Harbridge Crystal

Harbridge Crystal Compote Art Deco style circa 1934
Vintage compote with facet pattern measures 8.8cm by 10.5cm and holds approx. 250mls. Acid etch on base Harbridge England.

Harbridge Crystal Glass Company was founded in 1928. The name is a contraction of the surnames of the two founders, Mr S. T. Harvey & Mr A. C. Bridgens, to make HARBRIDGE. Harvey was the visible face of the company and it is not known what role Bridgens held apart from being a director.

Harbridge had their own furnaces; within a year they had 16 cutters and by the end of 1930 they had grown considerably. The main driver for this expansion was the appointment of an Australian agent. Agencies followed in many Commonwealth countries and it was not long before more than 50% of their glass was exported and this percentage increased over the following years.

Harbridge had a good business supplying department stores where their name was not used. Their designs covered the full range of vases, bowls, jugs, decanters & stemware.


Stuart crystal designed by Ludwig Kny

At the end of the First World War the celebrated Bohemian engraver Ludwig Kny (1869-1937) became chief designer at Stuart and Sons Ltd. and worked closely with Robert Stuart designing new cut patterns which became the main production of the factory.

The cutting was made brilliant by the introduction of acid polishing and this had an important effect on the type of patterns produced.

The most important events to affect British cut glass of the pre-war era were the exhibition “Modern Art for the Table” held at Harrods in 1934 followed by “Art in Industry” held at the Royal Academy, in 1935. The Harrods Exhibition saw a group of artists invited to submit designs to be produced both in ceramic and in glass. The glass was to be made by Stuart & Sons and artists included Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Laura Knight, Eric Ravilious, Gordon Forsyth, Ernest and Dod Procter as well as Stuart’s Chief Designer, Ludwig Kny. Whilst the designs were critically acclaimed the buyers were less enthusiastic, preferring the traditional designs that were tried and tested, and apparently sold well. The influence of these works is undeniable.

Robert Gordon

More than sixty years of heritage and three generations of potters.

A love of pottery has been handed down from June Dyson to Robert and his four children. The family has been immersed in the world of ceramics for over sixty years. This is a story unlike any other pottery in Australia.

Fluted Pie Dish

Meat pies, apple pies, lemon meringue pies, you’ll be keen to cook them all – just make sure you have a few friends to help you eat them!

Octagonal platter with bowl, white and yellow with gum leaves.

stamp on base

“Orchard Blossum” vase

Robert Gordon remains a family-owned, Australian business, dedicated to hiring locals who produce hand-finished ceramic products.

June Dyson

Started Dyson Studio in 1945 at Black Rock, Melbourne, wholesaling to Myer, David Jones and George’s department stores.

June Dyson trained at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology under Jack Bernard Knight.

In 1959, due to council restrictions, Dyson Studio moved to Gembrook with a shop onsite and continued in business at Gembrook until 1986.

The pottery used a range of incised marks in its two locations, mostly with Dyson in the name. These are documented in Geoff Ford’s Encylopedia of Australian Potters’ Marks.

ramekin incised “Dyson Australia”

Her son, Robert showed interest in the pottery, helping out in her studios from his early twenties. He began working on his own as a potter in 1979 and the successful Robert Gordon Pottery continues today near Pakenham.

Retro ramekins

Harlequin colours were popular for mid century ceramics

The overriding principle was ceramics should have “…the simplicity of a beautiful colour on a well studied form”.

Slip cast with harlequin interiors, these ramekins have external crazing consistent with age.

A short lived pottery, starting up around 1957 in Park Road Cheltenham, Victoria, the signature “Poole” is incised, but not clear on most pieces.

A new trend shortly after World War II and remaining popular until the 1960s, mid-century style and furniture is characterised by rounded shapes that are inspired by the natural world and simple designs that are functional for the home.

Both functional and fun, Mid-Century dinnerware could be the perfect collectible. With patterns boasting eye catching colours and clever inspired themes, these dishes can be as cool to use in your home as they are to hunt down affordably at estate sales and thrift shops.

Mid-century modern is a style that is timeless and sleek. Heavily influenced by the design concept that ‘form follows function’ mid-century homes and furniture are often characterised by their practical designs and beautiful craftsmanship.

The key to getting it right in your own home is by carefully balancing your mid-century inspired furniture with contemporary interior trends.

Charles Wilton

Australian Pottery Comport Bowl by Charles Wilton, 7 cm high.

Charles Wilton (1916-2000) was born in Glasgow, Scotland and came to Melbourne as a boy in 1922. He studied ceramics at the Melbourne Technical College, then spent four years working with Eric Juckert in his studio in Caulfield before setting up his own studio in Croydon in 1940. After serving in the Air Force from 1942-1946, he returned to Croydon but moved to Warrandyte the following year.

In 1958, he was one of the founding members of the Potters’ Cottage at Warrandyte, with Artur Halpern, Reg Preston, Phyl Dunn and Gus McLaren. He continued working into his seventies, eventually retiring in 1992. His work is incised ‘Charles wilton’ or ‘C. Wilton’. An obituary by Gary Prince and Ken Lawrence was published in Ceramics Technical, no.23, Nov 2006-Apr 2007: 98-100.

Potters Cottage was a co-operative founded in Warrandyte in 1958 for the purpose of advocating the idea of making and selling handmade Australian pottery. The potters produced beautiful, functional studio pottery with attention to shape, decoration and glaze, bringing ancient craft together with the modern. Whilst they shared certain principles in their work, the distinctive style and individuality of each artist is strongly evident. Their shared idealistic belief that modern, handmade pottery could enhance the quality of contemporary life was central to their philosophy.

Charles Wilton throwing a vase


Mid Century Hanstan Pottery Ramekin Bowls with Thumb Handle

Hans Wright and Stan Burrage started a pottery in 1962 at Springvale, Victoria. Both had previously worked as salesmen. Hans had completed an art course at Melbourne Technical College, now RMIT University. Work was marked ‘Hanstan’ or ‘Hanstan Studio’ (incised).

A gift shop in Beaumaris sold Hanstan pottery, which was very
popular in the early 60’s.

These ramekins are Raw Sienna, one of the brown pigments most widely used by artists, since the Renaissance. This natural iron pigment takes its name from Sienna, where it was mined. Along with ochre and umber, it was one of the first pigments to be used by humans, and is found in many cave paintings.

After the partnership was dissolved in 1964, Hans and his wife Patricia continued the pottery at an industrial site on the Mornington Peninsula until well into the 1980s. Hanstan was on wedding lists in the 1970s.

David Jones ad in the Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday, April 29, 1984, p. 41 for “Hanstan black and white pottery canisters. Decorative or practical, with big cork stoppers. Choose one or a set for Mum’s benchtop storage. Six sizes from $9.95”

Hans Wright became Australia’s first international medalist (bronze) in the FITA World target championships in 1969 and was still competing at the 2002 World Masters Games.

Hans is a member of the Australian Archery Hall of Fame and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 1979 for services to the sport of Archery. He joined the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) in 2009 as national coach, sharing his knowledge of the sport with participating school children. As national coach for NASP, he worked alongside teachers to improve their archery coaching skills and with the students in the program to help improve their technique.

NASP is sweeping the globe as a program targeted at students in years 4 – 12 that promotes the importance of education and physical activity. Originally launched in the United States, the concept has been rolled out in schools around Australia.

Martin Boyd

This pottery is instantly recognisable from the edge band of unglazed pottery, that always separates the two toned pieces. All Martin Boyd pottery was made [and signed] by hand, so there is a slight variation between any pieces in a set.

Guy Martin Boyd (1923-1988) was born in Murrumbeena, Victoria, where he learnt to make pottery as a child in the studio of his father Merric Boyd.

Guy trained as a sculptor at the East Sydney Technical College. In 1946, to help fund his studies, he set up the Martin Boyd Pottery in Cremorne with partners Norma and Leonard Flegg. In 1951, he sold his share of the pottery to Leonard’s brother Ronald and returned to Melbourne, setting up the Guy Boyd Pottery in Bentleigh in 1952. He and his wife Phyllis operated the pottery until 1964.

The Boyds are a famous Australian family of artists. Merric studied pottery at the Wedgwood Pottery and returned in 1919 to Murrumbeena, where he applied many of the techniques he had acquired in England. His pottery became highly popular. He held exhibitions and pottery demonstrations in Melbourne, and sold his pots through city stores such as Georges. He was described in one newspaper article as ‘The King of Melbourne Potters’.