The 1953-54 tour of New Zealand
The Queen's 1953-54 tour came at a time where the United Kingdom was our most valuable trading partner, buying up the lion's share of our exports. The economy was prosperous and the mood was high. The Queen's visit was met with huge crowds and much fanfare. At each of the stops on her trip people flocked en masse to get a glimpse of their newly crowned head of state.
The Crown Lynn ceramics workshop was one of these such appearances. An icon in its own right, Crown Lynn factory in New Lynn was the biggest factory of its kind in the southern hemisphere for almost 50 years. Crown Lynn designer Frank Carpay decorated this prototype dish of Queen Elizabeth for the 1954 Royal visit. Though it never went into production, it made its way into our collection.
(Detail) Dish, Handwerk. 1954. Frank Carpay and Crown Lynn Potteries Ltd. AWMM. 1999.85.1.
Garth Chester, renowned Kiwi furniture designer, also made a contribution to the Royal visit buzz. Eagle-eyed design fans may have seen Garth Chester's Kay’s French Beauty Salon barber’s chair on display in our Tāmaki Herenga Waka Stories of Auckland gallery, but they may not know his modernist repertoire included a commemorative cushion commercially produced and sold to mark the Queen's visit.
Vinyl cushion, 1953. Garth Chester. AWMM. 1995.79.5.
The cushion features a heron design, possibly a nod to a te reo Māori name for the Queen, te Kōtuku, the White Heron.
H.M. the Queen's 1953 visit, Collins, Tudor Washington. PH-1988-12-4.