This is a Crown Lynn 1970's stoneware dinner service, called Sandown. Love it or hate it but it's certainly representative of it's decade. I am into all things retro at the moment so I love this. I mean it's not pretty but its not as bad as it could be and put together with all these components I think it makes a table worth sitting at. It makes a nice change from all things current and modern. And yet, it doesn't exactly look old fashioned either, does it? Crown Lynn was New Zealands only commercial pottery which ran from the 1940's until the 1980's, when sadly it shut down due to a down turn in business! There's a massive amount of crown Lynn collectors here in NZ and they are fanatical about their collecting. I have been to peoples houses to buy one or two pieces of pottery, which I purchased from on line auctions, to complete this set and they have rooms which are wall to wall shelving covered with assorted pieces of Crown Lynn. As with any collections the values are rising as they are no longer in production. I have managed to complete a couple of sets and am contemplating whether to add to another one.
GLASSWARE. You can see in the full view image of the table that I have bought some beautiful amber glass ware. It is very collectable around the world. So always a good buy and not just for our purposes. I have bought some engraved wine glasses/champagne flutes. Sadly, I was only able to get five. Such a shame! I did, however, manage to get some more amber glasses, which I use for the end positions of the table. For children at the table or for less formal occasions or even just for water I used some highball glasses which you can see in the table below. I love amber glass it has a radiance that you just don't get from normal glasses.
THE PLACE MATS AND RUNNER.
The place mats were an unusual purchase that I made ages ago. I really wasn't sure if I would ever be able to do anything with them, but, as you can see they came into their own on this table. The illustration below shows how the fluted edges add a softening detail to the finished look. They are a very strange design really, a they are made of stiffened, very loose weave hessian with some embroidery on them. They did come with coasters but I never really know what to do with coasters on a table. I suppose you could always sew them together and make something with them...maybe a centre mat etc.. (actually that's quite a good idea). Anyway, I do find the mats interesting, because as I've said before I always like to turn something fairly undesirable into something that most people like but,wouldn't have thought of. The runner is one I have had for ages and I love it. It has so many uses. It is also a great protector of the table underneath when serving hot dishes. It is made of bamboo strips.
THE VASE AND FLOWERS AND CANDLESTICKS. I chose a simple vase to be in-keeping with the simple nature of this table. It was a pink vase that I painted in a matt black. The circular shape married well with circles in the pattern of the crockery. The candlesticks are available in most op-shops, in differing styles. Again they are usually in there in quite an abundant amount so obviously not popular. I hope that you can see how good they can look in the right place (and cheap too). If you wished to, you could buy heaps and make a long line of them along the table, that would create a very dramatic effect, with candles of differing heights. (For another table you could do like I did with the vase and spray them any colour you like.) The flowers started off very simply but I really wanted to add a little more interest. So you can see from the earlier picture how it evolved. My trusty old grapes came out and soon changed the feel of the table. So simple but so effective. NAPKINS AND NAPKIN RINGS. Here in the picture below you can see how the addition of a little bit of greenery from the garden has given the rather plain napkin rings an added touch. There are many ways to make something very simple and plain look quite lovely. The simplest of touches can make the world of difference to any setting. This particular plant has the most amazing pinky, grape colour on the underneath, which shows through on some of the place settings. It reflects the colour of the grapes very well. The napkin rings are, as usual, just my trusty old plain ones, which can be varied for many tables. The Napkins are simple and don't need to be to over the top as the table doesn't require to much fuss. It is easy to confuse "fuss" with "detail". You can see in the earlier picture that the napkin shape that I settled on is different from the one that I started with. Fundamentally the table is very similar but I think you will agree that the end result is so much better for the little extra effort.
So there it is... The Crown Lynn "sandown" Dinner service. ENJOY!!