Who Is Johnnyfive Collectables?

The name Johnnyfive Collectables came about as a spur of the moment thing about fifteen years ago.  We were registering to buy and sell on eBay and had to come up with an eBay name.  My name was John, there were five in our family and we were mad keen on collecting antiques and collectables.  The name "johnnyfivecollectables" seemed a logical choice (we were also partial to the Short Circuit movies).  Hence Johnnyfive Collectables was born.

A Little About Me

My name is John Stevens and I live in sunny South East Queensland, Australia with my lovely wife Karen.  We have been blessed with three wonderful children and four beautiful grandsons.

We still live in the same log cabin which we built about 40 years ago. Over this time we have enjoyed furnishing it with many antiques and collectables and also creating our own rainforest gardens outside. During this time we did however spend four years in Melbourne, Victoria. What a great experience that was.

I have had a number of different jobs over the years.  Firstly as an architectural draftsman, then a pastor and also a primary school teacher.  Now I am working from home as a quantity surveyor for a Melbourne based kit home company, Storybook Cottages.  Check out the Storybook website sometime.  Beautiful, character filled homes.  I am sure you will enjoy it.

I also enjoy traveling around Australia and overseas, watching old movies on TV, listening to bluegrass and southern gospel music and creating things out of wood or restoring antiques in my workshop.

A Bit Of My Own Collecting History

I have always collected something.  As a child my health was very poor (being a severe asthmatic) so I tended to gravitate towards quieter pastimes rather than active sports.  Collecting stamps and coins fitted this category.  I began stamp collecting with my father's stamp album and collecting coins from family and friends who would bring me some coins from various places they visited.  My coin collection received a boost when my Great Auntie Eunie was preparing to bank a large number of halfpennies that she had collected to raise some money for needy children.  I had the opportunity to go through these first and select (and pay for of course) the ones I needed for my own collection.  This would have been at least 50 years ago now.  I am now only missing 4 different year dates which just so happens of course to be the expensive ones.

Collecting antiques and other old things probably grew out of a special relationship that I had with another Great Aunt, Auntie Doffie.  She was a spinster and so still lived in the family home not far from where I lived as a child.  Her home was full of antique furniture and collectables that had belonged to my Great Grandparents.  I would marvel over these wonderful things each time we visited her.  Auntie Doffie and I would talk for ages about these things from times past, such as her Australian cedar table, seven piece parlour suite, marble top credenza, china cabinets filled with all sorts of interesting items, Austrian bentwood chairs, butter churns, etc., etc.  I was fortunate enough to eventually inherit some of these pieces.

In my teenage years, I managed to acquire enough antiques to furnish my own bedroom.  In pride of place stood my double brass and iron bed.  This was not the first brass and iron bed that I had owned, nor was it to be the last but my ongoing love affair with brass and iron beds is another story that I must tell sometime.  When I got married, it became a natural progression to want to furnish our home with antiques rather than the cheap, poorly made furniture that was being sold almost everywhere.  So after 42 years of wedded bliss most furniture in our home is antique (or getting close to antique).  These pieces have served us well over the years and have been a great joy to own.

I eventually joined a bottle and collectables club, The Mornington Peninsula Bottle & Collectables Club, when we lived in Melbourne and joined my current club, The Queensland Historical Bottle & Collectables Club, on our return to Queensland a few years ago.  Both these clubs enabled me to share my passion for collecting as well as making many new friends who shared similar interests.  All collectors should belong to a collectors club of some sort.  The friendships made and knowledge of collectables gained are priceless.  Needless to say, I love club nights and look forward to each one with eager anticipation of what new treasures have been discovered.

Below is a list of the sort of small collectables that I collect mainly for the sake of collecting.  The sort of things that I just can't help myself from collecting.  This list does not include our collection of antique furniture which is very much a living collection as we use these pieces in our everyday lives.

List of Collections

1)            Nursery Bottles & Feeders (Bottles, Feeding Cups, Breast Feeding Accessories, etc.)
2)            Chemist / Pharmacy items (Chemist Bottles, Scales, Measures, Medicine Glasses, Cures & Poisons, Ointment Pots & Pot lids, Eyebaths, Mortar & Pestles, Medical items, etc.)
3)            Kitchenalia
4)            Chinese Pottery (Mainly domestic ware as found on the Gold Fields)
5)            Early Plastics (Mainly Xylonite, Ivorine, French Ivory, Celluloid etc. with some Bakelite)
6)            Spectacles (Eyeglasses, Cases, Accessories, etc.)
7)            Toys & Games (Board Games, Card Games, Construction Sets, etc.  Mainly from the first half of the 20th Century)
8)            Shorter and Son (Pottery and Ceramics)
9)            Gramophones (Gramophones, 78rpm Records, Accessories, etc.)
10)         Inks and Gums (Bottles, Pens, Inkwells, etc.)
11)         Movie Memorabilia (Photos, Magazines, Postcards, etc.  Mainly from the 1930s -50s) (Inherited collection)
12)         Lawn Bowling (Bowls, Badges, Trophies, Photos, Accessories, etc.) (Inherited collection)
13)         Children’s Books (Mainly Annuals and School Books)
14)         Shells
15)         Kerosene Lamps
16)         Tools (Mainly Woodworking Tools) (Inherited collection)
17)         Bricks & Garden Edge tiles
18)         Australian Domestic Pottery (Diana, Pates, Newtone, Delamere, Bennetts, Fowler, etc.)
19)         Australian Pokerwork (Especially pieces with native animals & flowers on them)
20)         Australian Mulga Wood
21)         Rusty Decorative Junk (Branding Irons, Horse Gear, Animal Traps, Tools, Number Plates, Old Signs, Ploughs, Wagon & Tractor Wheels, etc. to decorate my shed and garden)

I am sure this list will continue to grow as time goes by, probably much to my good wife's despair.

Why My Blog?

I started this blog out of a desire to connect with other collectors from around the world who share similar passions as myself for all things old.  It is my intention to share some of my own collectables on this blog along with the information that I know about them with the hope that others will comment and share other information that they in turn know about the items.  Hopefully we will all become a little more informed about some of our favourite collectables.

So I encourage you to feel free to comment on anything you see in my blog.  I look forward to reading your comments and making many more close friends out there in the wide, wide world of collecting.

Best Wishes From Your Collector Friend,
John Stevens
(aka Johnnyfive Collectables)


  1. Hi John -
    I just acquired a semi-circular baby's dish with Old King Cole on it - made by H&K Tunstall with the unicorn stamp on the back. The only other one that I could find any information on was on your site - Do you know what the value might be? Mine does not have any chips.

    1. Hi, sorry for not responding sooner. I only paid AUS $10 for my baby's dish at a local collectables fair but it does have a small chip in it. Yours could be worth about AUS $20 - $25 if it is in perfect condition. Hope this helps.

  2. Still waiting for your 'today's'acquisitions!!!!! Jenny.

    1. I'll have something on in a day or so. Just be patient with me please.

  3. Hi Johnnyfive, I am new to mulga wood collectables but have recently obtained ?100 items.Are you interested in anything in particular? I am going to the Braidwood NSW Antique fair on October long weekend to sell these.I will be back on Gold Coast in 3 weeks time and can bring some with me.DH

    1. Thanks for thinking of me. I'm not really looking for any particular mulga wood pieces at the moment. I just like to pick up the occasional piece from markets and fairs when I see something in great condition and also reasonably priced. I never really intended to collect mulga wood. I hope you do well with it at the antique fair.

  4. Hi John,
    Just letting you know about the Collectorville Fair in Brisbane on Sunday 26 April
    at Rocklea Showground. It's focus is on vintage, antique and retro collectables
    and includes a vintage fashion pavilion. Please take a look at the website for more information: www.collectorville.com.au

    Thanks for posting interesting information on such a wide range of items. The Japanese manhole covers article - and photographs - is a great example of finding an unexpected art form in the everyday!
    Thank you

    1. Thanks Karen,

      I only found out about this fair yesterday. It certainly sounds interesting and a lot of fun and I hope to attend if possible. Oh and I really should get my act together and update my fairs list, shouldn't I?

      Thanks again for you kind thoughts,

  5. Hi Johnny

    I have a pile of convict made bricks with heart shapes in the bottom.

    please get in contact with me 0451303501


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