Crown Lynn - A New Zealand Icon
Valerie Ringer Monk
In the late 1930's Tom Clark, barely in his early 20's began making porcelain tiles and electrical fittings alongside his family's brick and pipe works in New Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand (Amalgamated Brick & Pipe).
By 1970 Crown Lynn was the biggest pottery in the southern hemisphere, with 500 staff turning out 15 million pieces of china - cups and saucers, plates, bowls, mugs, jugs and vases each year.
Most New Zealand families used Crown Lynn dinner sets every day, and excess production was exported, mainly to Australia, Canada and the Pacific Isalnds.
Then in the 1980's changing economic conditions undermined profitability and the facotry was shut down in 1989.
Crown Lynn has since become extremely collectable.
Dorothy Thorpe, a Californian glassware designer was commissioned to create a special range for sale in the United States and Canada - launched in North America in 1965 - the Santa Barbara ball-handled coffee set is now extremely collectable and very hard to find in Australasia.