Tag Archives: Goldfinch

Portmeirionlore: Birds of Britain Plates

Like the Botanic Garden range, the Birds of Britain started out with sets of six different plates. The 11 inch dinnerplates were the Grey Phalarope, the Little Egret, the Magpie, the Harlequin Duck, the Barnowl and the Black Cock:

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The Barnowl was thought to bring bad luck in some countries and was therefore withdrawn. The Black Cock was also withdrawn,”as its name was thought to discourage sales”. They were replaced by the Wood Duck and the Common Sandpiper:

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The older dinnerplates have the green band, but I have two with another border, the Harlequin Duck and the Magpie:

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Portmeirion also created a series of four Birds of America:

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They are the Mallard, the Pintail, the Bobwhite Quail and the Ruffed Grouse. Here they have the Botanic Garden leafed border. There are more items in this short-lived range, such as a set of 4 inch mugs:

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There are six different 8 inch salad plates:

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They are the Waxwing, the White Wagtail, the Turtle Dove, the Roller,  the Rose Coloured Starling and  the Hoopoo.

I have four of these plates in the borderless variety:

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Here is the Rose Coloured Starling with another border:

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The 8 inch soup plates and the 6 inch bread and butter plates have the same birds:

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They are the Nuthatch, the Bullfinch, the Nightingale, the Chaffinch, the Cirl Bunting and the Kingfisher.

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My plates all have the old green band, later Portmeirion introduced the oak leafed border:

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Except for the changes in the dinner plates, Portmeirion kept the same birds on the plates all the time. A new range of birds was introduced recently, the Botanic Garden Birds:

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They are the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Baltimore Oriole, Chickadee, Lesser Goldfinch, Western Bluebird, and Scarlet Tanager. Lovely birds, on dinnerplates with the Botanic Garden Border.

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Birds of Britain Teasets

The Birds of Britain range was launched in 1977. The illustrations are from The Natural History of Britain by Edward Donovan, 1794.This is the small teapot with six cups:

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On the tea pot is the Bullfinch, the cups have the Redpoll, the Goldfinch, the Blue Tit, the Redstart, the Robin and the Willow Warbler.  Here is the same set seen from the other side:

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On the tea pot the Nightingale, on the cups the Linnet, the Greenfinch, the Bearded Tit, the Sedge Warbler, the Great Tit and the Marsh Tit. The larger cups have the same birds:

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The bird on the tea pot is the Hoopoo. The Roller is on the other side ot the teapot:

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A sugar and cream set completes the teasets. You can see the Tree Creeper, the Willow Warbler and the Goldcrest on the sugarbowls. The jug has the Bearded Tit and the Blue Tit.

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There is a set of very small mocha cups:

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Birds of Britain also has a beautiful jug and bowl set, with the Harlequin Duck:

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