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2012/128/1 Drinking glasses (3), 'Koenig', machine-blown, flint glass, designed by Denise Larcombe, made by Crown Crystal, Waterloo, New South Wales, 1970, winner of Australian Design Award 1971. Click to enlarge.

Crown Crystal 'Keonig' wine glasses

The Sydney glass maker Crown Crystal Glass (from 1972 to 1988 Crown Corning) based at Waterloo was the largest and most successful manufacturer of Australian domestic glassware in the last half of the 20th Century. Many of the company's award-winning products can still be found in many Australian households and a successful export drive sent Australian glass to many countries including the USA, UK, Netherlands, Germany, and even Scandinavia - itself a major exporter of quality glass. The …


Object No.


Object Statement

Drinking glasses (3), 'Koenig', machine-blown, flint glass, designed by Denise Larcombe, made by Crown Crystal, Waterloo, New South Wales, 1970, winner of Australian Design Award 1971

Physical Description

The wine glasses in the range are of a classic wine glass shape, the stem curving gently to blend into the base of the bowl.

145ml white wine
200ml red wine



The wine glasses were designed by Denise Larcombe and made by Crown Cyrstal (Crown Corning Limited, from 1972), Waterloo, New South Wales, 1970

Stemware production was a two stage process. The glass bowls were manufactured on Harford 28 machines, either 12 or 18 section machines. The Hartford 28 is a continuously rotating paste-mould machine that allowed glassmakers to manufacture seamless tableware. The equipment was supplied by 'Emhart Manufacturing Company' American division. The machine used a 'press and blow' process.

The glass began as a basic hollow pressed shape called a 'parison'. The design of this parison was important to the success of the final product. The parison hung from a ring plate, in similar fashion to the way a glass blower begins by gathering glass on a blow pipe. As with hand production, a mould was closed around the glass parison and the item was blown in the mould. To avoid seam lines the glass rotated within the mould as it was blown. Cork dust in paste form was applied to the inside of the moulds. When the moulds were heated the paste turned to carbon to form a coating which prevented the glass sticking to the moulds. Simple fluid forms were preferred as the paste coating would last longer. When the coating wore through a fresh mould was fitted to the machine while a new coating of paste was applied to the former mould. A set of mould gear for a machine would include extra moulds to allow for down time while moulds were recoated. Harford 28 produced glasses at a rate of about 40 to 60 items per minute. After a glass item was blown on a Harford 28 press and blow machine it was transported to an Eldred machine where the top section or 'moil' was seared off with a flame. Finally, the glass travelled on a conveyor belt through a lehr (oven used for annealing glassware). The glass was gradually reheated and then uniformly cooled to remove stresses from the glass. The Koenig bowl was manufactured and seared off on the Hartford and Eldred machines. At a later date the bowl was inverted on a press machine, the base of the bowl was heated and the stem was pressed onto the bowl using 'open and shut' mould gear. After the stem was added the glass was annealed again.

Ref: Designer, Denise Larcombe



In 1926 several Sydney glass makers amalgamated to form Crown Crystal Glass (owned by A.C.I). The Balmain Glass Works, the Crown Glass Company of Alexandria and the Crystal Glass Works of Waterloo were well known for producing hand blown and pressed flint and crystal glass. Their joint production facility, as Crown Crystal Glass, was set up in Bourke Street, Waterloo.

The new company changed direction in 1928 to meet emerging tastes and markets. European glass cutters were brought to Australia to teach the difficult craft of glass cutting. High quality crystal was marketed under the brand 'Grimwade Crystal', with a second quality range sold under the 'Wyndham' brand, both keenly sought after by collectors. In the 1940s, with the war preventing products coming from overseas, the full resources of Crown Crystal Glass were required to supply the community needs. Production was at its most varied with Over 2,000 employees making cut glass, laboratory ware, glass for domestic use, cookware, lighting, tubing ampoules, glass for food packaging, roof tiles, cups and saucers for the armed forces and electricity insulators. It has been said that no other glass works in the world produced such a wide range of different products.

In 1961 a new factory with three glass furnaces was built at Bourke Street, Waterloo. With the introduction of American made Hartford machines, the company created new glass designs and increased the market for existing products. As a result, the popular Regis glass range designed by Edward Kayser was launched. Its success formed the basis for a whole new series of designs by Denise Larcombe, 13 of which received Australian Design Awards, and secured export business in over twenty countries. The success of the machine made glass meant that production of hand made glass ceased in 1968.

In 1972 the A.C.I Australian owned and operated Crown Crystal Glass merged with the Australian subsidiary of the Corning Glass Works of USA to form Crown Corning Limited in an equal partnership venture. This union was to last until 1988 when Crown Corning divided and Crown® joined ACI Packaging to become ACI Crown. Production at Waterloo ceased in 1990. In February 2000, McPherson's Limited acquired the Crown Glassware businesses in Australia and New Zealand. The business is now operated under the brand of Crown Commercial Pty Limited.

Ref. Crown Commercial ''
Designer, Denise Larcombe


Credit Line

Gift of Denise Larcombe 2012

Acquisition Date

5 November 2012

Cite this Object


Crown Crystal 'Keonig' wine glasses 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 2 August 2021, <>


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