater Mix, new in box, 1972Sunbeam Beater Mix
made in Australia 1972

How often have I used a Sunbeam Beater Mix to make pavlova? A million times. How often have I used it to make anything else? Not so much.

So – when I came across this beauty- new in box, I had to have it. It’s been checked by an electrician and it is oked for pavlova making.

It’s a fabulous 70s yellow colour, on black bakelite. Oh so 70s. The blurb on the box describes it thus: “portable, lightweight, with three powerful speeds- and – ejectable beaters!’ Really- you had me at ‘ejectable beaters’!

So- for all your pavlova / other beating needs [remind me again – what they might be?] the Sunbeam Beater Mix is for sale: $AU75

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Crystal Craft! [sold]

Crystal Craft ‘Daisy’ trivet and coasters
made in Australia 1960s

Crystal Craft! I have watched in astonishment as Crystal Craft has become incredibly collectible. Think the wired daisies with faces that proliferated in the 70s, and those resin daisy coasters with broad smiles in bright colours.

This is a collection of Crystal Craft ‘Daisy’- resin trivet and matching coasters. If you, or anyone you know has a Crystal Craft addiction – then – call a help line, or buy them this collection.

This collection was made in Australia – it would make a great Christmas present. For sale: $AU65

70s show pony

Fisher Product, revolving cassette holderA Fischer Product rotating cassette case
made in Australia 1970s

A rotating bookcase is called a ‘Canterbury’- so I imagine a rotating cassette case is also a canterbury.

This is a four-sided, rotating cassette holder: with ten cassettes to a side, that’s 40 cassettes! The transparent yellow cassette holders are mounted on a matt black ‘lazy susan’ type wheel.

Perhaps you could showcase other items on the four sides. I don’t know- but – the whole system is working. And if you had 40 cassettes to stow, then this is the vintage item for you!

For sale: $AU45
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70s telephone intercom phones [sold]

Telefon children's intercom toy telphones, 1970sTelefon children’s telephone toy
made in Germany, c.1970s

How cute are these push button intercom phones! A friend of mine who received them as a birthday present in the 70s [his was garish blue and white] said that his mother would ‘call’ him in his bedroom to tell him his dinner was ready! How cute!

This set has never been used, and comes in its original box. They are made ‘for ages 3 and up’, have 10m [33ft] of wire to allow use in different rooms, and take two 9V batteries. This is the pre-wireless age, peoples!

A perfect [nostalgic] Christmas present for someone 3 and up!

For sale: $AU75

70s water jugs

70s whiskey water jugsWhiskey water jugs,
made in Australia, England and France, 1970s

These are whiskey water jugs – and they are both practical and highly collectable. They are ‘advertisement’ jugs mass produced and given away to pubs –not sold to the public- with the idea that the public would be so impressed by the glamour of having water added to their drink by a ‘branded jug’ that they would continue to order their brandy/whisky by name. Ah! the70s, when advertising and impressing people was so easy!

The White Horse Scotch Whiskey jug was made by Wade; the Haig Scotch Whiskey jug was made by Carlton Ware- and has a beautiful integral handle and fantastic 70s square-shaped styling. The last jug is now quite rare: a Marie Brizard Liquers de France, made by Digoin – with a fabulous pouring spout.

All jugs are in fantastic vintage condition- with the slight exception of the Marie Brizard, which has some wear to the print on the reverse of the jug.

I also have some 60s whiskey jugs: a Rene Briand Brandy jug marked ‘Ceramica E. Piloa, Carpignano S.’ and a McCallum’s jug with the usual Wade branding. You really can’t have too many whiskey jugs!

These jugs are for sale: $AUD45 each.

Caddy Matic [sold]

Caddy-matic tea dispenserCaddy Matic tea dispenser
made in Australia 1950s

How about this beauty! Just look at that 50s yellow and chrome! This fantastic tea caddy is new-in-its-box, and comes ready to mount [screws & lugs provided!]

The chrome button dispenses exactly one teaspoon of tea, which is poured into the caddy via the removable chrome lid. Perfect for the modern- and retro- kitchen.

The box itself is a lesson in 50s graphics and packaging. It’s not pictured, which is a shame – but let me know if you want a picture [email address in ‘Contacts’ tab.]

The Caddy Matic is for sale: $AUD40

Retro eggcups

Retro duck eggcups Duck eggcups
made in Japan 1920s, 1940s, 1950s

A selection of retro duck egg cups, all made in Japan but having different vintages. These egg cups were made for the export market and would have come in a set of four; they are photographed in youngest to oldest order: from left to right- 1950s, 1940s, 1920s.

The eggcups are all stamped ‘Japan’ and all have a different stylised duck; some may have had an easter egg added if they were imported at Easter time in Australia. Chickens, ducks, other farmyard fowl: all could be used as an Easter gift in those retro times!

The set are for sale: $AUD55

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