Monday, July 13, 2009
Lane, Kemp, Willis Potteries Pty Ltd were established at 109 Highbury Road Burwood Victoria in 1936 and in one form or another, produced a variety of pottery until the mid 1970s. They also had premises at 329 Warrigal Road Burwood. The ramekins they produced appear to have been of one pattern. Some had a black exterior and harlequin interior. These have a mottled green high gloss glaze sprayed to the interior. The external glaze is matte. They are square with rounded corners and the handles seem to resemble those of Cotton (UK). The circular ones are from a later incarnation of the company.
The original Lane, Kemp and Willis were; (believe it or not!)
Arthur Ulrich Superbus Lane, 450 shares
Graham Roy Kemp, 450 shares, and
Rupert Horace Willis, 100 shares.
In 1938, Alexander George Quibell, a Quantity Surveyor also became a shareholder. Later, Alexander was head of the queue of unsecured creditors when the company went into liquidation.
You don't get names like that these days. Their partnership lasted from August 1935 until February 1940 when Arthur went it alone. Arthur and Graham were manufacturers and Rupert was an accountant.
All of the ramekins I have seen from Lane have had paper stickers attached to the base. These have no sticker or marking, nor are there any cracks, chips or crazing. These are both a late 1950s-early 1960s ramekin sets. They have a modernist retro shape inspired by the European potters who had moved into post-war Melbourne. They have a mid green glaze with brown and olive mottling and a finish called pewter in this range of ramekins. Not to be confused with the reflective metallic finish. The square ones measure 4.5" wide x 5.75" long.
On the 21st June 1939, Lane Kemp & Willis who had been in liquidation, lodged a notice of intention to apply for registration as Lane Potteries Pty Ltd. Lane and Willis were to be directors of the new company, Kemp was not there. On the 25th of July 1939, the new company was granted a Certificate of Incorporation.
In 1966, the “Suburban Distributing Company” was listed as occupying the building in Warrigal Road. This was a short-lived pottery business. Southern Aurora Pottery Pty Ltd also operated from 1967 at 329 Warrigal Road Burwood Victoria, the same location as Lane, and now an antiques auction house. By 1974, Lane was gone but Southern Aurora was still operating. The name Southern Aurora comes from our equivalent of the Northern Lights. Auroras are the result of emissions of photons in the Earth's upper atmosphere. It was a popular name in its day, having both a train and an aircraft named after it.
The ramekins that Southern Aurora later produced appear to have been of one pattern, but with varying decoration. Most have a plain cream exterior and harlequin interior. Some have a mottled green high gloss glaze sprayed to the interior. The external glaze is matte. The potters got their clay from the now abandoned Burwood Brickworks quarry, bordered by Burwood Highway, Middleborough and Eley roads, Melbourne, Victoria. Southern Aurora Pty Ltd were then found in the outer suburb of Bayswater, Victoria from 1975 to 1977. By then, the Australian government had suddenly and without warning slashed tariffs by 25%. This opened the door to cheaper imports and almost killed the local industry overnight.
Later, from 1969, Southern Aurora Pty Ltd operated from their premises. Although manufacturing in Bayswater, the company kept using the Burwood address for business purposes.