Monday, December 24, 2012

My favourite things...

This week I was going to write a carefully thought out and serious pre-Xmas post but instead we went camping with the grandchildren.  Then we went camping without the grandchildren to recover!
So today I did a bit of a wander round our house with the camera and picked out a few of my favourite things.. first up is our new Ming dinner set, a lucky TradeMe buy at $45. Ming was designed in the 1980s by Percy Golding. He is very proud of it and I can understand why. Just look at the detail in this plate. All done in pre-computer days too. 
Ming is from the Contemporary Ceramics range of the early 1980s. And it's still in perfect condition, this range was very well made.
Also in the kitchen are these mugs. They never get used but every day I enjoy looking at them. Note Basil Brush, top centre, a gift from a very generous friend. You don't see him very often!
Speaking of mugs, these cheery little numbers live in on a shelf in the lounge and brighten up our winter days.  The one on the left is probably 1970s, the other is 1980s.
Most of these mugs have Made in New Zealand on the base like this:

This post would not be complete without mentioning my swans. They lived in a box in the shed for years, but then I weakened and liberated them.. and now I quite like having them around. The big one is the less common 'male' shape; the other is the smallest of the 3 sizes made by Crown Lynn.
And now for something completely different, here is a very old shaving mug. I bought it complete with brush, no doubt some poor old granddad's relic. I love the shape of this mug and it's in good condition when you consider it was made in the 1940s or early 1950s. (Later comment: this is almost certainly 1940s, or even late 1930s, rather than 1950s)
The base is unmarked.
If you look closely you can see the crazing that mars many of Crown Lynn's products. After an object has been through the kiln it continues to shrink, very very slightly. If the glaze shrinks a bit faster than the clay body then the glaze cracks, causing crazing.  
And on that merry note I will  leave you. I hope you have a lovely Xmas/New Year break. I will be camping again for the next few weeks so I probably won't be doing another post until mid-January... unless I find something utterly magical in a junk shop that I absolutely have to tell you about!
Take care


  1. Hi I'm a newconner to your posts and love them ! We inherited a Crown Lynn Topaz set from my partners mother and I have been trying to rebuild the set for some time - reading about your Topaz dinner plates hitting the floor left me cold ! Do you have any spares in your set you would like to sell ? Or do you know of where I might find more pieces ? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Leanne

  2. Hi Leanne thanks for your interest... I tried to email you while I was away in the summer but I guess it ended up in your spam. I am a bit concerned to have this comment published with your email address, and I don't seem to be able to edit it out. Let me know if you would like me to unpublish your comment. It can apparently make you vulnerable to spammers. ANYWAY, the best you can do re Topaz is do a regular search of the TradeMe auction site, Topaz does come up reasonably often still. Do check for quality before you buy, as you no doubt know this pattern is prone to damage, and some plates are pretty scruffy looking. All the best with your search.

  3. Val, Kat found me one of these, also unmarked, and I have posted it on the forum. I am always concerned about unmarked items, but, I have seen one for sale with an Ambrico stamp. The straw coloured clay clinches it for the unmarked ones. I also have the later (417) shaving mug, in white clay, with the Ambrico stamp; there are other 417s with the 48-55 Crown Lynn stamp. Perhaps the fact that this is unmarked indicates it is one of the earliest ones. Jeremy.

  4. Thanks for these thoughts jeremy. I am as sure as one can be that this mug is earlier than the 417. I have seen very few, always undecorated and in the very early straw coloured clay. I too was not totally confident that it was Crown Lynn till it was confirmed by a couple of long-term dealers. And that yellow clay is pretty distinctive.

  5. Correction: Jeremy advises me that he accidentally transposed the number of the later shaving mug. It should read 714, not 417.