Retro Art: Vietnamese Propaganda Poster

Posted by on Mar 2, 2013 | 0 comments

Retro Art: Vietnamese Propaganda Poster

Moving countries has really made me think about what things are my absolute favourites, that I can’t possibly live without.  I didn’t want to move completely fresh, I have so much art and objects that I love to have around me.

So many things I have found when travelling and they give me pleasure just from the object itself, but also bring back some great memories.  Many years ago I often travelled to Asia on business and I occasionally tacked on a holiday at the end.  One of my favourites was taking my mother to Vietnam, we had a fabulous time and I can recommend it as a holiday destination.  I picked up a few pieces of art while I was there, but one of my favourites is this propaganda poster that has the date 68 in the corner (of course it might be 68 for a different reason, but as it was in the middle of what they call The American War, I like to think it is the year).

My Vietnamese propaganda poster

It was one of the least militaristic posters I could find – there are many shops selling these types of posters in Ho Chih Mihn – but I am not really sure how well my new American neighbours will take it.  It is obviously a criticism on the US,  and the military is a whole other thing over there.  I do love it though, the colours, the obvious message of peace, and the simple graphics.  I had it framed so you could see the edges, as I like seeing the roughness of the paper.  I hope I find a place to hang it in my new home.

The same poster $US35 

If you are interested in propaganda art, there are a number of Vietnamese online stores, my poster is available here for $US35 with free shipping.


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Retro Real Estate: The Brake House

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 | 0 comments

Retro Real Estate: The Brake House

If you are moving into my area, you could do worse than pick up the Brake House.  Built in 1977, it was awarded an Enduring Architecture Award in 2001 – and wow what a house.  It is set on 12500m2 of bush, which is split into two sections.  The house is set into the bush, so you better like rainforest to live here!

The Brake House in Titirangi – over $2 million!


It was designed by Architect Ron Sang for photographer Brian Brake, from the architect’s website:

 It has been described as serene, harmonious and unobtrusive in its deep bush setting. The house is made up of rigid rectangular boxes set out in a straight line on concrete bridge spanning a gully.

You can read more about it here.

It is over 400m2 and has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.  And it has what I have always wanted – a tatami mat room!  It is gorgeous, so take a peek at the listing here, just to sigh over it.

The tatami mat room

The sellers are looking at offers over $2 million.


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Retro Find: Vladimir Tretchikoff’s Pink Magnolia Print

Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 | 1 comment

Retro Find: Vladimir Tretchikoff’s Pink Magnolia Print

Sorry to have abandoned you all the past few weeks.  We put our house on the market last week, and have been spending every spare minute hammering, planting, and cleaning!  Now we just have to do a little more painting and most importantly with a toddler in the house, keep it clean!  I’ll post some pictures later on the week of all the work we’ve been beavering away at.  The house is looking pretty good.

It feels like luxury sitting here typing away on the computer during the kid’s naptime (and I’m eating chocolate cake, so it’s even extra decadent)!

Somehow in the middle of all this I still managed to collect!  And I’m meant to be de-cluttering.  But hey, when a beautiful Tretchikoff print comes your way and is affordable, what is a girl to do?  I found this original print from the 50s on Trade Me and it is in mint condition!  I have lusted after owning my own Tretchikoff for a number of years, but I just found it difficult to pay $200-$300 for a print.  Stingy I know, but I just couldn’t do it.  And then, as I have a number of other retro prints of women, it was hard to buy yet another!  Then this wonderful magnolia print came up – it closed on a Friday afternoon (and I missed the auction) but luckily I checked my email just after the lovely Juliette posted an offer, and I snapped it up.  I can’t believe the perfect condition it is in.

‘Pink Magnolia’ by Vladimir Tretchikoff

I have it hanging on the wall in a living room, so I’ll take some snaps and post later.  It makes me smile every time I walk past it.

New Tretchikoff Prints

Want a Tretchikoff print right now?  You can find them at – the perfect Christmas gift for retro-lovers!

 Pink Magnolias


Pink Magnolias Vladimir … Buy This at

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Heritage Festival: Crown Lynn ‘Majestic Swans’ Exhibition

Posted by on Oct 3, 2012 | 0 comments

Heritage Festival: Crown Lynn ‘Majestic Swans’ Exhibition

Lopdell House Gallery in Titirangi has relocated to New Lynn for 2 years as they do some needed earthquake strengthening and build a new gallery annex – you can read about the upgrade here.  A bit sad for me as I am used to wandering up the hill to check out the latest exhibition.  They have moved to downtown New Lynn in the new mixed pedestrian vehicle area (which I like, I hope some cool shops will follow – a few new cafes have opened) at 5 Totara Ave.

Their first exhibition at this location – what they call a window exhibition as it is in the window so you can see it 24/7 – is called Majestic Swan and is about the Crown Lynn swan and its history. It is part of Auckland’s Heritage Festival.  I thought you might not all get to New Lynn in the next few weeks so I’d pop some photos up of the Crown Lynn swans and the exhibition.

crown lynn swan exhibition, lopdell house gallery

The iconic Crown Lynn swans

Crown Lynn swans and photos of the factory


Black Crown Lynn swan, Lopdell House Gallery

The black Crown Lynn Swan and the one star stamp


Crown Lynn swans with coloured glaze

Crown Lynn swans – green glaze, white, brown glaze

Aerial photograph of the Crown Lynn factory

Timeline of the Crown Lynn company

History and background of the Crown Lynn swan, Majestic Swans

The history of the Crown Lynn swan

 Crown Lynn: A New Zealand Icon Crown Lynn: A New Zealand Icon

5 stars on Fishpond.

From one of the reviews: “A must have for any Crown Lynn collector. The book breaks down the history of this iconic New Zealand brand into decades with descriptions about the stylistic traits of each generation. I found the collection of photos showing the different back stamps very useful for collecting. A well edited, comprehensive guide to one of the most loved and nostalgic brands of New Zealand’s history.”

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Retro Art: Mid-Century Boat Print

Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 | 0 comments

Retro Art: Mid-Century Boat Print

I love this style of retro art – it’s an abstract print of boats.   It would look perfect in your mid-century home’s entryway or next to your Danish dining suite.   It’s on Trade Me with the bidding starting at $5.50 so worth keeping on your watch list to see how much it will go for.

Click here to see the listing.

Mid-century abstract print of boats: bidding starts at $5.50

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Retro Enamel Tin Signs

Posted by on Sep 18, 2012 | 0 comments

Retro Enamel Tin Signs

I was having a quick wander around Trade Me and spotted this vintage enamel tin sign for Perfection Ice Cream.  Isn’t it great?  I could imagine it in an eclectic kitchen (like mine!), it’s the best kind of art work for damp areas like a kitchen.  No way you’d warp it!  It’s in great condition and measures 76cm high.

It doesn’t come cheap as bidding starts at $295.

Perfection Ice Cream vintage tin sign – bidding starts at $295

If you’re not loaded and still would like to have a vintage looking tin sign in your kitchen, you could go for the cheaper option of a vintage copy – I could only find a popsicle enamel sign  if you are after the frozen confectionery theme, or there is quite a pop-art style orange juice tin sign that I liked as well – the bright colours would work well in white kitchen.  These are only AU$18 so much more affordable!  In my experience, art costs about $20 to send to NZ from Australia.

Popsicle vintage tin sign AU$18

Orchard Valley Tin Sign – AU$18

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