Just look at this little beauty, an Air New Zealand butter dish from 1965. It's only 8 cm wide, and at best guess worth somewhere between $50 and $80.
This Air New Zealand ware is truly lovely, and highly collectable. A while ago I met someone who has a whole dinner set. She wouldn't tell me what she paid, but you can guarantee that it is worth much much more now. The first design for this ware was gold on turquoise, but the gold wouldn't stand up to industrial dishwashers so they chose brown instead. This is what the backstamp looks like:
Later, in the late 1970s Crown Lynn made ware for Air NZ second class - the initial order in 1977 was 330,000 pieces. In dark brown with a subtle Koru emblem, it's quite classy but it doesn't tug the heartstrings like the turquoise. In any case they are far far superior to the disposable plastic that comes with the disposable food on airlines these days!
Often the dishes have strange long numbers and letters on the back - they denote specific aircraft, I have been told.
It pays to check before swooping on this ware in junk shops. Some was made in Japan - check the backstamp carefully! This is Japanese:
This is Crown Lynn.
More collectable than the grim brown are Air NZ beakers and ashtrays, in honey glaze from in the Titian factory. I love their graphics, moulded into the shape. The beaker is 9 cm high, the ashtray about 20 cm wide including the handles. I assume this is an ashtray, but then again it might have been a platter - can anyone enlighten me?
This is the base of the beaker. The only ashtray I have seen is unmarked.
They also made a few beakers in a gorgeous lively green:
(Thanks to Ev for letting me photograph some of these items from her collection).
Crown Lynn also made ware for other airlines. This classic little casserole was for Qantas. The mini-casserole shape was used over and over again for all sorts of domestic and commercial ranges, they must have made millions of them.
Note that the Qantas backstamp was applied separately to the Cook & Serve stamp - with no consideration as to which way up it goes!
Here is a British Airways dish, the same shape as the brown one above.
But it also has some impressed marks which I have not seen elsewhere.
In the next couple of weeks we are moving house, so there will be a bit of a gap before my next post.
Take care meanwhile