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431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

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431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Ev on Sat 3 Nov - 15:15

I'm very concerned about these two shapes that are in the Shapes Gallery.
Why? Well both of these shapes are in the Crown Lynn records as lampbases.
431 is the Three Faces of Eve and 432 is the beautiful horse lampbase.
I can't find any references to the 'reused' numbers as we chose to call these, even though they have the numbers stamped on the base.
There are no other reused numbers in the Shapes Gallery, so it is obvious to me now that perhaps Crown Lynn didn't even make them.

Here is the 431 Santa mug courtesy of HeatherT ....


and the 432 Toby Jug courtesy of HeatherT ....



I need some help here or suggestions, as the Santa Mug is usually listed on Trademe as Crown Lynn, though there is a listing on at the moment that says it was made by Titian! I have a hunch this may be correct. Heather thinks he was sold at McKenzies filled with lollies. A TM trader says he was sold by Farmers ... ?
I've never seen the Toby jug before or since it was sent in by Heather.
Let the INQUEST begin .....
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Maryr on Sat 3 Nov - 15:46

Both the Santa and the toby jug are in the Richard Quinn collection.... but the valuation report by John Perry says that Quinn amassed his collection over 30 years, from the CL site and from junk shop purchases, so we are none the wiser really. Good luck with this one Ev!
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  mumof1 on Sat 3 Nov - 20:16


I have 2 of these, a light green and a brown/amber, and both are marked

with .432. - a dot on each side. I always thought that was Crown Lynn.
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Ev on Sat 3 Nov - 20:32

I have never handled either of these pieces so can't comment on the clay used or the 'finish'. What do you see sunny, compared to other pieces of Crown Lynn?
It's the numbers that are bugging me ...... and yes they do have dots before and after confused

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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  mumof1 on Sat 3 Nov - 21:05

Ev, I am no expert, but I have collected many pieces now, and I would put my money on this being a Crown Lynn. The base edge is the same clay, and it 'feels' right if you know what I mean. I also note that it says on page 39 of Val Monks book under Toby Jugs, that in the late 1940s Ambrico began making slipcast hand painted toby jugs, ... "A Santa jug was also made, along with the McCallum. I will hunt out my santa and have a look at it tomorrow.
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  mrnarna on Sat 3 Nov - 23:20

will dig mine out (have both of them ) and photograph them in depth for you
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Ev on Sun 4 Nov - 7:26

Thanks so much to both of you and yes I know what you mean when you say it 'feels' right sunny. Please compare the number shapes to anything you have with those numbers on them too.
I just can't work out why, out of thousands of numbers they would choose these two numbers to 'reuse' and with no documentation to verify this at all. scratch
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Maryr on Sun 4 Nov - 8:29

Val Monk here.. I have to confess that I can't remember exactly why I mentioned the Santa jugs in my Crown Lynn book. I don't own one and didn't take one to anyone for verification, so - ouch - it is possible that I made an assumption because they were commonly known as a Crown Lynn product. If I find out anything new I will let you know.
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Ev on Sun 4 Nov - 9:19

Thanks Val Smile There is no disrespect to you when questioning these annoying blighters, if only I could find just one that had a makers stamp, it would make me very happy.
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Maryr on Sun 4 Nov - 9:25

Agreed.....I too would like to see this one resolved. Crown Lynn is an amazing and fascinating topic and I am so very glad to see these questions being asked and the ongoing research that is being done by you and so many others. So many questions, so many possible answers! XX
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Jonno on Sun 4 Nov - 17:24

Yes it has numbers and yes the numbers have dots before and after them .

But so has my vase bought as a Crown Lynn piece but it is not .
A Crown Lynn .506. is not a vase like mine at all but one of the long trough type pieces that Crown Lynn made. Sorry can't locate a photo but mine is a bit like a miniature bottle kiln with four grooves as the shape reduces to the neck.

This is a another great mystery.

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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  mumof1 on Sun 4 Nov - 20:28


The Santa has the same feel as the toby jugs, and also as the 'ugly little man' toby jug which has been talked about and is in Val's book. Interesting to note that my ugly one has a Crown Lynn stamp, but no number. I had originally thought that the number on the toby jugs and the santa were quite large in comparison to other pieces I have, but after some searching, I found that the numbers on older pieces, which were trickle glazed, were of the same size, and the whiteware pieces tended to have smaller numbers, so that is no help either. The only small thing I came up with was that the two 432 jugs were quite thin on two of the dips on the top edge. This could have been peculiar to a batch however, or some aspect of the shaping. Sorry, not much help at all. sunny
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Ev on Mon 5 Nov - 9:27

Thanks sunshine, that was helpful sunny
Right lets move on to glaze comparisons and as it happens Crown Lynn made plain gentlemen tobies in brown and green, these don't have any numbers.




Different cameras - different light ... but wow the brown really stands out as looking very similar!!
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  mumof1 on Mon 5 Nov - 18:00

And that green one of mine is not as green as it seems, it's the light behind I think has enhanced it. In my hand right now, it looks like the same colour as the other one!
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Ev on Mon 5 Nov - 19:40

That lovely green is very familiar, as I've seen it on many different Crown Lynn items!
Notice how the brown glaze goes thinner on the high spots on both tobies?
I would say it's the same glaze due to that specific feature.
Vic Lawson the mould maker who used the dots before and after a number worked at Crown Lynn from 1942 - 1957 ...... but they carried on using this system for years.
we just keep coming back to Crown Lynn Rolling Eyes
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  peters on Fri 8 Feb - 15:49

I visited the Auckland museum on the weekend and the Santa Toby is named as Spartan and forms part of the Spartan collection there.

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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Ev on Fri 8 Feb - 19:08

Hmmmmmm I don't think I've ever seen any Spartan pieces with numbers and most of the Santa tobies have a number on them .....
and I'm sure that I remember seeing a 432 Toby there named as Crown Lynn ... do you remember seeing it peters?
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Maryr on Sat 9 Feb - 10:11

I know nothing about Spartan but I have been told that the glaze on the Santa is not the sort of finish that Spartan used.
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Ev on Sun 10 Feb - 9:06

Personally I don't think for a minute that the Santa mug is Spartan.
Museum curators are human Wink
We have a selection of Spartan on here that you can check out for yourself Maryr -

http://www.newzealandpottery.net/f17-spartan-products

This question bugs the heck out of me -
"Why would Crown Lynn reuse only two numbers out of thousands???????"
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Jeremy Ashford on Thu 14 Aug - 0:53

Having just bought a Santa jug/mug I now have an interest in this discussion.

A few points, and questions too.

Vic Lawson worked at CL until 1957: what then?

Did he ever work at Titian?

Did others at CL continue with dotted numbers?

When did Titian commence dotted numbers?
Or was it just CL produced at Titian that used the dotted numbers?

In later years Orzel used dots.
It has been suggested that the dotted number Orzels are Titian shapes.

The film "Three Faces of Eve" was made in 1957.
When were the Gaylite Eve lamps made?
Were the lamps named after the movie, the book that preceded it, or is it just a nickname for the lamps?

Gaylite was founded in the early 1940s, sold in '62 and closed a couple of years later.
Television was introduced to NZ in 1960 but there were very few TVs at the start.
Bearing that in mind is it really appropriate to call them TV lamps?

Having operated for 20 years presumably Gaylite produced many different shapes.
(While acknowledging that the numbers ARE in CL records ...)
Could the numbers on Gaylite lamps be Gaylite numbers rather than Crown Lynn numbers?

While the 700s and 800s are all over the place I suspect there is a chronology to the 400s. The lamps appear to be out of sequence.

There are two different Toby jugs in the "Potters Wheel" movie, but not the 432.
I checked.
The 432 Toby has a handle at the side, the others at the back.

If the Santa and 432 Toby are not CL next logical guess is Titian.
Are there any similar Titian numbers ie 400s?
In the gallery I see 100s, 200s, 300s and 500s but no 400s.

Is it assumed that 431 and 432 are the same maker?
The modelling of Santa appears quite different from ALL the Tobys AND The McCallum.

Santa doesn't look like Titian, but does he look like anything else from CL?
With a poor knowledge of the 400s and no pics available I can't tell.
Maybe that's just because he looks like Santa!
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Ev on Thu 14 Aug - 7:12

Wow so many questions in that post Jeremy ... I will attempt to answer a few of them to the best of my knowledge.

1. Vic Lawson went to Titian when he left Crown Lynn and it seems that he was there for quite a while, although I don't know the exact year that he finished there.

2. He started putting dots before and after numbers at Titian when he went there and Gail Henry warns about this in her book, that the dots do not mean that they were made solely by Crown Lynn.

3. I think that the dots were still being used in the 1960's at Crown Lynn, which would be after Vic Lawson left.

4. Vic Lawson was the first mould maker at Crown Lynn to put the dots before and after the number.

I'm not sure about any of your other questions. I do know that David Jenkin modelled the Three Faces of Eve, but I'm not sure when. Good luck Jeremy Wink
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Jeremy Ashford on Thu 14 Aug - 11:03

Thanks for all those answers Ev.

I realise that they were all available to me somewhere but knowing where to look is the trick so I hope you had them up your sleeve.

I was pretty sure I had already read what you said about Vic Lawson and his dots, but not retained it. It is information that may have bearing on many other discussions: castware with impressed marks (1010, 1300); shapes made at Titian after the takeover (1645 etc) and maybe even those other numerical oddities, the 736 and 738.

All the arguments and all the evidence about 431 and 432 refer to Crown Lynn. Using the principal of Occam's Razor (go with the simplest conclusion) I will assume that both items are Crown Lynn until someone proves otherwise.

---------
15/8/14
My Santa mug/jug arrived this morning.
Smaller than I imagined but well bigger than an Empire Games mug.

Number
The base is both crazed and pin-holed so at first I though it had no number but I found it eventually: 431 as expected. It is in the same style as the 432 shown above so my first point is that I have no doubts that they are from the same maker.
I have no pieces of Crown Lynn of similar age to compare the style of the numbers with.

Comparative Pieces of Crown Lynn
I do not have a 432, in fact I have no Toby jugs (figural jugs) so I cannot compare with like. The closest I have, which I presume to be from roughly the same era (late-40s-early-50s), are a 417 shaving mug (43-50), a Canterbury Centennial mug (1950), and a Coronation mug (1953).

Clay Type
As the Santa is irregularly shaped and the others have circular bases comparison is not easy. The Centennial mug has the largest footring of the three and thus the largest exposed area of unglazed body. They appear to me to have the same colour of clay.

Weight
As for weight, the Santa is bigger and correspondingly heavier: approximately 500 vs 350 grams. Put another way the CC mug is about 70 percent of Santa's weight. I refuse to submerge them to check their relative displacements, but that seems about right to me.

Titian
I think my Titian mugs are all later so comparison my be meaningless, but for the record, the Titian clay is whiter.


Last edited by Jeremy Ashford on Wed 12 Nov - 16:56; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  haselnuss on Fri 15 Aug - 16:28

Some more picture to help with the identification.


I also have close up's of the bases, please let me know if I should post them.
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Jeremy Ashford on Fri 15 Aug - 16:51

What I see as interesting is that the known CL shapes all have round bases but the 431 and 432 are asymmetrical.

Also, the CLs are clearly jugs as they have pourers, but the odd ones both have asymmetrical tops. (... and so become mugs?)

I wonder if that makes them earlier?

Great pic. It's good to see them all together.

[Later ... oh, I see all the CLs are the one shape just different glazes: there is another CL Toby, as seen being modelled in the film.]
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

Post  Ev on Wed 12 Nov - 15:37

Gail Lambert page 119 left says that Crown Lynn made four toby jugs including a Father Christmas ! Also a Toby bust which would be the 432 ! The other two were the ugly Toby jug and the seated Toby.
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Re: 431 Santa mug and 432 toby jug INQUEST.

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