In the last of his 6 part series, Stephen Saunders sheds light on Hambledon's link with china.
The pinnacle of crested china is Goss. William H Goss opened his pottery factory in Stoke on Trent in 1858 and was joined by his son, Adolphus in 1883. It was he who recognised a market for cheap souvenirs as a result of the less wealthy travelling on the expanding rail
services, especially to seaside resorts made popular by Queen Victoria. He then expanded the range to many towns and villages – including Hambledon, for which a crest was created.
The products became very popular and it was inevitable that other potteries would start producing their own crested china souvenirs. Griffin China, distributed by Sanderson and Young, also created their own Hambledon crest but, as can be seen, it was highly influenced by the Goss crest.
Wiltshaw & Robinson was one of the first to follow the trend, using their trademark Carlton, in 1903. However they designed their own “Hambledon crest” depicting St. Peter & St. Paul church, the old windmill and the Hampshire rose. This design was then copied by several other potteries: Arkinstall & Sons, trademark Arcadian; Charles Ford, Swan and Ford & Pointon, Coronet.
In 1896 Adolphus Goss introduced a range of coloured models based on real life buildings, for example Shakespeare’s cottage. These again proved popular as souvenirs and encouraged him to widen the scope further to include further buildings and monuments. It was towards the end of this period that Goss produced “The Hambledon Stone”. It is a grey unglazed model standing 80mm high and does not carry a crest. It was probably produced in or shortly after 1921.
The production of crested china came to an end following the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Goss trademark fell into disuse in 1938.
Understandably crested china has become very collectable, especially the Goss items. An International Goss Collectors Club was founded in 1970. Subsequently, in 1975, Goss & Crested China Ltd was set up as specialists in heraldic porcelain, producing newsletters and answering questions on crested china; also trading. They are located in Rowlands Castle, Hampshire.
The cricket related items are eagerly sought after by collectors of cricket memorabilia. There are cricket bats, caps and bags with various crests on but most significant are those items with the Goss or Griffin crests. These are few and far between and attract considerable sums.
Some collect ors of cricket memorabilia are fooled by the crest, with the two old style bats. which is a publicity design for the Hambledon vineyard.