Crested china - small models with the crest of a town, city or other establishment was originally introduced by W H Goss & Son in the 1880s. They quickly became popular as souvenirs and the idea was taken up by many other potteries, and became a national craze which continued until around 1930. Even Wedgewood made them for a few years around 1900, and at least four German factories were producing them. There were many patterns shared between the factories, and the crests were applied as a black outline transfer and hand coloured. The most common patterns were based on archaeological jugs and other containers found in various museums, along with animals, household articles and literary figures, but during the First World War there were models of tanks, submarines, and soldiers in trenches. Over the last few years Roger Hayman and myself have collected around 30 with the official Hornsey crest, although a few have the Middlesex crest and some have ‘Wood Green’ or ‘Crouch End’. Just why were so many Hornsey models sold is a mystery – it’s not a seaside town or a holiday destination – but there was at least one wholesaler in Muswell Hill who ordered a large enough quantity to have their own stamp applied to the base.
We are in the process of producing a full gallery of all the pieces we have collected, available shortly.
  All photographs © Brian Price and Roger Hayman