Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Classic "English" - Wentworth Ware and Fancy Fayre

Just imagine their pride when Tom Clark and his team managed to make this gorgeous thing:
For years they strove to create a white clay body, and struggled with primitive largely self-taught decorating and firing techniques - in isolation because of the war.  Then, in 1948 it all came together, importantly with the help of experts recruited from England.  What whoops of joy there must have been when these little compotes first came out of the kiln looking like this.  And this:
My lovely bright yellow specimen is a recent acquisition - a lucky $10 find in a Kaihohe second-hand shop.  These dishes would both have been made in the 1950s. They are the same shape and size, height 4.5 cm, length 16, width 13.   The gold decoration was another development introduced by the newly recruited English decorators in the late 1940s.  The yellow and gold version is unmarked apart from a number impressed in the base.  The hand-coloured one carries the Wentworth Ware backstamp.
In the photo above you can also see the shape number, 125, which looks as though it was pressed into the soft clay after it came out of the mould. In almost every case, Crown Lynn gave each new shape a number, which makes it easier to identify Crown Lynn products even when they don't have a backstamp. 
And Wentworth Ware.. .where did that brand come from? In the 1950s many New Zealanders were a bit snobby... they preferred to buy china made in England, which was often referred to as 'home' even by people who were born in NZ.  My grandmother, for example, would never have had Crown Lynn in her home. Tom Clark once publicly described NZ housewives as snobs, which created a rather unpleasant backlash.
This pink grape leaf is another in the Wentworth Ware series. I am a bit disappointed in this photo, the pink is brighter in real life. 
The base is unmarked apart from a shape number, 147, which looks as though it has been scratched into the soft clay when it first came out of the mould.
Yet another in the Wentworth Ware series is this gorgeous bright yellow dish, about the size you might use to serve a few yummy little chocolates after dinner. I am having a love affair with this yellow glaze. It is so very very bright and cheery.
The dish is shape number 410.
Alongside Wentworth Ware, Crown Lynn made Fancy Fayre salad ware, a blatant copy of the lettuce leaf styled ware being made by Carlton and others in England. This jug featured in my first book. It is 14 cm tall.
This is the backstamp. You can also see the shape number, 409-1.  The number 1 denotes the size. The next size up would have been 409-2.
This is my treasured salad dressing jug. I found the jug years ago, and only recently bought its matching little plate on TradeMe. The jug is 9 cm high and 17 cm end-to-end. The saucer is 17 cm long.
The jug has the Fancy Fayre backstamp, the saucer has a shape number only. This set is hand-coloured in pastel shades, much softer than the bright milk jug above.  Here is the saucer shape number, and also a little red mark which must have been applied by the decorator for some reason. Quite often you find marks of this sort on the base of Crown Lynn ware, most probably because they were testing a new material or process - or simply because someone wanted to clearly identify their work for some reason.
That's all for now. Keep warm!
More soon

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