Thursday 19 July 2012

I Love Vintage Cars

I am particularly fond of vintage cars. In fact a vintage car is high on my want list of things I would love to own someday. Who knows, maybe one day I will. Until then, it will have to remain a favourite dream of mine.

Motorfest 2012 was on last Sunday so we decided to go and see what vintage cars were on display. Wow! What a treat was in store for me. There was car after car that I would've been proud to own. At this stage though all I could do was take heaps of photos to drool over when I got home. It wasn't easy getting good shots with all the hundreds of other motor enthusiasts drooling as well but I did my best. That was until the battery in my camera died. I had to then resort to using my mobile phone for the rest of the day. Actually, the mobile phone photos turned out rather good except for the ones where someone kept putting his finger over the lens. Wonder who that was?

Below is a collection of photos of some of my favourite things that I saw on Sunday. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Not sure what type this is. Must be British though as it has the Union Jack on the radiator.

Again unsure but most likely pre 1919 which would make this one a Veteran car.
What the definition of veteran or vintage is depends on who you talk to. NRMA Insurance place veteran cars as being pre 1919, vintage as being made between 1919 and 1930 and classic cars as being 15 years old or older. The purists would dispute some of these dates. The Veteran Car Club in the UK places veteran cars as being pre 31st of December 1904. They call cars built from 1905 up until the end of World War I as Edwardian. The Vintage Sports Car Club in the UK adds a Post Vintage Thoroughbred category for some quality cars such as Rolls Royce, Lagonda, Alvis, Talbot, etc.. These are cars that were made from 1931 to the end of 1940. And the US tend to regard all pre 1942 cars as vintage as 1942 was the cut off date for production before World War II.

You can make your own mind up what to believe but I will just go with the NRMA guide of:
Veteran - pre 1919
Vintage - 1919 to 1930
Classic - 15 years old or older

The classic category is a bit suspect however as it means that our old Toyota Tarago would now be classed as a classic and my present Holden Berlina is not far off either.

Buick Tourer (probably 1930)

1929 Chevrolet Sedan (I could live with this one)

Dodge Tourer (1928 or 29)

1929 Dodge Six Roadster (stunning colour)

Interior of the Dodge Roadster

Early 1930s Chrysler Sedan (really love this car)

Rear of Chrysler (looks great from both angles)

1929 Essex Super Six Ute
 (would be a great vehicle to own for picking up my antique purchases - how cool would that be?)

Interior of Essex Ute (love the way the steering wheel pushes up to make it easier to get in and out)

1929 Oakland Tourer (nice colour)

Model T Ford (early 1920s)

Indian Motorcycle

Indian head mascot on Indian Motorcycle

Early Ford Fire Engine
(always wanted my own vintage fire engine - probably a little impractical though.)

Fire Hose nozzles on the Ford Fire Engine
(gave a hose nozzle just like one of the large ones to my son Laurie when he graduated as a firefighter)

1930 Model A Ford Sedan (another favourite of mine)

1929 D. A. Dodge Tourer

Model A Ford Sedan (loved this car also)

Interior of the above Model A Ford

Auburn Boat-tail Speedster (way out of my price range)

Hudson Sedan (very, very nice)

Front of Hudson Sedan

Austin A 30 Van (very cute)

Austin Seven Van
(Karen loved this little car. She first saw it as it was driving into the show
 and had to find it and get some photographs.) 

Austin Seven Tourer

Austin Seven Tourer - Chummy (looks like Brum to me)

Vintage Plywood Caravan (whose finger is that over the lens?)

Ply Caravan again
(not much room in this little guy but it would look great being towed behind the right car)

As you may be able to tell from the photos I took, I tend to favour vintage sedans and tourers from the late 1920s. My first choice would be a sedan as they are more versatile in regard to being used through all types of weather although a tourer with a well fitted hood and side curtains would also be very nice. And the tourers are usually cheaper than the sedans.

Oh well, I can continue to dream, can't I? Anyone out there got a vintage car for sale and fulfil my dream?

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Pates and Bakewell Brothers Potteries

Here are a few more pieces of Australian pottery. This time they come from the Sydney potteries of "Pates Potteries" and "Bakewell Brothers Pottery". They were all found at the last Aladdins Fair.

Two pieces of Pates pottery
Two pieces of Bakewell Brothers pottery

The first piece is a vase which I believe is from Pates Potteries. At least that is what I bought it as. 

Pates Potteries vase (18cm high)
Alfred Pates established Pates Potteries Pty Ltd in 1946. He learnt his potting skills while working for the Fowler Pottery Company in 1933. The company employed 95 staff at the height of production in the 1960s and continued operation right up until 1990.

Not sure how much I really like the colours on this vase. Not as pretty as some of the glazes used on Diana ware and some Bakewells pottery. This vase would probably date from the 1950s.

Impressed 'P' mark (Pates Potteries?)
This vase doesn't have the full Pates backstamp but does have an impressed letter 'P' on the base. The stall holder had the vase labeled as being from Pates pottery because of this mark. I haven't been able to confirm this yet so I will just accept that this is a Pates vase until someone shows me otherwise.  Another stall holder also had a piece of pottery for sale with the same mark but he didn't know who made it.

The next piece is a bowl, also from Pates Potteries. This one is fully marked.

Pates Potteries bowl (28 x 14cm)
I bought this bowl because of its lustreware glaze which is quite different to the glazes on the other pieces of Australian pottery in my collection. Lustreware is the name given to pottery that has a metallic glaze with an iridescent look to it. Similar to the rainbow effect you get when you put oil onto some water.

I believe this bowl is not as old as the vases in this post and probably dates from the 1960s or even the 1970s.
Pates Potteries backstamp
The backstamp on this bowl clearly states 'PATES POTTERIES SYDNEY AUSTRALIA'. There is also an impressed number '181' which would most likely be the mould number of the shape of the vase.

The following link sheds a little more light on the history of Pates Potteries.

The last pieces are two small vases from Bakewell Brothers Pottery.

Bakewell Pottery vases (9 and 9.5cm high)
I was first drawn to these sweet little vases by the glaze colours which are very much like that used on Diana ware. It intrigued me to see how the glaze colours were reversed on each vase. These vases are almost exactly the same except for this colour variation and a slight size and weight difference. One vase seems to be more finely potted than the other. Possibly two different potters working to the same design?

The firm Bakewell Brothers was actually founded in 1884 and began by making bricks, pipes and basic kitchen ware. Like many other Australian potteries, they produced a lot of art ware during the interwar years. Bakewells closed its doors in 1955.
Bakewell Pottery backstamp
The backstamps on these vases is for the "NEWTONE" ART WARE range from BAKEWELLS SYDNEY. This Newtone range was introduced in the early 1930s and continued into the late 1940s. These vases would date from this period.

Hopefully, the following link will shed a little more light on the history of Bakewell Brothers Pottery.

Group photo of Pates, Bakewells and Diana pottery
 (They sort of look OK together, don't you think)

If anyone has any further information about any of these pieces of pottery, please feel free to leave a comment. I would especially like to hear from anyone who knows something about the impressed 'P' mark.

Monday 9 July 2012

Sammy's Weigh In

Thought you might like to see how I use one of my collectables. I weigh babies with it. Well really only my gorgeous Grandson Sammy so far, but the invitation is open to any other babies out there.

My No 2 Grandson Sammy testing out my vintage baby scales

I bought these baby scales a couple of years ago from Wayne, a friend of mine from the bottle and collectables club. He was clearing out a lot of accumulated collectables before moving house and said I could come and see if there was anything amongst them that I might be interested in.

It was a very hot day. Karen and I had spent an hour or so looking around his shed picking bottles, etc to buy. As we were packing our pickings I began to feel quite faint and almost passed out because of the intense heat. So we sat down for a while in the cool of Wayne's bar-b-que area to recover. While we were talking I spied these baby scales sitting on top of his bar-b-que. I said to Wayne, "Are they a set of old baby scales?" He confirmed that they were and wanted to know if I was interested in them. Of course I said "I might be." After all being a mad collector of baby feeders, I was always on the lookout for any other related items to enhance my collection. Needless to say a deal was soon struck after confirming that the scales were complete and in full working order. They were then loaded into the boot of our car along with all the other goodies I had picked. It turned out to be a most successful day. Thanks Wayne.

Anyone else got some stuff they would like me to look at for them? Just drop me an email and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Adjusting the scales - thank goodness for a happy, placid baby
I believe these ELLISCO scales were made by an Australian company based in Bligh Street, Sydney. At least that is as far as I can make out from the partly damaged label. Not sure where Wayne got them from but he may have said they came from a chemist shop in a Brisbane suburb maybe like Alderley. The scales are a little shabby in appearance (which may be OK as this look seems to be in fashion these days). Who knows, one day I may decide to restore them to their former glory.

Oh, and by the way Sammy weighed in at 14lbs 10&3/4 ozs. He was three months old at the time.

My sweet little Sammy
A little tickle and Sammy is all smiles
Sammy's Mummy, Daddy and big brother Max watching Grandpa play with the scales 

I wonder if I could use Sammy as a 'Go With' on my Baby Feeder display at this years Queensland Historical Bottle and Collectables Club show in September? I haven't read anything in the rules to say no live exhibits. Might have to sedate him though for the day and his Mummy and Daddy mightn't like that. Oh well it was just a thought.

Note:  For those who don't collect and show bottles, a 'Go With' is an item that is not a bottle but is used to enhance a bottle display, i.e.. it goes with the bottles. It should have a close relationship with the bottles on display. For example I might show some vintage breast pumps alongside a Baby Feeding Bottle display or my pharmacists prescription book, that was featured in an earlier post, with my Chemist Dispensing Bottles which I will be showing at this years show.

Saturday 7 July 2012

American Mantel Clocks

Two chronometers the captain had,
One by Arnold that ran like mad,
One by Kendal in a walnut case,
Poor devoted creature with a hangdog face.
Arnold always hurried with a crazed click-click
Dancing over Greenwich like a lunatic,
Kendal panted faithfully his watch-dog beat,
Climbing out of Yesterday with sticky little feet.
Arnold choked with appetite to wolf up time,
Madly round the numerals his hands would climb,
His cogs rushed over and his wheels ran miles,
Dragging Captain Cook to the Sandwich Isles.
But Kendal dawdled in the tombstoned past,
With a sentimental prejudice to going fast,
And he thought very often of a haberdasher's door
And a yellow-haired boy who would knock no more.
All through the night-time, clock talked to clock,
In the captain's cabin, tock-tock-tock,
One ticked fast and one ticked slow,
And Time went over them a hundred years ago.
by Kenneth Slessor, 1931.

Who remembers this poem from their school days? I do. I still have my Anthology book from Grade 6 (at least I think it was Grade 6) with it in. Gee, that would be at least 45 years ago now! 

It is an excerpt from Kenneth Slessor's 1931 poem, "Five Visions of Captain Cook", about Cook's third voyage chronometers.

Well, Arnold and Kendal came to live at our house last year. At least that is what I call our two American mantel clocks. I can't help thinking of Kenneth Slessor's poem when I look at them. You see, one always seems to 'run like mad' while the other just keeps on 'panting faithfully'. Just like the two chronometers in the poem.

We found the first clock, our American steeple clock, on a stall at the Pomona Antiques and Collectables Fair last year. This fair is on again in just two weeks time. We were spending a day out with my Brother, Sister-in-law and Niece going to the antiques fair, having lunch together, seeing a silent movie at the Majestic Theatre and visiting the Pomona Museum. Overall it turned out to be a most enjoyable day.

I had always admired American steeple clocks and here was one for sale. They have always seemed to me to be the perfect, country, cottage clock. A style I have always admired. Hadn't planned to actually buy a clock this day but thought we would have a look anyway. The stall holder, Ken, turned out to be a really nice guy and was only too willing to spend time with us explaining everything about the clock. He collects, restores and sells clocks and is a member of the Queensland branch of 'Watch and Clockmakers of Australia'. This clock was part of his own collection but as his collection grew so some clocks had to go. Thankfully for us, it was his steeple clock. So a deposit was paid and we picked the clock up from Ken's home the following week.

Our American Welch Steeple Clock called Kendal 
This clock, which I call 'Kendal', is a nice example of an American steeple clock made by the E. N. Welch Clock Company in Forrestville, Connecticut, USA. The company was formed in 1864 and was eventually taken over by the wealthy Sessions family in 1903. They changed the name of the company to the Sessions Clock Company.
Kendal is in very good original condition and like his namesake pants 'faithfully his watch-dog beat'. He has an eight day movement, chiming the hours and half hours, housed in a handsome rosewood veneer case. This clock would date from the late 1800s.

Kendal's Roman numeral dial behind a glass door with gilt decoration
Kendal's nice imitation mercury pendulum with chiming gong behind
Back of our steeple clock
Remains of E. N. Welch paper label on back

Our second clock was also bought from Ken, who I am proud to now call my friend, when he had a stall at the Queensland Historical Bottle and Collectables Club's Annual Show last September. We were looking for a black Sessions or Ansonia mantel clock and Ken just happened to have one for sale. It was well priced so it had to come home with us.

I have named this clock "Arnold" as it has a tendency to run 'like mad' (although after some recent adjustments he may actually be slowing down). 

Our American Sessions mantel clock called Arnold

Arnold is a black mantel clock made by the Sessions Clock Company. This company began in 1903, after taking over the E.N.Welch Clock Company, and was eventually liquidated in 1970. 
Arnold is also in very good original condition and would date from the early 1900s. Like Kendal, he also has an eight day movement, chiming the hours and half hours, housed in a rather austere black painted case. This was the American staple style of clock from the 1850s to the 1920s.

Arnold's Arabic numeral dial

Some fine engraved decoration on the front of Arnold

Detail of Arnold's cast metal fittings i.e.. feet, columns and handles
The back of our black mantel clock
Sessions paper label on the back of our black mantel clock
(wonder if I can still make a claim on the guarantee)
Arnold's insides

I also have two nice small celluloid clocks that I will put on a future post. Now all I need are a nice wall clock or two and a long case clock to make my clock family complete (but as all collectors really know, is a collection ever really complete?).

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