Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Another road trip... more stuff!

Last week we went to Napier and back via Gisborne and the Waioeka Gorge. It was lovely to be back on the road in our bus. This is the most interesting thing we found - a very unusual Titianware jug from the days when it was owned by Crown Lynn. It has an unusual pattern or maybe a logo on the side - no idea what it is. I was certain we had a new shape for the NZ Pottery website but no, it's already there! On this page of the treasure trove of shapes on this site.
This is what the base looks like. Number 1351. The jug is 13 cm tall.
And how's this for a hard-luck story... we popped into a junk shop up a side street and there among other odd bits and pieces was a maroon monkey egg cup. Unpriced. So I picked it up and ever-so-casually sauntered up to the counter. "There's no price on this" I said. Hoping for the $2 bargain of the century. "Ah," said the man. "A nice piece of Crown Lynn. That's going to auction." Ah well, win some, lose some. I didn't take a pic - but this is the link to the NZ Pottery selection of egg cups. Well worth a look.

Next boohoo story was this shop in Gisborne - closed on Monday, closed on Tuesday. Oddly enough George didn't want to wait around to see if it opened on Wednesday. In the front window there were some bulldog eggcups - nice colours:
And also this little marvel. A wahine toby jug from the Titian factory before Crown Lynn bought them out. No doubt the shop wanted an arm and a leg for it but I would have liked to see it in the flesh.

There was also a lovely Pania of the Reef - maker unknown but almost certainly NZ. Ah well... if you're ever in Gisborne take a look at A1 Mart - it's on the main street at the top end of  town.  You never know, it might be open.
(Incidentally that's a small Crown Lynn swan on the left of the pic, not the elusive middle sized version - one of which went for over $2000 on TradeMe the other day.)

On the plus side I did find this lovely lovely vase - 1940s Crown Lynn,  $2 at the Sallies shop, spotted at the last minute. An enchanting mix of deep maroon and bright blue. They must have my book at that shop because all the Crown Lynn dinnerware was stacked together and not cheap - $15 and more per plate.
This is the base of the vase. Fraction numbers indicating they were testing the glaze.
We found three very cool charity shops up a side road in Te Puke. On the left as you're heading north. There were lots of treasures including a nice lineup of pink mugs, which I left there. I have enough! One has a chip, but it's great to see them with their saucers.
There was one thing I couldn't resist - a Catherine Anselmi "Railway cup". After Crown Lynn closed Anselmi asked Hemara Hemara, an expert modeller, to help  her make moulds in the Crown Lynn railway cup shape. So occasionally you see these odd, brightly coloured cups, with both a Crown Lynn mark and the Catheirine Anselmi mark on the base.  This one cost me $1. They're not easy to find so I'm happy! Anselmi cup on the left, alongside the railway cup for comparison. The Anselmi cup is slightly larger and has a simple handle, without the grooves. 
 This is the base of the green cup.
Anselmi must have made up her own Crown Lynn stamp, or else got hold of one that came from the factory. You see a number of other items with the double stamp - eg here is a vase from the NZ Pottery site.

One last thought - now Crown Lynn is so popular and no longer at bargain prices, it might be time to look at other NZ potteries. This lovely Temuka fruit bowl is about 35-40 cm across and in immaculate condition. And only six dollars! The base had an odd little number instead of the usual Temuka mark. I left it behind, with regret. (No I don't have a disorder... truly!)

More soon.
Happy hunting

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pretty in Pink...

A while ago I was sent this photo.
Then it turned out this was only part of the pink collection. Here's some more!
All this quite took my breath away - and I hope the collector has it well insured. This pink glaze was not easy to apply evenly, and consequently there is not much pink Crown Lynn ware around. Ernie Cooper, who began at Crown Lynn in the early 1960s and rose to the position of chief chemist then factory manager told me this: "Interestingly the pink colour was made from one of the Blythe Colour works glaze stains (I even remember the number stain 8005) consisting of Chrome/Tin which suffered from an unusual firing fault called white spot. If there was any organic contaminant in the glaze before firing it would cause localised reduction in the glazing kiln resulting in a very noticeable white spot about 3-5 mm in diameter. By the way these cups were dipped in glaze rather than being sprayed, a very interesting and locally produced dipping system was used for this purpose."

 All this made me start thinking about the lack of pink in my collection. Here's my solitary cup and saucer set, which is spoken for - Pete, it's still here waiting for you!
It is possible that as well as the technical difficulties, pink simply wasn't as fashionable as some other colours.  Judging by the amount of chocolate brown, teal blue and olive green colourglaze ware around, there is little doubt that they were the front runners at the time.  Anyway, for the record, here's the rest of my pink collection. A kitchen bowl, backstamped Aero British:

And my mostly-pink dessert bowl, backstamped Tudor.
That's about it for me. Unlike some, I definitely can't claim the title of Pink Princess.
More next time
Happy collecting!