Saturday, January 26, 2013

Summer treasures...

Apologies for being offline for so long, I have been full-on dealing with my new book, which is almost ready to go to print - exciting!  It's still a while before it's released in NZ, but good things take time...

Anyway, this wee vase is my most exciting find of the summer. It is a tiny 8 cm tall, only about two-thirds the length of a ballpoint pen. And it has a Crown Lynn sticker. It's unmarked on the base, which makes me wonder how many other little vases just like this are lying about unrecognised.They would have come in more than one colour. I believe it is hand potted, probably by Daniel Steenstra. Sir Tom Clark told me that Steenstra was a prolific hand potter who made a lot of little items as well as larger vases.
 This is what the label looks like close-up, and the (unmarked) base.

To my astonishment I only paid $35 for this vase, and from the same shop came another treasure - $5 this time. Yes, it's an early vase with the fractionated numbers on the base. There are still a few people who aren't aware of the significance of those marks!  I love the shape of this vase, simple and clean. Shape number 43, with the tell-tale flaws in the glaze which are so common in early Crown Lynn. It's not worth a fortune, but certainly more than $5.
This is the base with the fractionated marks.
Below is another old vase, bought from a charity shop. It's shape number 63, but this must be an early one because it too has fractionated marks, not the impressed shape numbers that Crown Lynn/Ambrico used later.
Another summer find was this porridge bowl, in the 'Paris' dinnerware shape.  This dinnerware was made from the late 1930s until after the 1939-45 war ended. A few are decorated with gold lines and floral lithographs, which places them after 1948; those decorating skills weren't possible at Crown Lynn before then. Anyway. I digress. This is just a plain, nice plate. I have four of these and friends say we should use them as pasta bowls, but they're a bit too precious for that.
This is the old backstamp on the base.
And here's another interesting find. It's a glass mug, not sure of its age, on the base it has 'Agee Pyrex Made in Australia'.  Look at the similarity between its pattern and the Crown Lynn Mogambo mug below it.  Which came first? Crown Lynn wasn't averse to 'borrowing' other company's designs, but in this instance my GUESS is that the Mogambo mug (1963) came first. Let me know if I'm wrong.

(Added later:  I WAS wrong.... reader Tony has pointed out that Pyrex stopped using that brand name in 1963.. see comments below for the Pyrex web address, it's worth a look!)

One last summer find, in this rather random post... the sugar pot and jug are from the Modello Collection which was released in the late 1980s only about a year before Crown Lynn closed. I paid $15 for the jug because I have never seen one that shape before; there are also long and low gravy jugs in black, this must be a milk jug.  And the sugar pot is a lovely greyish blue. Not sure what pattern it would have gone with but I bet someone out there can tell me!
That's all for now. I am going to enjoy the quiet of our front porch now the sun has eased off a bit.

More next week
Take care meanwhile.


  1. If I'm reading it correctly this page suggests that Agee Pyrex stopped using this brand name in 1963:


    1. Tony you are right... thank you. A bit of a disappointment, I don't like the way CL 'borrowed' other designs. But what a fascinating little universe that Pyrex site is! But no... I won't start collecting.

  2. A fascinating post Val !!!! Love all of your unusual finds. The lovely grey lidded sugar is a match for Taranto d71900. I'm after a black one ... I have the jug ~.~

  3. Thanks Ev. It's interesting to see what is still around at reasonable prices. Re the sugar bowl, after your comment I remembered I have two LOVELY Taranto desert plates, plain white with a serene and stylish wide grey-blue band. If I thought it was possible I would find a whole dinnner set in that pattern, I love it.

  4. Hi Val I have just found a little vase like the one in your picture at the top, with no base markings, just the sticker. it is more of a greenish colour than yours, and has a matching jug the same size. I'm hoping you can tell me what they are worth? I just found them in some things from my great aunt. I googled them, and your blog from 2013 was the only thing that came up. Hope you can help me!

    1. Hi what lovely things to find in your great-aunt's estate. I am afraid I am not qualified to give a value. However I will say that I have never seen a little jug which matches the vases, so that is an exciting find. I don't know whether you live in Auckland - on the coming Sunday there is a "Crown Lynn Roadshow" where two experienced valuers will be available to value pieces. It is at the New Lynn RSA, 2 Veronica St, 11.30-2.30. There is a $5 fee for each valuation, as the event is a fundraiser for the new Crown Lynn Museum.