ANTIQUES & COLLECTABLES

Australian pottery by Grace Seccombe’s – Billy Bluegum

Collect the past and invest for your future

What a great month, the highlight for Jen and I was taking our four little granddaughters to Sydney over the long week-end. They range in age from six down to nearly two. We stayed in Parramatta and did the touristy thing of train rides, ferry rides, Taronga Zoo, the Australia Museum, Hyde Park, Opera House and Bridge viewing. We were going to try and make the Art Gallery as well, but stamina reached its limits. We had a wonderful time and the look of wonderment and excitement on the kids faces was worth any antique.

Taree Collectors Club is to hold an Antiques and Collectables Fair on the 4th and 5th May, 2019. We are inviting expressions of interest for selling stalls at the fair. Interesting old antiques and collectables will be offered for sale. Also, if you have an interesting collection that you would like to display (only – not for sale) at the Fair we may be able to accommodate you. Ring Rex – 0427 880 546 for stall or display space.

I have been a collector and lover of Australian history items from the convict era right up until, around, the 1950s. Items that are unique to Australia. We have always had a thriving pottery industry, starting with the convict potters making bottles for beer and ginger beer. The water was not safe, so wines, beers and soft drinks were a staple. One of my favourite potters for around the 1930 era is Grace Seccombe.

Grace Seccombe was born in England and was employed in a pottery in Burslem, Staffordshire, before coming to Australia with her architect husband. She became a member of the Sydney Society of Arts and Crafts in 1930 and exhibited with the society until 1951. By 1937 she and her husband were living at Eastwood, a suburb of Sydney, where she had a studio equipped with a kiln. During the 1940s Seccombe became known for her small hand-modelled, brightly painted pottery birds and animals. Her early kookaburras and other birds and animals of the 1920s are marked ‘Australia’ and ‘S’. The range of Australiana fauna she modelled in the 1930s and 1940s for the Sydney jewellers, Prouds Ltd, are either initialled ‘GS’ or signed ‘Grace Seccombe Australia’ on the base. Her Taronga Zoo souvenir pieces are always sought after. She also designed plates, dishes and bowls decorated with Aboriginal motifs in the 1930s and 1940s. Grace Seccombe died on 25 February, 1956.

The photograph is of a koala with the name Billy Bluegum. I was lucky to pick up three pieces at a local sale many years ago.

Happy hunting for the month!

I always recommend collecting to all as a great hobby. Find a category that suits your interests and take the plunge and collect a variety of unique and interesting treasures or limit yourself to just one area. The search is always fun.

If you have items you are not sure of, I may be able to help with information, appraisals and/or sales. I love the history and stories of old and interesting items. 

Phone Rex – 0427 880 546.

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