Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fruit plate treasures

Not long ago I bought this plate. It looks a bit garish here but it's a lovely clear bright lime green. It completed my set - I also have a blue-grey and a pink in the same style.
These are just basic English-made transfers applied to plain plates and surrounded with a band of sprayed-on glaze, but for some weird reason I really like them and have had them on my wall for years. This series is backstamped in gold with italicised Crown Lynn and holes have been made on the back so they can be hung on the wall. I hang them in the spring-loaded hangers though - much safer.
At an educated guess, I would say these plates are 1950s. (Yes they were in the 1960s chapter in my NZ Icon book but I think I was a few years out!) There are also gorgeous 1950s jugs with the same fruit decoration - I see them on TradeMe now and then but so far I haven't managed to grab one.
These same transfers also appear on Crown Lynn plates backstamped Covent Garden British. I have this pear plate and another with berries.

This is an extremely cool backstamp - one of the 'British' series when Tom Clark was trying to give the impression that his products were made in England, the traditional home of quality china.
I do wonder who designed these backstamps.  I have come across one record of Tam Mitchell the modeller doing the 'Starline' mark in 1961, and I guess the others were done by him or by other designers. They are real little works of art.
Crown Lynn used similar fruit motifs much later, probably in the  late 1970s and early 1980s. This little jam dish (pin dish) is one example; there are others on larger dinner plates in the Apollo shape.
This little dish has a Kelston backstamp.
There is one pitfall with these fruit decorations. The transfers were not exclusive to Crown Lynn and you also see English plates with the same decorations. This one is Old Foley, I have also seen them on Royal Winton and Elijah Cotton (Lord Nelson Ware).  You will see that the pattern on this pink plate is exactly the same as the one on my new lime green Crown Lynn wall plate...
That's all for now, time to venture out into the garden..
More next week

Friday, February 15, 2013

The hotel jug.. a total classic

When I was at boarding school in the 1960s, we had Crown Lynn hotel jugs on the tables - the biggest size, a lovely creamy colour and a classic shape. I didn't appreciate them at the time; they were generally full of lumpy custard or icky lukewarm milk, but now I love them.  Crown Lynn hotel ware jugs range from huge - about 30 cm tall - to tiny, only 4.5 cm. 
This would have been used for a single serving of milk at a hotel or restaurant. Interestingly, it is numbered 1621. All the others have the number 715 followed by a dash and a size number, for example the other two in this pic are 715-00 (centre) and 715-01 (the blue jug on the right).
 The jug in the centre was made for the new Intercontinental Hotel in 1968. It is 5.5 cm tall, and the blue one is 7.5 cm. Underneath, the three jugs look like this. You can see the numbers on the larger two:

Crown Lynn made seven different sizes in these jugs, six standard sizes and the tiny one with the number 1621. Here is a pic of a new range of hotel ware in July 1968, from a Crown Lynn newsletter.

Hotel jugs were scarcely new when this new range was released. Here is one decorated in an ivy leaf transfer, almost certainly from the late 1940s or early 1950s. It is trimmed in gold and was obviously meant for household rather than institutional use.
These jugs also turn up with Frank Carpay's hand-painted decorations - now THAT would be a find! This one is much more prosaic - made for the NZ Army, with a special 'NZG' backstamp.

Every decoration on this jug was hand-applied. The green line around the top and the dash of colour on the handle were brushed on; the army monogram was also put on by hand, and the backstamp was literally stamped on using a rubber stamp. 

Here are some of my hotel jugs. The plain one at the back is the largest. The jug with the red lines is an older style hospital jug. This red-lined ware was phased out and replaced by ware with the beige decoration introduced in 1978 - see the jug bottom right.

Well. That's probably more about hotel jugs than anyone really cares about, so I'll go now! More next week.
Take care till then.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Gorgeous little jugs...

Here is a classic little 1950s Crown Lynn jug.
Beautifully decorated in sprayed-on glaze, with a hand applied gold trim. The only thing is, it doesn't have 'Crown Lynn' on the base... this is its backstamp. (Which incidentally I think is one of the cutest Crown Lynn marks).
These two, in the same shape and size, are marked Crown Lynn.
Both have this backstamp:
- and both are decorated with the classic English-made floral transfers which are so often found on 1950s and 1960s Crown Lynn. A Crown Lynn manager once said to me 'Stick a rose on it and it would sell' and he wasn't wrong. The jug on the right has a crack above the rose - sad. 

These jugs are all the same size and they're all shape number 775 - on this next variation, marked 'Bouquet' the imprinted number can just be seen on the base.

So far as I can ascertain 775 was a 1950s shape, and it appears in probably hundreds of different colours and decorative variations. It was often sold as part of a tea set - with matching cups and saucers and sugar bowl. An ex Crown Lynn staff member told me that it was discontinued by the time he started in the early 1960s.

(When I was doing doing this post I couldn't find a sugar bowl - and of course days later I have dug one out of a box. Here it is, along with its Crown Lynn backstamp.These little bowls are often found matching the wee jugs. This bowl has an older backstamp than the Crown Lynn jugs above.)

This is yet another variation on the jugs, in a lovely soft pale yellow:
It is backstamped 'Symphony British - yet another 1950s Crown Lynn brand'. 
And of course I have this lovely one, part of  a tea set hand-decorated by Doris Bird in the 1950s.
It has a Crown Lyn backstamp - an earlier version than the one that appears on the two floral jugs above.
Last, here is a utilitarian single coloured jug, without a mark on the base. I suspect - but have no way of proving - that it was one of the thousands of warehoused unglazed products that were decorated and sold in the seconds shops in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is quite badly crazed and stained and I should get rid of it but then maybe not.. it looks great lined up with all the others in the same shape.
More next week.
Take care