Did Crown Crystal Reproduce Other Patterns?

There is quite a bit of evidence now that Crown Crystal was copying patterns from overseas, particularly after 1932. Copied patterns have confused collectors in Australia, but with the advent of international eBay that confusion is going where it never went before! Be very careful when you buy glass from Australia: it may very well not be what you think, and it very likely isn't worth what you think. Crown Crystal appears to have copied EAPG, Czech, German and English glass.

Mostly, only one or two pieces of a pattern were copied. One of these was a little Wyoming/Enigma small sauce jug, which appears in their 1932 catalogue. Crown appears to have altered the lid to fit. Due to it's resemblance to the much earlier American product, this piece often goes for between $AUD30-$50 on eBay, which is mad for a flint piece which is extremely common. Also copied was the Indiana "Tea Room", in a 10" vase. When this vase turned up in amber, someone in the US bought it for quite a large sum of money, clearly unaware that it was most an Aussie rip off.

Iris and Herringbone

One of the most confusing items lately has been the Crown Crystal copy of Iris and Herringbone. Angela Bowey, author of the Glass Museum site, managed to get hold of a Crown Crystal catalogue from what looks like the 1940s or 1950s, certainly after the beginning of WWII. It contains what looks like a reproduction of Jeannette's Iris and Herringbone pattern.

In fact, Australian collectors had known about the presence of I&H in Crown Crystal catalogues for some time. It even appears as early as 1929. For a while we all assumed that that Iris and Herringbone in fact imported over by Crown Crystal and included in their catalogue. However, the Iris and Herringbone that is found in Austraila is quite different in feel and texture to the Jeannette original.

Thanks to Julie Cheers (wattle*i*have*next on eBay) and Mike (Ponderman on eBay) for this list of the difference between the real Iris and the Aussie interloper. I personally have only seen the Crown versions in Australia and have yet to actually come across a genuine Jeanette! Crown Crystal made three items in their iris pattern, a lidded butter dish, a lidded sugar and a creamer. The differences are:

Butter Dish

  • The bottom of the Crown Crystal butter dish is the same size as the Jeanette but all the flowers on the CC version are the same with the cut off at an angle;
  • There are no rounded iris flowers On the Crown Crystal version at all and also two of the flowers have an extra leaf with six, than do the opposing flowers that have five leaves;
  • The Jeanette version has 2 different styles of the flower on the outer rim, and flowers on opposite sides are the same as each other;
  • The lid to the CC butter dish is 4" and the finial measures 1" inches tall. The CC lid is smaller then the Jeannette lid so the two will not interchange;
  • The herringbone on the butter dish lid has a jagged edge, this is not on Jeanette version;
  • The CC lid has 4 iris flowers, which are the same on opposite sides.
  • When you compare the 2 side by side you notice the spouts are different, the placing of the handles are different, CC is placed lower and the pattern on the CC is shorter, it doesn't extend as high up as the Jeanette version;
  • Again as per the creamer the pattern on CC sugar bowl is much shorter and the flowers are smaller and more rounded;
  • Also as per the creamer, the handles are placed lower and appear thinner then the Jeanette version;
Sugar Lids
  • The finials are different. The CC is more pointed and the Jeanette version has a more rounded edge.
  • On the underside of the CC lid there is a hole where you can stick your little finger. There is no hole in the Jeanette version.

The sugar and milk jug (creamer to the Americans) are seen in clear, opal (which means white) and the fired-on ceramic colours which include green, red, salmon pink, blue, orange and yellow. These latter colours stand out a mile. Often they have been washed and the colour has lifted. If you ever see on eBay an item described as a "rare" Jeanette Iris and Herringbone creamer in a funny yellow or green colour, you'll know what it really is!

Here are some photos of the Australian version. The second has the green fired on ceramic exterior, which has largely lifted.

Ripple patterns

Many companies produced ripple patterns. Crown Crystal called theirs "Waverly", and it comes in salad bowls, lidded oval trinket box, small vase, sugar, creamer, and egg cups (at least). To the unitiated, these items might look a bit like the Duncan Miller pattern "Carribean".

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The content and photography on this site is copyright Catherine Bannister 2004. All rights reserved.