15 February 2014

My collection: Hanstan pottery

I've been inspired by Lisa's fantastic post about Pyrex to share my collection of Hanstan pottery with you.  It's quite hard to find out much about Hanstan, and my only real sources of knowledge are from the Rameking and Australian Pottery at Bemboka. I've not been able to find a definitive list of the items made by Hanstan, but I'm beginning to think my collection is quite representative.  I'll include details about the pieces I don't yet have and am pining over at the end :)

By way of intro, Australian Pottery at Bemboka provides the following useful info:
Hanstan was a pottery started in 1962 by Hans Wright (born in the mid 1930s) and Stan Burrage (1935-1987) at Stan's parent's home and poultry farm in Springvale, Victoria. Both had previously worked as salesmen. Hans had completed an art course at Melbourne Technical College, now RMIT University, and had helped a fellow student make jewellery, but apparently had no other experience with pottery making. After the partnership was dissolved in 1964, Hans and his wife Patricia continued the pottery at an industrial site on the Mornington Peninsula until well into the 1980s. Hans was a champion archer and Patricia managed the pottery when he was away at competitions. Work is marked 'Hanstan' or 'Hanstan Studio' (incised) or 'Hanstan Australia as a printed underglaze stamp.

My mum had three Hanstan cannisters.  Cinnamon, Allspice and Nutmeg.  I've always liked the style of them, especially the script-style font of the labels.  Mum had the white/brown versions, but I'm collecting the orange/brown, which seem to be more common (and much more naff don't you think?).  I had originally thought that Hanstan only made cannisters, as they're the pieces you're most likely to see.  Since I started collecting however, I am now convinced there is no bounds to what you can find stamped with 'Hanstan'!  I started collecting about a year ago.  Most of my collection is from eBay, though many were gifts from more op-shop oriented friends and family.  I have accumulated a lot of duplicates, as they're often sold in lots, so I'll purchase a whole lot even though I only need a piece or two.  But I'm not obsessed... I promise...

Anyway, my collection:

I currently have 46 individual pieces.  This is excluding the 14 duplicates I've just culled that are now destined for eBay to fund future Hanstan purchases!


I have pieces in six sizes, however, even within a size class there is a fair amount of differentiation.  I suspect this is because they were made over such a long period, the variation must be a result of revised making processes or whatever.  The finish and colour are often slightly different, as is the font.

The largest I have are 17.5cm tall (not including the cork).  I have Biscuits and a Cookies cannister.  I never knew there was a difference between biscuits and cookies, but anyway.

I have two 17cm (Sugar and Flour), one 15cm (Rice), two 12cm (Tea and Salt) and three 10.5cm (Tea, Coffee and a blank one).  I know I have two Tea cannisters, but they're different sizes, so they still count ;) I quite like that the writing on the two Tea cannisters is slightly different.

Spice cannisters!  These come in two sizes.  I have seven 8.5cm cannisters - Cinnamon, Mustard, Bay Leaves, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves and Pepper.  I know there are at least five more of these that I don't have - Garlic, Curry, Allspice, Paprika and... Arsenic!  No joke, I missed one on ebay many moons ago and still regret it.

I also have six little 6cm cannisters - Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, Cloves and two blanks - again some duplicates that don't count because different size! And some very different finishes on these.  You can see the varied amounts of speckling on the brown.

Other pieces

So these are all a bit random.  I have three cups, two concave style with handles (11.5cm) and one that was described as a 'beaker' in the ebay listing, its convex shaped with no handle, 11cm.  I know Hanstan also made some convex mugs with handles, so I'm still looking to add them to my collection!

These next ones are some of my most prized pieces: six goblets (16.5cm) and a wine decanter (25cm).  I'd not seen them before, nor have I seen them since I picked them up from Gumtree.

There's that Hanstan stamp!

Three jugs, 21cm, 10.5cm and a mini 6cm.  The second two I suppose you would call creamers.  The baby one is unfortunately a bit chipped, I'm on the lookout for a replacement.

Two ramekins, 11cm in diametre.  The Rameking has a bunch of dirt on Hanstan ramekins, if you feel so inclined.  I could obviously use more of these.  Two is not enough!

Salt and pepper shakers, three types.  I only have one each of the tallest one (13cm) and the rounded one (9.5cm) but a cute set of the little ones (6.5cm).

What are these called, bottles?  With stopper they are 17.5cm tall.  Stopper is unfortunately missing from the Vinegar, and the Oil has some damage that has been repaired.  poop.  You can also get a Sauce bottle, again, still looking :)

And finally, a random pin dish (11cm diameter) and an itty bitty mustard pot (6cm).

It is quite likely I will not get my whole collection out again for photos, so indulge me will you?



Ahem.  So, my collection is nowhere near complete.  I mentioned above a few pieces I still need, but will repeat myself, so I can just look up my blog post if I'm out and about and need to make some quick decisions ;)

  • Spice cannisters:  Curry, Paprika, Garlic, Allspice and Arsenic (aka the holy grail)
  • Sauce bottle
  • Salt and pepper shakers (1 x large and 1 x round)
  • Bowls 
  • Convex mugs

Other pieces I'd love to add to my collection include a coffee set - comprising coffee pot, with matching cups and saucers!

I've also seen but missed out on a rad cheeseboard thing:

So, make sure you tell me that you're impressed, and do do contact me if you have any Hanstan pieces you'd like to part with.  I can pay you dollars!



  1. Nice to know that my post is regarded as "a bunch of dirt".

    1. No way, your post is fab! I meant you have the dirt, you know, the low-down, the goss?

  2. Awesome collection! Hanstan pottery isn't something that I've seen in my op-shopping travels, but if I ever see any I'll make sure to pick it up for you! ~___^

  3. Wonderful collection! I love those ramekins.

  4. that stuff is gorgeous... i've never heard of it before, but i love it.

  5. Great post!! I too collect Hanstan. I've got a few pieces I didn't see in your post. I foolishly got rid of two little bowls (for dip or nuts I guess...) I haven't found any more since :|
    My prized piece is my salt pig - I keep it near the stove and it's HUGE and amazing.
    I'm missing a few spice jars - Bayleaves, pepper, nutmeg, arsenic (hahah) and garlic.
    I'm in Melbourne, so if I find a spare Allspice, I'll grab it ;-)

    1. Hi Lucy, thanks for stopping by! Fantastic to find more collectors out there!

      I am extremely jealous of your salt pig!

      I have a spare nutmeg if you would like it.

    2. hi i also have 4 hanstan bowls which are like your ramekins only handleless - happy to sell if you're interested.

  6. I have an Hanstan Arsenic jar! I bought it many years ago at an antique shop at Blackheath. I keep my cooking salt in it.

  7. Hi, if anyone is interested my mother has a number of Hanstan pieces she is willing to sell. In the Orange & Brown she has a salt pig, tall salt & pepper set, 6 mugs - narrower at top rounding out towards bottom; jam & sugar bowls; jug; 6 small dishes suitable for condiments, dipping sauces etc
    In the White/Cream & Blue pottery set she has canisters - flour, sugar, rice, coffee, tea, salt; Utensil holder, sugar bowl; spice canisters - nutmeg, ginger, pepper. If you are interested please contact aquadottie@internode.on.net for urgent sale due to downsizing. Thanks, Kaz

  8. I just picked up the Hanstan decanter with 6 sherry glasses.. let me know if you need a photo.