Tuesday 31 July 2018

I Love Vintage Cars - 2018 RACQ Motorfest (Part 1)

It's been 6 years since I last went to the RACQ Motorfest in Brisbane. As expected, this years event was just as good as the previous one which I attended. Hundreds of great cars on display with enough variety to appeal to every car lovers taste. 
My favourites have always been the vintage cars.
"I Love Vintage Cars".
Below is just a sample of some of the cars that were on display.

Very early Rambler on the RACQ display
Love the large, single, brass headlight. But what a pain to keep that beauty polished.

"George" the 1934 Daimler Straight-Eight V26 Limousine.
This vehicle was used in the Coronation of King George V1. 

"George" again with a nice little white MG in the background.

"Bertha" the 1955 R Series Bently Saloon.
Another classic luxury vehicle.

Can't get more stylish than this classic.
A 1928 Rolls Royce Phantom II.

What great lights.

The 6 Cylinder, 468 C.I. engine of the Rolls.

The Rolls Royce interior.

1929 Austin Seven Albert Sports

Nice moto meter made by Boyce on the Austin Seven Albert.

Another Austin Seven. Had a nice chat to the owner of this one. Very cute little car and wouldn't take up much space in the garage.

Austin Seven interior.

1933 Chevrolet pickup.

Appropriate number plate for a 1933 pickup. I wonder if they call her 'Pup'.

Beautiful 1932 Chevrolet Moonlight Speedster. Red really suits her.

Love the Moonlight Speedster's dicky seat, also known as a 'Mother In-Law Seat'. Wonder what it would be like riding up there?

Morgan 3 Wheeler.
I believe this one is a modern interpretation (first released in 2011) of the early ones, so not strictly vintage, but still a great looking car.

Definitely wouldn't want to run into the car in front of you in this.

Cosy sports interior of the Morgan.

Bobtail rear on the Morgan

Beautifully restored blue Chevrolet, possibly 1928.

She looks beautiful from all angles. Such a pretty car.

These classics are just a sample of what was there. Stay tuned and I'll share some more beauties in another post soon.

Tuesday 24 July 2018

King George VI Souvenirs (and other related items)

King George VI ('Prince Albert' Frederick Arthur George) was born at York Cottage, Sandringham, United Kingdom on 14th December 1895. Queen Victoria, his great grandmother was on the throne of England at the time of his birth.
He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Westminster Abbey on 26th April 1923. Being the second son of King George V, George was not expected to inherit the throne, however, things changed for George when his elder brother, Edward VIII, abdicated to marry the divorced American socialite, Wallis Simpson. Thus George VI was crowned king on 12th May 1937 at his coronation in Westminster Abbey and reigned until his death on 6th February 1952.

As with most of the English monarchs, many souvenirs of their significant life events were produced. Below are just a few from my own personal collection.

Souvenir books, such as "Our Royal Family" provide a wealth of both formal and candid photographs, of King George VI and his family life. This hardcover, cloth bound book was published by The Sun News-Pictorial in Melbourne in about 1949.
(The above portrait of King George VI was taken from this book, "Our Royal Family")

This beautiful painting of the coronation, by Frank O. Salisbury, is featured on both the front and back inside cover pages of the book "Our Royal Family".

Detail of the intricately embossed cloth bound cover of  "Our Royal Family".

Ceramic souvenir cup of the 1937 Coronation of King George VI  . 

The title ' EMPEROR OF INDIA' (or EMPRESS during Queen Victoria's reign) was used by the British monarchy from 1876 until 1948 when India gained its independence from the United Kingdom.

This Norville Ware cup was produced by C & E Limited, England.

The long running "The Illustrated London News" produced a Royal Silver Wedding Number on May 1 1948 to commemorate the 25th wedding anniversary of King George VI and Elizabeth (also known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother). The magazine featured an elaborately adorned cover and a 12 page full colour centre section featuring some wonderful photos of the Royal Family, two of which are reproduced below.

The official wedding photo of the King and Queen from April 26, 1923.

Lovely family photo taken at Buckingham Palace in 1942, featuring the King and Queen with their two daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.

Souvenir plate produced for the cancelled 1949 Royal Visit to Australia. This was to be the first Royal Visit by a reigning monarch but was cancelled at the last minute due to the King's failing health. This proved to be rather unfortunate for the manufacturers of the royal visit souvenirs. I wonder what happened to most of these now not required souvenirs? Obviously some have survived!
Another royal tour to Australia was planned for 1952, this time by Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. Unfortunately, this tour had to be cancelled before it was even half way through when her father, King George VI, died. It wasn't until two years later, 1954, that a reigning monarch would finally visit Australia.

Crest detail on 1949 Royal Visit plate.

This Royal Tudor Ware plate was produced by Barker Bros. Ltd, England

Children's china was another popular area for the souvenir manufacturers. This Baby's Plate was produced as a souvenir of Princess Margaret Rose's birth in 1930. The plate is decorated with two lovebirds (budgerigars) and marguerite and rose flower designs referring to the given names of the princess. This design proved to be very popular at the time.

Souvenir details from the back of the Baby's Plate.

How many more souvenirs were produced during the reign of King George VI? I'm not sure anyone would really know, but it would probably numbers in the thousands.

Wednesday 11 July 2018


Packaging graphics haven't really changed a lot over the years. They're primarily designed to do one very important thing, and that is to catch your attention. Secondly, their purpose is to give information and a description of what the package contains.

Here are a few from my own personal collection that caught my eye.

'CANNY SCOT' sheets
Who could resist a smile and a wink from such a happy scot. And the sheets and pillow cases are guaranteed for 5 years, although I think the guarantee my have expired by now. Nice rich colours and attractive graphics.
I believe these would probably date from the early 1960s going by the pre-decimal price of 21/6 each. This set has never been unpacked / untied and the label is still securely attached to the sheets.

Comical graphics of Mr Punch with a long nose being used as a mop handle. Wonder what lies Mr Punch had been telling?
 Unusual to see such an early paper label on a bottle surviving in so good condition. Would probably date from the 1920s.
The 'Punch Mop & Polish Co', Chicago was listed in a 1914 catalogue of copyright entries. It's nice that this fully labeled bottle is actually from Australia and not the U.S.

'Modern Magic SOAP POWDER'
Can't tell you much about this packet of soap powder except that it 'makes washing easier'.
Simple clear graphics featuring a magician to emphasise the magic properties of the powder.
Amazing condition for its age. The powder still feels free and loosely packed when shaken.
This packet has never been opened.
If I had to guess it's age, I would say probably from around the 1940s.

Nice cute graphics featuring a naked baby lying on a pretty cushion on one side of the box and the baby feeding bottle on the other side of the box.
The pretty sky blue with yellow flower edging suits the baby theme of the graphics.
This double ended style of baby feeder was very popular throughout the first half of the 20th century. It was a great improvement to the earlier feeders as it could be so easily cleaned.
The box still contains the original unused feeder and would probably date from the 1940s - 50s era.

Probably politically incorrect these days, but still nice graphics on this Black Boy Brand box of spikes for cricket or golf shoes. I like the font SPIKES is written in.
This box still contains all the spikes but is missing the driver piece and would most likely date from the 1920s-30s.

I wonder if that is Albert riding on the back of the enormous grasshopper? Why are they named Grasshopper Pills? Were grasshoppers one of their ingredients? I don't think so.
Apparently these pills were used to treat headaches, insomnia, liver, kidney and digestive complaints.
Not sure of when these would date from but suspect they would date from the early 1900s.
This small round wooden box is full of tiny round black pills. Maybe they look like grasshopper droppings!

'SITRUC' Headache Powders
Here are some graphics that you just can't ignore. Just look at those faces. Scary. I don't think they must have worked very well if the "in the morn" picture is supposed to represent a cured headache.
SITRUC, which is Curtis in reverse, were made locally in Brisbane, Queensland and sold for 1/6 in the day (15 cents in today's money).
This box has never been opened.
I don't know the age of these but would imagine they would date from between the two world wars.

How cute and colourful are these guys? Some very happy little animals all enjoying their drinks through Super Sip straws.
I believe these wax paper straws will probably be making a comeback with the call to ban plastic straws. Sometimes the old ideas are the best ideas.
I would date these to around late 1960s based on the 15c price tag.

One more packet with interesting graphics (not included in the group photo).
Rather intricate graphics on this little box of pills - and a little weird too. Not sure what to make of the pair of wings with a single eye in the middle. What does this have to do with laxatives?
 If you start researching and collecting old cures and medicines, you'll find that our ancestors seemed to be preoccupied with regular bowel movements. 
This bottle is still sealed / never been opened.
This packet of pills probably dates from the 1930s, however I believe they may have still been in production up until the 1960s.

I would love to see some of your favourite examples of vintage packaging. Please feel free to share in the comments section below.

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