Portmeirion Pottery – Installment # 2 in the “Short History of Vintage Teacups”

Well, the title may be somewhat presumptuous? Ha!

I find all these beautiful teacups to turn into soy candles and wanted to learn more about where they come from, their makers and what their era may be, as well as dreaming about the dinners and tea parties they may have been a part of.

As you, dear reader would know from the last post  I am researching where my gorgeous teacup candles originate from.  I thought I would do a short post on Portmeirion Pottery as I came across a sweet and ever-so-cute cup and saucer set which is now available at the Sweet Gracie online store.

As far as vintage goes, this piece by Portmeirion Potteries is less, well … old. Still vintage, but it is a bit newer compared to many of the other teacups I have collected and made available for you, my dears.  This one does have a special, homey quality to it.

From what I can find, I believe this to be part of the famed “Botanic Garden” range by Portmeirion Potteries, it appears to be adorned with a pattern of “Dog Roses”.   I myself think they (they being the namers of all plants and animals.  Is it the people who discover them?) could have perhaps given some further thought to the naming of this plant.  Its latin “Rosa Canina” is slightly more sophisticated.  According to our friends at Wikipedia, the rose may have been given this name as it was used as a treatment for rabid dog bites!  Enough puppy talk for me, lets just agree that it is an immensely beautiful rose, which was given an unfortunate name.

Portmeirion Pottery is (not was, as it is still in operation) based in Stoke-on-Trent, which as you will know from the last post is the mecca of all things pottery, bone china and thus could be called the birthplace of beautiful things :-).  It was taken over in the 1960’s by Susan Williams-Ellis and her dear husband. She was a potter and her philosophy was to make things that were not only beautiful but usable and not hideously expensive.  A girl after my own heart!  She was quite avant garde for her time, introducing a new style of servingware which was more casual than its approach.

It was apparently hugely successful – which could probabbly be a clue as to why the pottery has survived this long.

You can see why I fell in love with this sweet little set, it really has a lovely, solid little shape to it and the pattern is quite detailed, down to the thorns on the roses and the plump rosehips adorning the branches.  I can see why Susan Williams-Ellis looked past the unfortunate name of the “Dog Rose” as it is a pretty pattern.

Do you know of any other things which just don’t match that well with their name?  Or can you shed light on how plants are named and where we go to lodge a complaint?  🙂


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