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Hyalyn Porcelain (History)

The Hyalyn pottery was founded in Hickory, North Carolina, in 1947 by Leslie Moody (educated at Ohio State University in Columbus, then associated with Abingdon, San Jose Pottery, and Rookwood before starting his own company). Moody was general manager of Hyalyn Porcelain, Incorporated, until his death in 1973 (and president between 1965 and 1973). The name "Hyalyn" is Mrs. Frances Moody's spelling variation on the word "hyaline."

Hyalyn's first product line was made only about 2 years (in 1947-1948) and featured stylized underglaze freehand decorations. Until the mid 1970s, Hyalyn pieces were high-fired with a white clay body. They often show the influence of Charles and Ray Eames and other designers of the Mid-Century Modern period. From the beginning, the company also made a complete line of decal-decorated products. Trademarks were periodically changed, and styles changed with the times. So these hints can be useful in dating many Hyalyn products.

Many of Hyalyn's most interesting dinnerware lines are illustrated in a highly recommended 2-volume book by Michael Pratt, called Mid-Century Modern Dinnerware: A Pictorial Guide, published by Schiffer in 2003. For Hyalyn, be sure to look for the one with the subtitle "Ak-Sar-Ben to Pope Gosser." Michael also has an interesting article about Hyalyn on his website.

Under other management, and sometimes other names, both decorative artware and utilitarian ceramic products were made at the location until 1996. For a time, the company was called Hyalyn-Cosco, during which period their primary line was electric table lamps. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the company was known as Vanguard Accents, and made lamps, vases, and figural pieces, sometimes in 24K gold or pastel glossy colors.

I have been collecting Hyalyn Porcelain (Hickory, North Carolina) for about 10 years, and have decided to offer my collection for sale. You can get an overview of the company's production by looking through my on-line showcase (SEARCH for "hyalyn" there). My apologies that this project will take some time. Prices will be added to the descriptions by the end of September 2004.

There is also a book on Hyalyn in the works, with a contribution from one of Mr. Moody's daughters, so collector interest has been on the rise. Sorry, but I do not have more details about the book at this time. When the book is published, collectors will finally have an easier method of dating the company's many products. I personally can't wait!
© 2004 Mark Bassett
Updated 08/22/04