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NZR shards: Ambrico NZR railway cups 1939-43

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NZR shards: Ambrico NZR railway cups 1939-43 Empty NZR shards: Ambrico NZR railway cups 1939-43

Post  Jeremy Ashford on Mon 4 Apr - 12:08

NZR shards: Ambrico NZR railway cups 1939-43 Amb110

I recently outbid another keen trademe buyer to pay a lot of money for a box of broken pottery. I was thrilled (and still am) because I knew this broken pottery would hold a lot of information. I picked them up Saturday.

Part 1 Ambrico shards
NZR shards: Ambrico NZR railway cups 1939-43 Amb210

The Ambrico NZR shards are all shown in this photo. It tells me a number of things but significantly ...
i there are two different sizes of handleless cup,*
ii there are two distinct clay bodies,
iii there are two different sizes of "NZR" stamp,
which are all pieces of information I have not seen, heard, or read before, but also interestingly ...
iv there were NZR saucers to match!

*I will link other examples of these two types later. Done: see bottom of post.

i. cup sizes
NZR shards: Ambrico NZR railway cups 1939-43 Amb310
straw cup 75mm H x 83 OD top: white cup 71.5mm H x 77OD top x 48 OD footring

I will be checking the sizes of the cup shards against later CL cups.

ii. clay body
NZR shards: Ambrico NZR railway cups 1939-43 Amb510
the straw cup (l) is a colour match for Ambrico straw cups
it has what could be mild crazing or stress cracks
the white cup (r) may be vitrified
it has no crazing, but there are brush marks in glaze and/or manufacturing marks in body
NZR shards: Ambrico NZR railway cups 1939-43 Amb610
NZR straw and Ambrico straw cup with handle are the same colour
3rd shard (see the photo above with all the shards), straw colour, has no crazing
NZR shards: Ambrico NZR railway cups 1939-43 Amb710
4th shard (centre above), white, has fine crazing, large stamp
possibly larger diameter than other white

iii. stamps

The photo shows three different colours and two sizes of stamp. There is some variation in the fonts.
It is interesting to see that the glaze on the whiter cup has a similar brushed appearance to my US Navy handleless cup. I have not seen this elsewhere on Ambrico pottery.
NZR shards: Ambrico NZR railway cups 1939-43 Amb410
large 49mm W x 23 H: small 41 x 19
the green stamps are the large size

iv. saucers
NZR shards: Ambrico NZR railway cups 1939-43 Amb810
the saucer shards appear to match the heavier unstamped Ambrico saucers
complete saucer 27.5mm H x 159 OD x 57 well x 52 foot.

--------------
Discussion
Assuming that these shards are all Ambrico (I will address that at a later time), I think it is clear Tom Clark and co were on a real learning curve with these cups. I do not have foreign shape matches for these cups so whether they were copy shapes or original designs remains an open question.

Part of my rationale for buying these shards is to relate them to later Ambrico and Crown Lynn cup shapes. The following photo is an example.
NZR shards: Ambrico NZR railway cups 1939-43 Amb910
Ambrico straw cup block handle: Ambrico (vitrified?) NZR: CL vitrified

I have placed the NZR cup forward in the picture to reduce the effects of picture edge distortion (which would have made the outer cups look wider). The three cups are the same dimensions but the NZR footring is slightly smaller: the Erg cup is slightly rounder at its base.

I have previously noted that the saucers we call Paris have two distinct weights. gloworm has shown that the heavier ones are a good fit for the straight-sided, handled, straw cups. The lighter ridged saucers used with the tableware have the same profile, including what for them becomes an oversized cup well.

I'm pretty sure that the heavy straight-sided railway-type cups preceded the finer and more shapely tableware cups, thus that the ridged saucer design preceded the ridged cups.

---------
The internet provides two pictures of similar cups.

The straw cup is a match for one at Paekakariki Railway Museum:
http://stationmuseum.co.nz/Interest_1.htm

I am assuming that cup has no handle because I do not see one in the photo.
A similar straw cup, but with a handle, was up for auction at Cordys in February. The description suggested Milton for the maker but all too late I am thinking Ambrico. The handle is beside the stamp, not opposing it, which supports my view that the Paekakariki one has none.
http://www.cordys.co.nz/html/catalog/365.pdf page 10 of 36

The white cup is a match for one at the Auckland Museum (and which can also be seen in a photograph in Val Monk's Crown Lynn A New Zealand Icon, page 19):
http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/collections-research/collections/record/am_humanhistory-object-14821?k=K3905&ordinal=0

---------
I will be adding more on this topic.
The second instalment will address English NZR cup (shards) from the same lot.
---------
24/4/18
This is as good a place as any to store my picture of Peter Jack's NZR cup.
It has the same green stamp as the saucer shard so no doubts that it is indeed Ambrico.NZR shards: Ambrico NZR railway cups 1939-43 Image75

.


Last edited by Jeremy Ashford on Tue 24 Apr - 21:25; edited 3 times in total
Jeremy Ashford
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Post  Ev on Mon 4 Apr - 14:04

This is fantastic thanks Jeremy as it's real grass roots information.
Ev
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Number of posts : 14406
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Interests: : NZ Studio Pottery and NZ Pottery History
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