The Compleat Angler: 1986


I love Portmeiron Pottery.  I love that feel of ‘chunky’ china with fine and detailed decoration on their pottery; it is the sort of tableware that gives you confidence to use, it isn’t going to chip easily.  It is solid.  I have various pieces from Portmeiron china from a teapot and cups, to serving dishes, vases, jugs and plates.  Most of my china is from the Botanical Gardens collection; however, John was a huge fan of Portmeiron Pottery and we often went to their Stoke-on-Trent Factory Shop to look for new pieces.  He was very much taken with the Compleat Angler collection and wanted to buy some pieces from that.  This probably wouldn’t have been my first choice but then the designer, Susan William-Ellis, described the Compleat Angler collection as “designed with a man in mind”.  Taking its inspiration from the ‘Compleat Angler’, the book by Izaak Walton first published in 1653 and celebrating the art and spirit of fishing, Susan William-Ellis designed a whole dinner service around fishing – salmon, perch, trout.  The tea towel is an exact representation of one of the plates – a fish having been caught, laid out in preparation for cooking.

I have four unusually shaped, oval dinner plates with salmon, trout and perch.  I know what Susan William-Ellis means, they feel very ‘masculine’, if you can describe crockery like that.  I have to say that I have grown to love the Compleat Angler plates, robust, strong illustrations with fine detail and 30 years later both the dinner plates and the tea towel are going strong.

Click below to return to the Virtual Tea Towel Museum


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