collecting: arthur's circus

today's collection comes from arthur's circus out of australia. natalie jeffcott used to be a visual merchandiser and then after wandering overseas on and off for quite a few years studied photography at university having had a few exhibitions and working freelance. nick fitzgerald (her partner), a former electrician has been collecting things from the side of the road since he was 7, re-decorating and restoring furniture, bikes, anything. in 2005 they had a son, arthur. they decided to combine their love of pre-loved and vintage items, (her's photography) and open their shop arthur's circus in melbourne, australia. their son is the biggest inspiration of all. here is their collections and answers to my questions.

why you collect these items and how your collection started?

The cookie jars started with 2 that were my mums. Then in the late 1990's I saw an exhibition in Brisbane of cookie jars that Andy Warhol had collected and thought that I would expand on my two.

The clocks have been an accident really. Nick had quite a few, then we found a few more. They lived in boxes and I decided before they ended up broken I'd put them on the wall for safe keeping and now here we are. {editors not: love this display!}

Children's annuals have been since Arthur. Whilst out and about looking for items for the shop we'd stumble across childrens annuals, I love the graphics and illustrations. Arthur's still a bit young for them yet.

Squeakie toys, started with Arthur again when he was a baby and I thought that they would be cute to decorate his room.

Toy cars, Nick pinched quite a few from his parents house (they were his and his brothers) and we have slowly been collecting them whenever we see some we like. Recently through an article about our shop in a local newspaper, some very kind people dropped off a wee box of old cars to us, that were going to be taken to the tip. I am now creating a photo series of toy cars, which we will be selling.

Planet lamps, these lamps were made locally in Melbourne and are now becoming quite popular. I had one on my desk throughout the high school homework years. These are Nick's babies; being a former electrician he loves light and all sorts of lamps and light fittings. So we have a ridiculous amount of lamps and shades.

how do you display them or would like to display them?

Cookie Jars are mostly in our kitchen on shelves and a cabinet. They also live in the bathroom holding cotton balls etc and in the study.

Clocks are on the wall near our kitchen. None of them work by the way.

Children's Annuals are on a bookshelf although I have other plans for these. Squeakie toys seem to migrate throughout the house as Arthur's likes to make them squeak. Ideally on a shelf but it never lasts long.

Toy cars are mostly in a box and also on display in our bedroom and played with.

Planet lamps are clustered on top of other furniture and also in use around the house.

what are your favorite pieces in the collection, is there anything unique?

I have a couple of favourite cookie jars and I love my cute blue bird wall plaques that are on display with them. Nick also has some fantastic light fittings that he's restoring. In terms of uniqueness, the era that most of our collections are from is the 1950's to 60's. I am guessing alot of the everyday items and toys etc from that era have long gone to the rubbish pile of yesteryear so in that regard some are possibly unique, but you never can tell. There's probably alot of cookie jar collectors out there world wide. We tend to collect for the aesthetic more than the dollar value.

what piece are you most looking for, and what piece would complete your collection?

None really, they seem to sneak up on us.

besides this collection, if you could collect anything in the world, what would it be?

No more...we have enough stuff and more collections than those listed above.

thanks natalie & nick (and arthur!) (blog) (photography)

{natalie, nicholas and arthur's house is on apartment therapy today too! click here for a tour!}

Jan Halvarson


Joanna Goddard said...

love those lamps!!

lisa solomon said...

people after my own heart.....