Gum Tips and Lily vases, Crown Crystal
It is not always easy to tell the difference between these two lovely vases made by Crown Crystal, Australia.
Left: a 12 inch Lily vase in an extract of the 1929 Crown Crystal catalogue.
Right: a 1925 ad for a Woolworth’s store in Sydney, for a “lustre glassware” vase that is surely Gum Tips, as shown by the lesser number
of flutes or panels around the vase.
The easy way to distinguish between Crown Crystal Lily and Gum Tips vases ...
Count the ribs / panels. Gum Tips usually has 8 or 10. Lily usually has 16 or 18.
You can pretty much stop right here if you want! Or, additionally.
Grab your tape and measure the base. Gum Tips can have two different sizes: usually around 7 cm (on the 10 rib version) or around 9 cm (on the 8 rib version). The Lily vase is bigger, in fact it nudges itself into the size qualification for a Funeral vase, being around 12 cm across the base.
The information below is courtesy of John and Margaret McGrath, originally published in NetworK #25, 2000.
The Lily vase is a heavier and more robust piece of glass than the smaller Gum Tips vase. They are found in the marigold and dark (purple) colours associated with Crown Crystal.
Lily vases range from around 10 inches (25 cm) to about 13.5 inches high. Their base diameter is around 4.75 inches (12 cm) across while the top of the vase (usually open and flared) is generally around 7 inches or more across the mouth. Usually the Lily vases have 16 or 18 side panels and feature a plain or starred base.
Gum Tips vases
Gum Tips vases are usually between 8 inches (20 cm) and 12 inches (30 cm) high. There are two base sizes - 2.75 inches (7 cm) and 3.75 inches (9 cm). Their mouth is generally around 4.75 inches (12 cm) across. There are 10 side panels (sometimes 8) and the base may be plain or starred.
A page of Carnival Glass from the 1929 Crown Crystal catalogue.
For a detailed, full-sized image of this catalogue page,
click on the image above, or go here: Crown Crystal 1929 catalogue.
Read more: Gum Tips and Lily vases featured in many Australian newspaper ads throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The ads, from when the vases were actually being made by Crown Crystal, provide a brilliant, contemporaneous account of how they were marketed and sold to the public.
The ads are to be found here: Australian Newspaper Ads, 1920s-1930s.