Sunday, December 16, 2012

Vases new and old

Vases were one of the first things made by the 'Specials Department' (later to become Crown Lynn). The first were quite primitive but still found a market because wartime shortages had starved New Zealanders of any sort of decorative object.
 This little vase is only 9 cm tall. It is shape number 19, and its glaze and composition are a little 'experimental' indicating that it was made in the early 1940s.  The base is unmarked.
Below is a later version, shape 99. It is more elegant and has an appealing glaze (in my view anyway!) This shape is relatively common, it must have sold quite well.  It would have been made in the later 1940s.

This whiteware vase is classic Crown Lynn.  The factory made breathtaking amounts of whiteware; in1963 there were more than 100 shapes on the market. The whiteware vases include the famous swans, but there are also many other very appealing shapes.  This vase is quite large, 14 cm high and 28 across. The white vases had all sorts of backstamps besides Crown Lynn, including Roydon Potteries, Flair Art Potteries and the impressed four-digit shape numbers.

I am very fond of the Ceramica Greenstone vases which were first made in 1965. They must have been one of the first Crown Lynn products made in the Titian factory, as Crown Lynn first began buying shares in Titian in 1965 but didn't complete the takeover until 1968. Greenstone vases came in various shapes, the largest I have is 18 cm tall. Vases in this style were also made in plain dark green and in white and honey glaze. There was also a very very cool ashtray. Unfortunately I got the dates wrong for Ceramica in my book; later research has shown that they were earlier than I understood at the time.
Before I go, let's have one more look at those early vases. During the 1939-1945 war the Partridge family, trading as Harwyn Potteries, bought glazed vases from the Specials Department and hand painted them with little flowers. The paint didn't stick well to the glaze and in most examples has worn off quite badly. This one, lent to me by another collector to photograph, is in lovely condition. It's about 10 cm tall.
As an added bonus, on the base this vase has the fractionated marks used by the Specials Department to record the various experimental materials and techniques they used in the early days. If the experiment was successful, they could repeat it. Unfortunately the written notes which explain what these marks mean are long since lost, most likely in the many factory fires suffered by Crown Lynn.  
Below is another hand painted vase. This style is known as Salisbury Ware, after Owen Salisbury who, along with his business partner Arthur Martin bought unglazed blanks from the Specials Department. Salisbury decorators hand painted these vases, sometimes with quite sophisticated designs. The paint flakes on these too, but not quite so badly as the Harwyn flowers.  The Salisbury vases are generally unmarked, apart from the occasional painters' signature.  This one can be recognised as Crown Lynn by its distinctive shape. It's about 11 cm tall.

More soon, as explained we are travelling about a bit at the moment so my postings are more intermittent... and I'm looking forward to that Xmas pavlova.. but I have to make it first!

No comments:

Post a Comment