The Crown Crystal Glass Company Ltd



ALERT: Fake Australian Carnival Glass Bowls Australian carnival glass patterns are now being copied. Both Kingfisher nappy bowls and small 'doe' kangaroo master bowls (with the branch under the roo) have been sighted on eBay, and it is probably only a matter of time before other patterns are copied. To protect yourself, you should become as familiar with the tiny details of the patterns as possible. Carnival glass author Glen Thistlewood has been compiling information on these fakes which is available on her site. Don't be caught.



Look into any Australian family's cupboards any time between the 1920s and the 1960s and you would be sure to find them brimming with wares from the Crown Crystal Glass Company, who had a virtual monopoly in the country. Crown Crystal produced some distinctly Australian patterns. Most (although not all) of the early designs are Crown's own, reflecting the cultural obsession of the first half of the 20th century with native flora and fauna like waratahs, kangaroos, emus, flannel flowers and moths. The quality didn't reach that of American pressed glass until after the war, and the production values could be quite lax - but that is part of the appeal.

The glass can be divided into three distinct production periods (as defined by Marjorie Graham in 1980), the first (from the inception in 1926 to 1935) produced lacy, ornate patterns which owed much to the Early American Pressed Glass. The traditionally collected patterns appeared at this time. The second period (1935 to WWII) saw the development of some quite striking Art Deco patterns. Not much is known about this period, as there are no catalogues in public hands from this time. The war saw production of domestic ware drop to fairly low levels, with most of the production servicing the war effort (including contracts for the US Navy). After the war, some of the early patterns made a reprise, but much of the production line turned to ceramic glazed, colourful but streamlined and less decorative items, as was the fashion in the 1950s. Much of the glass was mould blown or involved hand tooling, but this ceased in 1968. The Crown Crystal Glass Company merged with the American company Corning in the 1972, to become Crown Corning. For more information on the history of Crown Crystal, see Crown Commercial's site.

In general, this site covers the everyday output of Crown Crystal, and not the carnival glass made by the Crystal Glass Company and Crown Crystal. There are many other sites which cover the subject far better than here. See Links for more information.

NOTE: Many people use the misnomer "Australian Depression Glass" to describe the output of Crown Crystal, but the glass is completely different in feel and technique to the true American Depression Glass. This confusion is why in Australia any pressed glass (but particularly EAPG) is labelled as "Depression".

Please... If you use any of this information in your auction, please make a reference to this page.

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The content on this site, including photography except where noted, is copyright Catherine Bannister 2004. All rights reserved.