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Crown Lynn Museum.... The Portage Ceramics Trust

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Crown Lynn Museum.... The Portage Ceramics Trust

Post  Ev on Sun 12 Oct - 13:36

http://www.nzmuseums.co.nz/index.php?option=com_nstp&task=showAccountDetail&accountIdSet=3384

Portage Ceramics Trust collection.

Is this the famous RQ collection....?

Click onto everything..... it really is fantastic and they have only just started cataloging it all.

Thanks to Tim for finding it.


Last edited by Ev on Sat 6 Feb - 17:25; edited 2 times in total
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Crown Lynn Museum....

Post  TonyK on Mon 13 Oct - 8:25

Thanks Ev

I thought this stuff would never see the light of day again.

The really rare material is the "dug on site" stuff. There are buckets of shards - pieces of Handpotted in various glazes - hundreds of pieces of Kienhua unearthed over dozens of square yards in all the colours Crown Lynn made [although Richard found many lids he didn't find any complete ginger jars].

There'll be the little Briar Gardner pot he found alongside Ambrico shards that suggested that Briar actually potted on site and trained CLP potters and decorators. Tom Clark confirmed this in a conversation and comparison of Briar's work with the running glaze pieces produced by the Porcelain Specialties Department of Amalgamated show her influence most clearly. A single coherent explanation for the inscribed "fractional" marks will be identified.

The paper records are also impressive - some he was given in the final days before CLP closed others he retrieved from the sites during the demo process. Ceramco had a bonfire burning constantly that consumed huge quantities of material. Richard's dozen or so four drawer filing cabinets were the tip of a rapidly thawing iceberg. Nikau Demolition Ltd owned by John Stil were the contracted demo company and Richard was able to negotiate access to the sites before the buildings were removed. He got to know the demo workers quite well and they like most of New Zealand in 1989 couldn't understand why this crazy coot would want to scrabble through the dust and dirt retrieving cast-offs and rubbish.

The auction held on site sold objects only- no records or paperwork - none was listed in the auction catalogue copies of which still exist. A specialist industrial auctioneer held the single auction - I don't know the name but it will be in the local papers, the Yellow Pages, etc. The large kilns got no bids. Richard bought the test kiln, 4,500 firebricks for $5, but they were lost when Waitakere City Council were caring for the collection. Potters bought a lot of material either by negotiation before hand or at the auction. Catherine Anselmi bought equipment - tables and trolleys I think? Some of the small flora and fauna plaques are now appearing on TradeMe with shiny new glazes. Five dollar boxes of foundry patterns are yours for $1000.

There is a fused block of four or five rectangular floor tiles 9" x 4.5". This was the first commercial product made by the proto-Crown Lynn. The tiles were a special order for Hellabys who had family links to the Clarks. There are small mountains of each of the floor tile shapes ranging from 1cm square and circular pieces to the large octagonal pieces.

These vitrified tiles were designed to suit a specific end use, often in heavy industrial locations. They come in a variety of clay bodies ranging from a terracotta like appearance through "Miramar argillite", Whau clay and grey/white kaolin blends.

Crown Lynn made many products for the electrical industry ranging from insulators for power lines and electric fences to tiny components for appliances. There are hundreds of different dry-pressed pieces. The power line insulators that were simply the large "NZR" cup without a handle can still be seen up power poles in West Auckland.

Ernest Shufflebottom's wheel and lathe were bought for $5, expensive for the time, and the museum would be able to demonstrate the throwing and turning technique used by the Handpotted section makers.

The large ball mill was lined with flint bought in from the former Yugoslavia which was cemented onto the tumbler. Thousands of pebbles used in the process have been polished in bands.

As the collection is catalogued and information released into the public domain some of the many myths about Crown Lynn will disappear. "Wharatana" (or the other misspellings)- never existed. Kienhua ginger jars - made by CLP in the late 1940s. Egg cups - over a dozen different designs all unmarked. The collection will support accurate date ranges for the hundreds of different backstamps and other marks Crown Lynn used from the 1940s until 1989.

Crown Lynn research will be available to everyone and genuine fans and enthusiasts will have access to reliable authoritative information.

Thanks again Ev - a new era has begun.


Last edited by TonyK on Sat 5 Jun - 15:37; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Crown Lynn Museum.... The Portage Ceramics Trust

Post  Ev on Mon 13 Oct - 18:04

Yes Tony it's a very exciting prospect in the making!
Thanks to Richard's foresight......

Thanks for all of the extra info that you have added..... very interesting.

I look forward to the actual museum opening in the future ...
but in the meantime this site will do fine..... it's so professional !

I noticed a bit on there about the fraction marks .....
they say they are the glaze numbers... which makes sense to me Smile
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Re: Crown Lynn Museum....

Post  TonyK on Tue 11 Nov - 10:22

I noticed on the Portage site a mention that they will be exhibiting some of the collection at other venues before they establish a permanent home. I think you've heard of this from another enthusiast - maybe at WCAG?

Did you get any details?
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Re: Crown Lynn Museum.... The Portage Ceramics Trust

Post  HeatherT on Tue 11 Nov - 10:32

I think it was Val Monk who mentioned to me about the exhibition at the Wellington Art Gallery...

That is great information up there Tony, thanks for taking the time to write it all down for us.
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Re: Crown Lynn Museum....

Post  TonyK on Tue 11 Nov - 12:21

You're very welcome Heather.

The Crown Lynn/Amalgamated component of Richard's collection provides the best, and in my opinion, the only opportunity for research based information about the company becoming widely available.

His was always a reference collection and he wasn't a collector as such but a researcher. His collection did contain many one offs and the dug up objects, ephemera, records etc are unique. There will always be gaps in the company's history and the situation is so complex that each year evidence emerges of potential new areas of research.

Gail Lambert/Henry and Valerie Ringer Monk have set the bedrock for future studies and have both created archives that I think will reward further study.

Hopefully in our own way we'll be able to contribute to the area by remaining focussed on well supported evidence based research. Your Auckland Museum research also sets a solid basis for further exploration.


Last edited by TonyK on Sat 5 Jun - 15:38; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Crown Lynn Museum.... The Portage Ceramics Trust

Post  Ev on Mon 3 Aug - 17:23

Lorraine Wilson from the Portage Ceramic Trust has told me in an email that they will be working with the Wellington City Gallery on a major exhibition next year.
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Re: Crown Lynn Museum....

Post  TonyK on Fri 18 Dec - 1:14

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Re: Crown Lynn Museum.... The Portage Ceramics Trust

Post  TonyK on Tue 2 Feb - 18:46

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Re: Crown Lynn Museum.... The Portage Ceramics Trust

Post  Ev on Mon 12 Jan - 17:04

TonyK wrote:Thanks Ev

I thought this stuff would never see the light of day again.

The really rare material is the "dug on site" stuff. There are buckets of shards - pieces of Handpotted in various glazes - hundreds of pieces of Kienhua unearthed over dozens of square yards in all the colours Crown Lynn made [although Richard found many lids he didn't find any complete ginger jars].

There'll be the little Briar Gardner pot he found alongside Ambrico shards that suggested that Briar actually potted on site and trained CLP potters and decorators. Tom Clark confirmed this in a conversation and comparison of Briar's work with the running glaze pieces produced by the Porcelain Specialties Department of Amalgamated show her influence most clearly. A single coherent explanation for the inscribed "fractional" marks will be identified.

The paper records are also impressive - some he was given in the final days before CLP closed others he retrieved from the sites during the demo process. Ceramco had a bonfire burning constantly that consumed huge quantities of material. Richard's dozen or so four drawer filing cabinets were the tip of a rapidly thawing iceberg. Nikau Demolition Ltd owned by John Stil were the contracted demo company and Richard was able to negotiate access to the sites before the buildings were removed. He got to know the demo workers quite well and they like most of New Zealand in 1989 couldn't understand why this crazy coot would want to scrabble through the dust and dirt retrieving cast-offs and rubbish.

The auction held on site sold objects only- no records or paperwork - none was listed in the auction catalogue copies of which still exist. A specialist industrial auctioneer held the single auction - I don't know the name but it will be in the local papers, the Yellow Pages, etc. The large kilns got no bids. Richard bought the test kiln, 4,500 firebricks for $5, but they were lost when Waitakere City Council were caring for the collection. Potters bought a lot of material either by negotiation before hand or at the auction. Catherine Anselmi bought equipment - tables and trolleys I think? Some of the small flora and fauna plaques are now appearing on TradeMe with shiny new glazes. Five dollar boxes of foundry patterns are yours for $1000.

There is a fused block of four or five rectangular floor tiles 9" x 4.5". This was the first commercial product made by the proto-Crown Lynn. The tiles were a special order for Hellabys who had family links to the Clarks. There are small mountains of each of the floor tile shapes ranging from 1cm square and circular pieces to the large octagonal pieces.

These vitrified tiles were designed to suit a specific end use, often in heavy industrial locations. They come in a variety of clay bodies ranging from a terracotta like appearance through "Miramar argillite", Whau clay and grey/white kaolin blends.

Crown Lynn made many products for the electrical industry ranging from insulators for power lines and electric fences to tiny components for appliances. There are hundreds of different dry-pressed pieces. The power line insulators that were simply the large "NZR" cup without a handle can still be seen up power poles in West Auckland.

Ernest Shufflebottom's wheel and lathe were bought for $5, expensive for the time, and the museum would be able to demonstrate the throwing and turning technique used by the Handpotted section makers.

The large ball mill was lined with flint bought in from the former Yugoslavia which was cemented onto the tumbler. Thousands of pebbles used in the process have been polished in bands.

As the collection is catalogued and information released into the public domain some of the many myths about Crown Lynn will disappear. "Wharatana" (or the other misspellings)- never existed. Kienhua ginger jars - made by CLP in the late 1940s. Egg cups - over a dozen different designs all unmarked. The collection will support accurate date ranges for the hundreds of different backstamps and other marks Crown Lynn used from the 1940s until 1989.

Crown Lynn research will be available to everyone and genuine fans and enthusiasts will have access to reliable authoritative information.

Thanks again Ev - a new era has begun.

Here we are over 7 years later and it's all falling into place. How marvellous that you listed so many things so long ago and these items are finally seeing the light of day. What a celebration it will be when the Museum opens and what a shame that Richard won't be here to rejoice. I am so looking forward to seeing what Richard the researcher kept safe for the likes of us with our obsession for more information.
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