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CROWN LYNN FAKES

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CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  Jeremy Ashford on Wed 29 Nov - 9:32

Our very own Ducks Nuts has recently brought it to the attention of the "Crown Lynn Skite Site" facebook group that there are a lot of fake Crown Lynn items about at the moment, in particular swans and McAlpine jugs.

These are high end items and people have stung to the tune of thousands of dollars.

They have been hawked around second hand shops, antique dealers, and pawnbrokers, in both North and South Islands and have thus filtered through to trademe.

The matter is now in the hands of the police, and trademe is also investigating.

The Skite Site page is now a closed group, which I think means that if you are not a member you can not view it.

I am aware that not all collectors use facebook so if you do not and you have any inquiries do please ask.
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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  2tuis on Thu 30 Nov - 18:40

Is there any way that photos of these" fakes" can be posted to this site?
Is this reference to studio ceramics being sold as Crown Lyn?
This has now spilled over to legitimate auctions / traders selling items brought from reputable collections / auction houses with quite nasty comments / accusations from people that are not backing up their accusations and causing grief for legitimate traders with provenance from Trade Me.

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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  TonyK on Sat 2 Dec - 3:43

I've wondered about this as well. Discussion of replica McAlpine jugs and swans feels to me more like an internet pile-on than an considered investigation into proven criminal activity. Studio Ceramics products can look very similar to Crown Lynn ones but my belief is that any close comparison would reveal differences. When Studio Ceramics first started producing CL replicas Richard Quinn said that Chris Harvey had as good an understanding of ceramic production and related copyright issues as anyone in New Zealand.

If someone is now replicating Crown Lynn products with the intention to defraud that should be relatively straightforward to determine. The only example of a reworked Crown Lynn product being sold as genuine that I'm aware of is the small flora and fauna plaques/trivets. These were acquired from the factory as unglazed bisque-fired pieces and for a time appeared on the secondary market in a range of glazes. The colours are atypical of the glazes Crown Lynn used and to my untrained eye they just don't "look right". There was also a clear albeit verbal provenance from the factory to the purchaser to individual potters.
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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  Jeremy Ashford on Sat 2 Dec - 9:23

Apparently this recent lot of fakes has has been doing the rounds of the country for the last three months or so.

Medium and large swans and McAlpine jugs.

Unlike the Studio Ceramics pieces these are pretty much the same size as Crown Lynn shapes, and attempt to copy the Crown Lynn black and white swan glazes, along with a wide range of McAlpine colours.

While they are very good copies they can be distinguished from CL with side by side comparison, which may not be a lot of use to most people.

I personally can't be of any futher use to swan buyers but discovered a trick to distinguish the McAlpine jugs without the presence of others: the McAlpine writing is wrong in size and slope and thus appears in a different position from the genuine in relation to the verticsl lines.

For a view with HANDLES ON THE LEFT my montage shows a fake sandwiched between two genuine examples. Note that in the real jugs the letter C is clear of lines and in the fake a line crosses right through.


In the photo by Jamie afrater showing HANDLES ON THE RIGHT the white and the dark blue are fakes.


Because this photo shows the other side of the jugs the writing is differently positioned from the handle left view. Note differences for yourselves.
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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  TonyK on Sat 2 Dec - 12:52

So it looks like someone has put in the work to make similar though not identical molds and slipcast these! I can see that being worthwhile for the dark blue ones. No idea what the white ones with blue writing are worth now. I wonder why they didn't put in the extra effort to match the letters?

Does anyone know if people who have unknowingly sold reprouctions have had to reimburse buyers?
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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  Jeremy Ashford on Sun 3 Dec - 1:08

Some have refunded and others are holding out.
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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  2tuis on Sun 3 Dec - 17:38

Hi,thankyou so much for your images of these items,always better to get potential bad eggs out than just discuss in closed circles,that neither helps inform or stop such practice.
In the lineup we also noticed the line through the "c" in the teal-mid-blue jug at the end..not mentioned as fake.
In your opinion,do you think that with glaze,size and appearance these could actually be legitimate?
Love it as we do...Crown Lynn was less than perfect and must have had dozens of molds for such items,perhaps not all exact.
Surely it would have been easier to fake blank jugs,which pop up now and then as we agree with other correspondence stating that it seems a lot of work with such a simple mistake.
And if counterfeit....obviously a professional potter or company,as your average Joe..like us..would not have the skills to mold make....,source appropriate clay,slipcast and glaze...least of all have a kiln in our backyard to fire them in....pretty sure 2min in the household oven at 180degree won't do,least of all having the time to travel up and down the country selling these things.hmmm.
Once again, thanks for bringing this potential issue out in the open forum for discussion.


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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  Jeremy Ashford on Wed 6 Dec - 8:44

2tuis, sorry for the late reply. I was tied up with a wood firing Friday through Tuesday and am still a bit knocked around.

Remember that I specified that the line through the C was a fake on the side you see when the handle is to the left. On the jug you are asking about we are seeing the other side. People have examined these jugs close up and were able to discern from factors such as glaze, and handle and spout shapes that the white and dark blue were fakes. This required the presence of real jugs for comparison.

My method of picking out the current batch of fakes allows a person to check a single jug and see whether it is fake without another to compare. I looked at the photo knowing that the blue is fake and from that was able to tell that the white is too.

Also, the lighter blue jug is a McAlpine/Prestcold so is from a different mould.

There are genuine moulds from Crown Lynn out and about but as far as "the watchers" know none is being used for fakery. Studio Ceramics jugs and swans are different sizes and glazes. Steve Aitken of Ace Firers is making swans from original moulds but using his own glazes.

To match size and glazes to original pieces using different clays and glaze recipes requires some skill that genuine artists may have but it is something they choose not to do.

Moulds from other potteries have also been reused over the years and this has led to some confusion in the collecting market. Orzel, Clay Craft, Crown Lynn, and I think Titian moulds have been used by Hobby Ceramics groups. Clay Craft moulds have also been used by two, maybe more commercial potteries as well which has been confusing to buyers and sellers because the name remains on the moulds.

Artistic use of found moulds is a common practice. Mark Goody, also of Ace Firers, has used the Titian Wahine mug/jug mould to add face shapes to his mugs and bottles. Tim Caulton has started casting Parker Potteries Lincoln wines bottles from original moulds and has other potters and artists doing the same. I'm looking forward to seeing the results. (Parker Potteries themselves used Titian and Crown Lynn and foreign tiki mug moulds, back in the 1980s.)

My own latest work has entailed press moulding Ambrico cup and handle shapes to produce cups that look like railway cup shapes, but I have used grogged clay and am wood firing to produce entirely different results, due out of the kiln Sunday.

Unfortunately no one has yet proposed a method to identify the current CL swan fakes without some sort of comparison, so some familiarity with the originals is required.

I have heard many tales of fakery over the years. There was a famous faker of old Temuka pieces who got plenty of press some years back. My Dad operated a second hand business in the 1980s and 1990s and told me of people painting white swans black even then to get a better price. It is the relatively high sale prices of some shapes that makes the business of fakery lucrative and no doubt while people are willing to pay into the thousands for such pieces as the swans and McAlpine jugs fakery will continue.
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What about this McAlpine Jug?

Post  2tuis Yesterday at 16:48

Hi there,sorry to flog a dead horse but have come across this current listing on Trademe and whilst the lines don't match up with our jugs unsure if the mismatch corresponds on both sides...
Have a look trademe listing 1491281252,they have sold a few lately including blue.Probably legitimate but interested in what others may think.

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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  Ev Today at 8:51

I see that you have plenty of support for your concerns on the Skite Site 2tuis.
This is very disturbing and I wonder what the outcome will be.
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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  Jeremy Ashford Today at 9:15

2tuis,
you are correct to think this could be a fake.

Using the "line through the C" test that does appear to be the case.

My understanding from facebook posts is that this particular piece has already been returned to and refunded by the seller as a fake and that they are blatantly offering it again as a genuine Crown Lynn jug.

At present count there are I think 22 unanswered questions which will appear for all to view at the end of the auction. A number of people have stated that they have reported this listing to trademe.
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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  2tuis Today at 12:25

Hi again,had some time and live locally so decided to go and have a look at said jug...unfortunately the one displayed in the shop is definitely NOT the one photographed in the trademe listing.
We were going to inquire about it but after being unattended in the shop for a good 10 mins we just left.So none the wiser.

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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  TonyK Today at 12:47

I'm wondering if any of the Modeller's notes or diaries mention the fridge jugs or swan molds? Or were they made earlier?

And also whether the jugs with the thicker more upright letters look to have come from the same mold?
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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  2tuis Today at 13:42

Hi all,with our reasonable knowledge we fail to see how these anomalies could be produced from the same molds...it just doesn't work.
WhIle I have still been hoping this is one of those great Crown Lynn curiosities,with our practical minds are now wondering why,if that is the case,it hasn't been noticed or noted long ago.These apparently have only surfaced lately.
Probably more so now having physically seen an authentic jug displayed for view that is not what is being sold on Trademe at this shop.
Not on facebook,so completely out of the loop of discussion on this topic but rather passionate about these pieces and Crown Lynn and NZ pottery and history,rarer pieces and colourways above our budget but if I had paid serious hundreds or indeed thousands for these pieces and wound up with a "fake",would be furious.


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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  TonyK Today at 14:21

Oops - I wasn't clear. What I was meaning was does it look like the ones with the thicker more upright letters were all produced from a single mold? Or are there a range of wrong 'uns? Over time slip casting molds wear out and the fine details soften so the products become more blurry.
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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  2tuis Today at 14:45

Hi Tony,yes totally agree...but do you think lines will move that much?....keeping in mind we are still hopeful that this is a Crown Lynn curiosity, but after seeing first hand the "authentic " one in the shop...why not the photographed one on Trademe, seems misleading and gives weight to those convinced of circulating "fakes"
Still maintain our view that if this is the case...it is no ameteur effort.However having met some awesome people and artisans related to the NZ industry, are in no way challenging their integrity..as with Jeremy Ashford's commentary about experimenting with existing molds as apposed to replicating for profit...no offense or disrespect meant if that is how our previous comments read.

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Re: CROWN LYNN FAKES

Post  TonyK Today at 16:01

Hi 2tuis I think we're on the same page just looking at it from different angles. The ones described as fakes and clearly identified by Jeremy look so different to the known genuine ones that they now stand out like, well, standy out things. The molding of the letters is clumsy compared to the originals and from the photos I've seen it looks as if the sloping sides of the letters aren't even parallel to each other. To my mind this suggests that they are not an unidentified genuine Crown Lynn product but a clumsy attempt to produce something similar.

As you've pointed out the skills involved in creating a model, building a mold, slipcasting, firing and glaze matching suggest an accomplished potter has put some effort into producing the ones with different letters. I'm pretty sure mold wear wouldn't move lines just make them less precise. Someone famliar with slipcasting could probably give an idea how many copies could be made before signs of wear are likely to appear. I didn't notice any disrespect in your observations and I think it's important and useful that you're doing what you're doing about this. Crown Lynn is so important to so many Kiwis that if people are messing with the company's legacy they should be called on it.
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