The Jalopy Shoppe – Gone!

The Jalopy Shoppe sign in August 2009

The Jalopy Shoppe sign in August 2009

The Jalopy Shoppe, that iconic piece of Sydney wall art painted on the side wall of 688 Parramatta Road Croydon is no more! Previously located at 690 Parramatta Road, the Jalopy Shoppe advertised their car yard business on the wall of the adjacent building with a huge green and black painting of a cartoon-like Model T Ford. It was a familiar sight to motorists for many years on the right hand side of Parramatta Road heading into the city. The business closed about 6 years ago but the sign remained.

Jalopy Shoppe painted over

Driving past several weeks ago I noticed that the sign had been painted over with a bland new advertisement. Such a pity for such a prominent site.

The sign can still be seen on Google street view. An image of the Jalopy Shoppe sign is reproduced from streetview below.

Jalopy Shoppe sign

Google street view of the sign

The newly painted wall

The newly painted wall - January 2011

The Professionals Seriesware Plates – Royal Doulton

Of the fine china collectables Royal Doulton has produced over the years my particular favourite are the nine Professionals seriesware plates. They are called “The Jester”, “The Admiral”, “The Falconer”, “The Parson”, “The Doctor”, “The Hunting Man”, “The Mayor”, “The Squire” and “The Bookworm”.

The Professionals seriesware plates have been produced since the early part of the 20th century and comprise of four distinct firings.

1) The D3XXX series (produced 1909 – 1938)
Generally have a green circle around the central image

2) The D5XXX series (produced 1938 – 1948)
Generally have a thick brown circle around the central image

3) The D6XXX series (produced 1948 – 1960)
Have a thin brown circle around the central image

4) The TCXXXX series (produced 1960 – 1974)
Similar to the D6XXX series but with very *new* looking white china.

The Professionals seriesware firings

The following photos show examples of each of the first three firings of the Professionals seriesware plates. The plates on the left are the D3XXX firing, the middle are the D5XXX firing and the right hand plate is the D6XXX firing. A brief description of the differences between each plate firing is also given. Click on an image to see the full size image.

The TCXXXX Professionals seriesware plates are similar to the D6XXX firing but have not been included for personal reasons. I feel they look too *new* and are not very collectable.


The Professionals seriesware the Jester

The Jester varieties

The early D3684 Jester plates in the Professionals seriesware have a black circle painted around the central image of the plate and are much more colourful around the outer rim of the plate than later varieties. The Jester’s cape is also all red whereas later plates have a green panel on the left shoulder and green sections on the head horns. His puppet stick is also red and green on the earlier plates while the D5903 series are dark green with yellow trimming and the D6277 have a lighter green head on the puppet.

The D3684 and D5903 plates have a creamy colour while the D6277 are much whiter. The D3684 is the nicest plate with rich saturated colours and nice glaze. It is also an extremely rare plate to find.


The Professionals seriesware the Admiral

The Admiral varieties

The Admiral is a very popular plate in the Professionals seriesware plates and the early D3616 version is particularly rare, much more so than the Bookworm. Overall its colours are completely different. The Admirals coat is red and his epaulettes are yellow with pale blue/yellow trim. The D5903 and D6277 versions have a royal blue coat with red epaulettes with yellow trim. Later plates have a white sash across his chest and a royal blue hat while the early plate has a pale blue sash and hat.

The rim decoration in the D3616 has a pale blue sea with yellow sailed ships while later versions have a pale green sea with pale sails. The portrait background of the D5902 and D6278 consists of warm coloured clouds while the early D3616 plate is plain white.

Overall the D5903 has the richest colours of the Professionals seriesware plates and the glaze is more creamy than either the D3616 or the D6278 version.


The Professionals seriesware the Falconer

The Falconer varieties

The D3756 Falconer Professionals seriesware plate is another whose colours are quite different from the later versions. The Falconer’s tunic is red with a grey collar over a yellow undershirt with a grey sleeve while the later D5907 and the D6279 versions have a green tunic with matching green collar, a light grey undershirt with a royal blue sleeve. Where the early plate has a light blue/grey circle on the inner rim surrounding the portrait with white clouds and a grey landscape background the later versions have warm coloured clouds and a coloured landscape background surrounded by a thick brown circle on the D5907 and a thin brown circle on the D6278 version.

Other differences include the Falconer’s glove which is grey on the early plates and brown in the later two versions. The falcon itself has more colour detail in the early plate than the later versions. The outer rim decoration on the D3756 consists of white clouds on a pale grey/blue background with white falcons while the later plates have light brown falcons flying over slightly shaded clouds with yellow highlights.

Once again the D5907 Professionals seriesware plates glaze is a more creamy colour overall giving it a richer feel.


The Professionals seriesware the Parson

The Parson varieties

The skin tones on the early Parson plates is quite sallow compared to the pinker tones of the later plates. The portrait is surrounded by a green circle in the D3XXX series plates with a cool pale green/blue background. The D5XXX plates have a thick brown circles surrounding the portrait with a much warmer background with the D6280 being the same except for a finer brown circle surrounding the portrait. The Parson’s vest is brown in the later two varieties and is black in the early D3XXX.

The decoration around the outer rim of books and assorted containers is a little washed out looking on the early plate but is much more colourful in later Professionals seriesware plate varieties. Once again the D5XXX variety is the most attractive plate with its creamy glaze while the other two are much whiter.


The Professionals seriesware the Doctor

The Doctor varieties

The Doctor is very similar to the Parson in that the D3189 plates have a green circle surrounding the portrait with a pale, almost monochromatic background. The outer rim decoration is similar to the Parson and is equally washed out in colour. The later D5906 and D6281 varieties have much more colourful rim decoration and the portrait background is much warmer. Again the D5906 has a thick brown circle around the portrait while the D6281 has a finer brown circle.

The Doctor’s hat becomes progressively more saturated black with each succeeding variety but, overall, it is the D5906 which is the most attractive plate from a pretty plain design.


The Professionals seriesware the Hunting Man

The Hunting Man varieties

The D3349 Hunting Man is again a rather cold looking plate. It has the usual green circle around the portrait with a predominately white background and a brown fox head mounted on the wall. He is wearing a red jacket with a grey vest and plain white cravat. The D5XXX and D6282 varieties give him a blacker hat, yellow vest and a stripped pale blue cravat. The thick brown circle of the D5XXX variety surrounds a much warmer background with a yellow fox head and a picture on the wall. The D6282 has its thin brown circle with a little less detailed background colouring.

The outer rim decoration of hunting horns and jugs and glasses of wine are much more colourful and warmer in later Professionals seriesware plate varieties than pale yellow and blues of the C3349 variety. Once again the D5XXX is the nicest plate with its rich colours and creamy glaze.


The Professionals seriesware the Mayor

The Mayor varieties

The early Mayor plates have a thick green circle around the portrait with a pale grey background. The Mayor sports a red hat, white cravat and a light brown fur collar on his shoulders. Again his face colour is somewhat sallow. The D5899 and the D6283 varieties have a thick brown circle and a thin brown circle respectively around the portrait with a warmer background and face colour. His fur collar is also a pale grey and he sports a pale blue stripped cravat.

The outer rim decoration is predominately yellow in the early D3XXX plates while later varieties have warmer colours added. The D5899 plate is the nicer plate because of its colour saturation and the creamier tone of its glaze.


The Professionals seriesware the Squire

The Squire varieties

The D3711 Squire, like most of these early Professionals seriesware plates, lack richness of colour. The green circle surrounding the portrait against a drab grey background is mirrored in the washed out colours of the rim decoration of books, pipes and wine jugs. In these early plates the sallow faced squire has a red jacket with a yellow vest and pale cravat.

The later D5898 has the thick brown circle surrounding the squire who now has a green jacket, red vest and a pale blue polka dot cravat. Very swish. This garb is carried on in the D6284 plates except for the thin brown circle around the portrait. The rim decoration on both later varieties is more colourful.

The D5898 again has the richer colours and that full cream glaze that sets the variety apart from the others.


The Professionals seriesware the Bookworm

The Bookworm varieties

The D3089 and the D5905 Bookworm plates are considered the most valuable of the Professionals seriesware plates. The D3089 has a green circle surrounding the portrait of the bookworm with a particularly bland background of bookshelves. The drab books around the outer rim do little to enhance the look of this plate and it comes as no surprise that, after the release of the D5905 with its yellow circle around the portrait and an attempt to add some warmth to the background and rim, it remained an unattractive design and was discontinued and not released in the D6XXX series. This is hardly a reason to make it valuable as they are not rare – they pop up with great regularity on eBay.

That being said the D5905 is the more attractive plate because of its richer colours.

Mobile Phone Tower Disguise

Disguised mobile phone tower

Mobile phone tower palm tree

A mobile phone tower is not an attractive addition to any landscape. They are littered about our cities and suburbs with very little consideration of their aesthetic appeal. Where they are located is governed primarily by technical considerations. A mobile phone tower can however be disguised so that it becomes less of an eyesore.

A mobile phone tower disguise

There are many examples of ingenious ways to disguise a mobile phone tower, some more successful than others. In Dubai, where cost seems a secondary consideration in every facet of life, how else to hide a mobile phone tower than by disguising it as a palm tree!

Admittedly the fronds look a little on the dry and shabby side but overall it works quite well – even though its the only palm tree that height for miles which makes it stick out like a mobile phone tower.

The Moroccan Minaret Jamour

A minaret jamour sits on top of the tower adjacent to a mosque which is used to call Muslims to prayer five times daily. This tower is called a minaret. In Morocco the tower (minaret) is square with a spire on top which has a number of spheres attached. This spire is known as a jamour and it can symbolise the sun, moon and stars or the four elements – earth, wind, fire and water.

The minaret jamour

In addition to the spheres, a minaret jamour can have a crescent moon on top, a five pointed star (representing the five pillars of Islam) or a combination of both. The crescent moon atop a minaret jamour indicates that the calendar in Islam is based on the lunar cycle and not the Gregorian calendar as used in the West.

Here are some examples of the Moroccan minaret jamour illustrating the different styles.

Minaret jamour with single sphere

Single sphere jamour seen on the Road of 1000 Kasbahs

Minaret jamour with two spheres

Two sphere jamour in Fes

3 sphere minaret jamour

3 sphere jamour on the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca

Four sphere minaret jamour

Four sphere minaret jamour in Rabat

3 sphere minaret jamour with crescent moon

3 sphere jamour with crescent moon in Casablanca

3 sphere minaret jamour with star and crescent moon

3 sphere jamour in Fes with star and crescent moon

The Hayden Orpheum Revisited

I visited the Cremorne Hayden Orpheum picture palace in Sydney again yesterday. Its Art Deco decor is stunning and it was such a pleasure wandering around the foyers and stairs admiring all the detail. I took some more pictures of some of the Hayden Orpheum light fittings which capture the spirit of the place.

Hayden Orpheum refurbishment

The Orpheum was restored by entrepreneur Mike Walsh and reopened in December 1987 as the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace. John Love created the Orpheum project with Bill and Avgoulla Hendrickson. This included the creative concept for the original auditorium and the five new cinemas in addition to the ancillary areas. The restoration of the old light fittings, as well as the planning of all new ceiling and wall light creations, interior and exterior doors, were manufactured by Bill and Avgoulla Hendrickson.

Hayden Orpheum corridor to toilet

Light in corridor to toilet

Hayden Orpheum Main foyer light

Main foyer light

Hayden Orpheum Small main foyer lights

Small main foyer lights

Light outside Hayden Orpheum main auditorium

Light outside main auditorium

Another light near the toilets

Another light near the toilets

A fitting final photo

A fitting final photo

Bamboo Fence Disguise

Fence bamboo disguise

Railings made to look like bamboo

Here is example of a fence in disguise so it looks as if it was made of bamboo. The Chinese are masters of disguise and apply these skills in the most surprising and intriguing of places.

In this case it is in the suburbs of Taipei in Taiwan and it reflects how prevalent and entrenched the imagery of bamboo is to the artistic and cultural heritage of the Chinese psyche.

Bamboo Downpipe Disguise

The former British consulate in the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung has an interesting disguise on the buildings gutter downpipes. Someone has gone to a lot of effort and time to disguise the downpipes from the roof gutters to look like bamboo. It’s a nice touch and looks so much better than plain downpipes.

Disguise as Bamboo

There are many instances in Taiwan and China where a little extra effort has gone into decorating otherwise bland everyday objects so they blend into their environment. Bamboo is a popular disguise and many examples abound once you know what to look for. More bamboo disguise can be found here.

Downpipe disguise

Detailed view of downpipe

disguised downpipe

Fake bamboo downpipes

Dragon Motif

Nice dragon motif

Nice dragon corner motif

The dragon motif is an important image to the Chinese. In the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung can be found the Lotus Lake which is surrounded by many temples. In one of them, the Beiji Xuantian Shang Di Pavilion (or dark Emporer) can be found this small dragon motif on the side of a flight of stairs.

The interior of the pavilion is richly decorated and is quite a feast for the eyes.

The dragon motif in Taoism

In Taoism, the dragon motif is the symbol for the essence of the spiritual half of the cosmos. The dragon breath in the chaos of the unformed potentials of the Tao and breathes out the order of our very nature.

Modern western culture has focused almost exclusively upon the physical aspects of nature (represented by the tiger), to the degree that the dragon is merely a myth. The dragon motif also symbolises the Yang (male) power while the tiger symbolises Yin (female).