Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gorgeous spots

This pattern is called Lido British. I think there would originally have been a spotty cup and saucer to go with this side plate.
This is the backstamp:
The 'British' backstamps were used in the 1950s when Crown Lynn was seen as inferior to imported English china and they were trying to give the impression that this was English.  Tom Clark argued that we were all British citizens - and indeed until 1978 our passports described us as 'British subject and New Zealand citizen'. But, as he told me, the English manufacturers gave him 'a wigging' until he desisted.  My educated guess is that the British backstamps are mainly pre-1960.
Anyway, here's another gorgeous spotty pattern.  This is Gigi. You also see the same pattern marked 'Gigi British'.  Each spot was put on separately, by hand, as a transfer.  Then the ware was put through a kiln.  Unfortunately the spots are often damaged as they are applied on top of the glaze.
Here's the Gigi British backstamp, utterly cute.
Gigi has spotty cups as well, but they're very hard to find. Happily the saucers team nicely with white tulip cups.  I have kindly been given this link to a photo of a Gigi trio on the NZ Pottery website.
Until the other day I thought the Gigi backstamp was used only on the spotty pattern.  Then a friend showed me this dessert plate, a stunning yellow-orange, rimmed with gold. Marked Gigi British.  Who knows what other variations are out there, much less the reasoning around it all. 
My last spotty pattern is the glorious Polka. So rare I have never seen it. The backstamp is on the New Zealand Pottery website and I have been searching unsuccessfully for an example. Then at the Auckland Museum I found an A3 sized advertisement template for this very pattern.  This is a scan of a photocopy, so not ideal, but what an amazing backstamp. And appropriately illustrated. The advertisement is from November 1959.

I am not sure what colour Polka is but one day I will find out.  Certainly the cups are spotty too... imagine finding one of these!  It looks a bit like Lido but maybe with different coloured spots??

So far as I can make out Polka was sold solely by Sargood and Son, an Australian company with limited NZ outlets.  

Incidentally the museum library has an excellent Crown Lynn archive. Anyone can have a look, just check the opening hours first, and go up and ask. From home you can check on what's available by searching for Crown Lynn on the website.

More next week.
Happy hunting till then!


  1. Here is a link to a photo of a Gigi British cup saucer and plate

  2. Wow thank you Ev, that's gorgeous. I am thinking that these patterns are quite rare because their spots came off with wear and tear and they got thrown away - such a pity.

  3. I'm trying to find another bowl like the yellow one pictured. I had a set and one broke. They are all different colours with gold rims.

    1. Hi Fancypantz. You might find one on TradeMe if you lodge a saved search. Also, if you are on Facebook, I suggest you join the Crown Lynn buy sell and swap group, and also the Crown Lynn skite site. On both of these sites you can get your message to a wide audience. Also, on the New Zealand Pottery website, there is a section for wanted to buy. Good luck - these plates are around, but they are not easy to come by!