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Westminster Australia

You would think by it’s name, that “Westminster China” was British…but alas no…Australian!

I bought an interesting set of demitasse coffee cups by Westminster some time ago, and have just got around to looking at them properly.

Before now I can’t recall ever having heard of Westminster, but It is or was apparently quite a popular brand here going by the amount for sale online nowadays.

The wares are more traditional in style, mainly domestic, with some very smart designs from the 1950s to 1970s. They also produced quite a lot of souvenir ware for the Australian market.

This design stood out to me at auction with its strong pattern and retro black and gold look. It appears to be from the 1960s.

Westminster Australia

Westminster Australia

There is an excellent website for Westminster Australia, set up by a keen collector. It has a lot of excellent information including history, pattern numbers/names, backstamps and more.

This is an excerpt of the history of Westminster Fine China from the website….I recommend going to the website to see a lot more of the interesting history of this producer.

Westminster Fine China Australia started in the Melbourne suburb of Cheltenham at 7 Arnold Street, in 1954 by Stanley Rogers and Son Ltd.  They moved to 228 Bay Road, Sandringham in 1977 into a 60,000 square foot ( about 5,500 square metres) building that housed the factory, warehouse, office and showroom.  They initially used imported blanks from Japan, which were made to their specifications, and which were then decorated locally.  They produced a standard range of shapes for souvenir ware, later expanding into a wide range of tea sets, dinnerware and many other styles of china ware.

In the early days, skilled staff were brought into Australia from both the United Kingdom and Italy and the focus was on the souvenir and giftware trade.  In the late 1960s they introduced to the Australian market a range of medium weight porcelain hotel ware under theFineceram brand and later registering another brand, Duraceram, in 1984. By this time, Westminster was part of a wider organization called Badgin Nominees Pty Ltd, presumably a holding company for the Rogers family interests.  The 1980s also saw the production of a large number of limited edition plates for other companies.

Westminster had an in-house art department that put together the designs, and used computer generated designs in the later stages of the companies life.  These were placed onto the pieces by ceramic transfer printing and fired to seal them onto the items in  large capacity electric kilns .In the late 1980s and early 1990s there are blanks made in  both Japan and Taiwan and marked with the last of the Westminster  markings. 

 

Westminster Australia

Westminster Australia – image via “FunkyKoala” Etsy

Westminster Australia

Westminster Australia – image via “youvintagekitsch” Etsy

 

 

Arabia Sinilintu//Bluebird

Recently I came across a few of these stunning, extra large chocolate cups. The design is “Sinilintu” or Bluebird by Raija Uosikkinen, in production 1966 to 1975. The striking and bold design of a blue bird amongst flowers and ferns, is beautifully intricate and detailed.

The large (500ml) cup form looks equally good with or without a saucer because of its footed profile.

This pattern as far as I have discovered was only used on this form – not as part of a dinnerware series.

Arabia Bluebird/Sinilintu

Arabia Bluebird/Sinilintu

 

Arabia Bluebird/Sinilintu

Arabia Bluebird/Sinilintu

 

 

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Rorstrand “Mon Amie” Marianne Westman

Marianne Westman (1928-2017) is one of the most loved and well known designers of 20th Century Swedish ceramics.

In her time at Rorstrand Sweden where she worked from 1950 to 1971, her skill in design and her ability to identify new trends meant that during their peak, her designs like Mon Amie and Picknick represented almost half of Rorstand’s massive volume of sales.

Marianne’s first design for Rostrand was Mon Amie, released in 1952 – based on her earlier drawings of white Labrador tea flowers. It was to become one of her most popular designs, and was re-released (on updated forms) by Rorstrand in 2008 to celebrate Marianne’s 80th Birthday.  It is powerful design which still resonates with people today.

Her skilful designs of the 1950s and 1960s have a distinctive, often light hearted feel about them which are stylistically so indicative of the era – and it is the designs from this era which appeal to me the most. Mon Amie, Picknick, Pomona, Verdura, Knorr, Verdura and Tippa are some of these charming early designs by Marianne.

Recently I was fortunate enough to come across a few pieces of Mon Amie:

 

 

Rorstrand Mon Amie

Rorstrand Mon Amie – Cane Handled Teapot

Rorstrand Mon Amie

Rorstrand Mon Amie

 

Rorstrand Mon Amie

Rorstrand Mon Amie – Open Sugar Bowl on Saucer

Rorstrand Mon Amie

Rorstrand Mon Amie

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