My Favourite Window

August 11, 2011

Made in New Zealand

The Skudder House 
My children.
Domestic wares.

Those of you who have been following this blog for awhile, will be familiar with me airing some of the everyday treasures I have found over the past year as I cleared my mother's house... the Skudder House.  Because both of my parents were well travelled by the time they settled in New Zealand, there is a rich palette of global objects to sort through.  But I am also fascinated by the diversity of mass-produced clothing and household items that were made right here in New Zealand before the lifting of import restrictions in the 1980s.

During the recent snowy spell of weather, when sub-zero (celsius) temperatures prevailed, and the log-burner struggled to warm the whole house, I was very grateful for extra blankets and my father's woollen underwear.  I had found this in his Antarctic-ready kitbag, and was surprised at how free of moth holes the garments were after 30 years of storage.  The moth-proofing agent has certainly proven itself.  The labels shown above, represent three of New Zealand's many woollen mills - Kaiapoi, Roslyn and Petone - household names in my childhood.

Pine dinner plate, design by Mark Cleverley for the Dorothy Thorpe Range, commissioned by Crown Lynn.

Luxury and decorative goods were also produced; having passed through their passe phase, they have now become collectable and, like the long johns, remain serviceable.

Allegro coffee cup and saucer by Crown Lynn

Riverstone Tankards by Temuka Pottery

Tumblers bearing a stylised pattern incorporating the Maori mangotipi motif, by Crown Crystal

NZ-made mug without a maker's stamp, impressed with the very English motif of briar roses.

Lustroware melamine stacking picnic mugs by Optoplast.

So many of these household items have been purchased in end-of-season sales: as part sets, ends of lines, seconds or mismatches.
The Pine dinner plate is a solitary one - we never used anything like this at the table - but it is accompanied by ten cups... without saucers.  The pretty picnic mugs are three, and unwashable: the white print rubs off.  I wonder if this is due to age or was, right from the beginning, an attractive but cheap finish. There were four neat Allegro cups and saucers, but these were almost certainly handed on by a friend ridding herself of an outdated and incomplete coffee set.
"Your  mother; she's not the only collector is she?"  Observes Lady Mondegreen.  I have to confess that some of these curios are my own op-shop or garage sale bargains.

If you are wondering what was produced in Antigua St, Christchurch, by Acme Wood & Metal Products Ltd, this lamp is an example of their work...

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