Crockery Craze

Doris Hall’s Bone China Souvenirs of Milton

On arriving back to home to Coniston in the 1940s, Doris Grace Hall (née Garrad) (1909-2001) likely took this fine bone china sugar bowl and creamer jug from her suitcase, carefully shifted other pieces around in her china cabinet, and proudly placed them on the shelf. Perhaps they always remained there, never to be filled with sugar or milk.

Wherever the country roads took Doris, she usually found a piece or two of souvenir tableware for her collection. She most likely purchased these pieces from Milton, her hometown, during a visit to her parents in the 1940s. Depicting the Princes’ Highway – the town’s main street – with shop buildings and telegraph poles, these may have been the first souvenir tableware pieces Doris acquired, to remind her of home. Or did she by then already have a long-standing crockery collection?

Souvenir tableware like this, made in England by Royal Stafford China (established 1845), were produced with images of towns from all around Australia, and were popular as tourism souvenirs and collectables in the 1940s and 1950s. Royal Stafford may have had a travelling representative collecting photographs from shopkeepers who wanted to promote their town to tourists, and having the designs printed on the sparkling white wares to then be shipped to Australia.

In Milton, souvenir tableware was sold by Johann Friedrich Faust (‘Hans’) at Faust’s Newsagency and Gift Store, a Milton icon established in the 1880s by his father Johann Michael Faust, from Germany.