Welcome to Arts Online

Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Back to the 'Jump link' navigation, at the top of the page

New Zealand railways cup and saucer

Chapter navigation:

Copyright Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Creator Crown Lynn Potteries, manufacturer, 1940s
Identifiers Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Number GH009069 TLF resource R2047
Source Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

This is a cup and saucer made for the New Zealand Government Railways Department in the 1940s by Crown Lynn Potteries in Auckland. The initials 'N.Z.R.' and a crown are printed on both cup and saucer. They are thick, sturdy, and highly functional.

Educational value:
  • This asset shows how hot beverages were served before the advent of disposable cardboard and polystyrene cups.
  • It is evidence that New Zealand Railways, or NZR as it was known, commissioned a New Zealand pottery company to create its crockery - before the Second World War, NZR obtained its cups and saucers from England, but when import restrictions were implemented it sought replacements from Crown Lynn, which began to produce NZR crockery to the required design.
  • It indicates that NZR served tea as part of its service - there were tea rooms at most NZR stations and, as NZR provided most of the inland transport in New Zealand at the time, they were bustling, busy places.
  • It indicates, by the crown motif, that when this cup and saucer were made, New Zealand's ties to England were very close - New Zealand soldiers were fighting in the Second World War.
  • It represents a New Zealand cultural icon, recalling a time when the simple, functional cup and saucer were part of many New Zealanders' experience, particularly at the Taumarunui tea rooms, a stop halfway up the North Island on the overnight express between Auckland and Wellington, where passengers refreshed themselves with a cup of tea and a railways pie.

Download Word file (Word 34 KB)

Back to the 'Jump link' navigation, at the top of the page