Tuesday 17 April 2012

2011 Morayfield Antique & Collectables Show Report

My copy of The Australian Bottle & Collectables Review (April - June, 2012) arrived in the mail last week.  This magazine is essential reading for all Australian bottle collectors and this issue included a report of last years Antique & Collectables Show held at Morayfield, Queensland.  The show was hosted by The Queensland Historical Bottle & Collectables Club of which I am a member.

I had four displays entered in this show and was fortunate enough to win a few awards for my efforts.  Following is a photo of the report from this magazine with a close up of my Celluloid display which won Best Collectables Display of the show.

And below are some actual photos from the big day

My Celluloid display amongst other displays 

Best Collectables Display trophy presentation

Some favourite celluloid items from my collection

Below are the 4 displays that I entered.

Celluloid Display
Baby Feeder Display
Pharmaceutical Paraphernalia Display
Kitchenalia Display

I am already planning my displays for this years show in September.

Sunday 15 April 2012

Another Three Bricks

Two of these bricks were amongst the 5 tip truck loads that we got years ago and one is a more recent acquisition, although not absolutely sure where from.

The first brick, the recent acquisition, has an impressed frog of a small hand with a heart in the middle (not really very clear in the photo).  It has been suggested to me that this brick may have come from the old Whiskey Au Go Go Nightclub that was burnt down in 1973 in Fortitude Valley.  I expect that this brick  would date from the late 1800s

Heart in Hand Mark

Detail of Heart in Hand Mark

The next brick is one of my favourites.  It has a raised knot or what I call a pretzel mark in its frog.  I have seen a few of these bricks around but don't have any idea as to their origins or age.  I would love to hear from anyone who could give me some information about it.  This brick came out of our original piles of bricks bought for paving.

Knot or Pretzel Mark

The third brick has quite a lot of wording pressed into its frog.  It says THE VIRGINIA BRICK & TILE Co, BRISBANE WORKS,  NORTH COAST LINE (at least I think the last word is LINE).  It's appropriate that I have a few bricks in my collection from Virginia as they all came from the demolished Virginia Pipe Works.

The Virginia Brick & Tile Co Mark

Detail of The Virginia Brick & Tile Co Mark
The only reference to The Virginia Brick & Tile Co that I could find was in an article about the early history of Virginia State School on a Northgate Ward Community News website.  It tells about the struggles involved in establishing the first school at Virginia and how they went about clearing the grounds of all the trees.  The following is an interesting extract from the Northgate Ward Community News website that mentions The Virginia Brick & Tile Co:-

"Major William Clatworthy, manager of the Virginia Brick and Tile Company blew out the remaining stumps of the trees that had been cleared. He would plant the detonators with his teeth and those who watched him expected to see his head blown off. Fortunately, that event never occurred."

The School was eventually completed in 1920.

It would be good to know when this company began and ended.  Maybe it was taken over by another brickworks or maybe it just changed its production from bricks to pipes only.

Saturday 14 April 2012

Soldier's Duffle or Kit Bag Lock

I managed to pick this small item of militaria up earlier this year at a Toowoomba show.  I believe it to be a kit bag lock for a soldier's duffle bag, probably from the World War II period or earlier.  It is made of brass and in good working order.

My understanding is that it would be threaded through the eyelets in the top of the kit bag, drawing it closed.  A small padlock would then be secured through the hole to keep it locked tight.  It would then act as a handle as well as a lock for the kit bag.

When I showed it at a recent bottle club meeting, there was some conjecture over whether it was a piece of militaria or something used to secure mail bags.  I believe it to be militaria after seeing a similar one at the Harrisville Museum two weeks ago labeled as being from an Army Kit Bag (see photo below).  My reasoning is that anyone donating this to the museum would have known whether their ancestor was either a soldier or a postman.  I did see a mail bag lock at the Templin Historical Village, Boonah earlier the same day.  Unfortunately I don't have a photo of it.  It did however have a slightly different action and shape.

I can highly recommend a visit to both these museums and having an enjoyable look around the surrounding countryside.

I don't really collect militaria but couldn't resist picking up this interesting little bit of history for my collection.

Two More Bricks

Here are two more bricks from my collection.  I bought these almost 30 years ago from a bottle show at The Brisbane Table Tennis Association Hall, Windsor.  Little did I realise at the time that this show was hosted by the Queensland Historical Bottle Club (now known as the Queensland Historical Bottle & Collectables Club) and that almost 30 years later I would be a member of this club.  The Aladdins Antique and Collectables Fairs are now held here 4 times a year.

The first brick is a British brick impressed with "HICKMAN & Co  STOURBRIDGE".  I was told when I bought it that this brick most likely came to Australia as ballast in a 19th century sailing ship.  They would often use bricks as ballast on the way out to Australia and use timber (sometimes cedar) as ballast for the return journey.  The ballast would then be sold at the ship's  destination before the loading of new ballast and cargo.  Are there any buildings in Australia built entirely or partly of British bricks?  Not sure, but it all makes an interesting story.  (I know that Hinkler's home in Bundaberg is built out of British bricks but it was brought out brick by brick and reassembled here in 1983, not sent as ballast in a sailing ship.)

I did find an early reference to this brick on the Papers Past website.  This site has more than two million digitised pages from early N. Z. newspapers from 1839 to 1945.  Just type 'Hickman and Co. Stourbridge' into the search.  The first entry, dating from 1871, is interesting as it talks of a Hickman and Co brick being used in a test comparison with other fire bricks.  It performed really well in the test.  Most references to this brick indicate that they are firebricks so maybe this one came from a kiln or fireplace.

The second brick was bought at the same time.  Don't know much about this brick and not even sure if it is an M or a W impressed into it.  Looks a bit like a snake to me.  There is an example of this brick in Roycroft's Australian Bottle Price Guide Number Four.  It is displayed in the M position in this publication.  The double heart brick in the previous post is also pictured here.  Unfortunately, no detailed information is given of either.

As said before, any information that you can give about any of these bricks would be most appreciated.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Bricks with Impressed Heart Marks

I picked up a few different bricks from a neighbour last week to add to my collection.  Yes, I also collect bricks and also garden edge tiles.  Haven't got a huge collection of each but I like to pick the odd ones up when I can.  I suppose my brick collection began over 30 years ago when we bought 5 tip truck loads of bricks from the then demolished Virginia Pipe Works to use as paving around our home.  Of course there happened to be many different impressed frog marks amongst the 6,000 or so old bricks which meant I had to keep aside examples of each of the earlier ones.  Couldn't help myself.  Hence my brick collection was born.

Anyway, below is a photo of two bricks with impressed hearts in them.  One with a single heart and one with two hearts.  I would love to know where they were made.  My guess is that they are of Queensland origin but don't have a clue to their age or which brickworks they come from.  Please feel free to leave a comment if you know any information about them.

The next two bricks also came from my neighbour.  I am sure that the 'Q' stands for Queensland but have no idea which brickworks it comes from.  The other brick has 'W' (or maybe an 'M')  impressed into the frog (the indentation in the face of a brick).  Any information about any of these bricks would be most appreciated.

I will put some of my other bricks and garden edge tiles on a future post.

Framed Gladys Cooper Postcards

My Dad found this for me over 40 years ago at the local tip (dump).  They were the days when you often came home with more rubbish than you went to get rid of.  If you want to take something home from the tip now you have to buy it from the tip shop.  This frame is an example of one person's trash being another person's treasure.

I immediately saw the value of the silky oak frame and took the postcards out so I could use it for another purpose.  Thankfully I put the postcards away safely and then proceeded to use the frame to house a cheap print of the right and wrong way to dismount from a tram.  It stayed this way for the past 40 years.

Last weekend I decided to restore the frame to its former self.  I gave the frame a quick polish with some Franklyns Furniture Polish and cleaned the glass.  I found the original Gladys Cooper postcards amongst my postcard collection and remounted them in the frame behind the original mount board.  There was a small amount of damage to the mount board but nothing that a bit of grey Staedtler Fineliner  pen couldn't fix.  All that was left to do now was to seal the back with picture framing tape and replace the hanging wire.  I can highly recommend using good quality picture framing tape.  All you have to do with it is moisten the gummed side and apply it over the gaps in the back of the frame.  Very easy and quick to use as well as being very strong.  It now hangs proudly in my office (come museum collectables room).

Gladys Cooper was an English actress whose career spanned seven decades on stage, in films and on television.  She was born in 1888 and died in 1971.  She actually played the role of Mrs Higgins in My Fair Lady (1964) for which she received a nomination for an Academy Award.

Many postcards showing Gladys Cooper are available and so are not worth very much at all but they still look great displayed this way.  Each postcard is a real photograph that has been hand tinted and were all sent to Maud from Nellie (as per the inscriptions on their backs).  I suppose they would date from the 1910s to the 1920s (they had no dates on them). 
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