Monday, June 21

You Want This. You Just Don't Know it Yet.

Yes really, you do. What is it? It's Lewbury, a name you may well not have heard of. In a nutshell, it's beautiful Art Deco bakelite, silver plate and pyrex tableware.
It features Agee Pyrex glass dishes, beautiful fretwork and stamping, bakelite ball feet and removeable bakelite handle inserts. For those who may not know, Agee Pyrex is Pyrex made in Australia.

The company 'Lewbury' is Australian, and was started around 1910 by messrs. Lewis and Tilbury. As many supervisors and workers in the early Australian silver industry were recruited from England, Australian Art Deco silverplate products are comparable in quality to those produced by British companies of the same period. I suspect it was little or never exported, as the only other country I've seen it in is New Zealand.

This photo was taken from someone else's listing ages ago so I can't credit it. Look how cool the handles are, I want one of these! As you can see this one has a lid- I believe they mostly came with lids but of course they're hens teeth now.

Lewbury were in business until 1980 or so, and made a huge range of trophies and plain silver tableware. Which don't interest me at all. I only like the tableware with bakelite. This range dates to the 1930s and was produced in several colours-green, blue, red, yellow and black. The black looks boring to me; the glass dishes for it are clear, and it is always less valuable. I collect the blue. I like all the colours, but I chose the blue to collect, because my friend who I'm often out buying with collects the green, and this way we won't want the same thing.
Note the crescent-moon shape slot in the base for a spoon. The eggcups are all stamped  'Lewbury' underneath, as is the cruet stand. I love the fretwork. I don't recommend cleaning with Silvo though-you'll finish on your 80th birthday.
These 2 blue pieces are both mine. They've tarnished since I last cleaned them a few months ago and do look a lot better when clean. (Everything I collect is currently all packed away in boxes; they only come out for the blog). I also have 2 serving dishes. Did I mention how rare Lewbury is? These 4 pieces have taken me 10 months to find, and I'm shopping every day, so to speak.
Given its rarity, it doesn't always go for huge prices. This red cruet set sold for $90 last year. I paid $60 for mine, but I have seen them go for $150. My friend who collects the green has a tea strainer in blue listed on ebay this week- click here to see it. (Do please click she has great photos up).The last blue tea strainer I saw was listed 8 months ago and went for $120, so I passed.
The glass dishes often show some colour wear, as this yellow one does, and the green one at the top. (It doesn't usually affect their value too much if everything else is fine. Dishes are worth about $65 in VGC or better). I bought both for resale, and as usual, they've not yet been cleaned. 

There is a company who basically copied Lewbury with this style of tableware. I have one of their blue dishes, and the only difference is the handles are a slightly darker colour and they are unsigned. Lewbury stamps are under the handles, as you can see below.

If you ever do see any Lewbury pieces with coloured bakelite, grab them! It is strongly tipped to rise in price within the next 5 years.


1950's_atomic_ranch_house said...

That green and silver. Wonderful!

kVk and The Shop Time Forgot said...
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Helga! said...

How beautiful! I think I've seen some on Antiques Roadshow?? So,so pretty.I'd love jewellry like that!