Fin-tastic Finds | A Private Collection of English Char Dishes

Fin-tastic Finds | A Private Collection of English Char Dishes

We are very pleased to present a series of English pottery char dishes collected by Keith Elliott, the Founder and Editor of Classic Angling, the world’s leading magazine devoted to antique and classic tackle.

12 March 2024

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Keith Elliott with his collection of char dishes, credit Steve Woit, Fly Fishing Treasures

Keith Elliott with his collection of char dishes, credit Steve Woit, Fly Fishing Treasures

 

Combining journalistic training with a passion for exploration and adventure fishing, Keith has travelled to some of the most remote corners of the world in search of the rarest marine species and antique tackle, and expertly crafted these memories into words to create vivid retellings that capture the attention of even the most novice of anglers.

 

Lot 318, a 19th century pearlware char dish, estimate £300-500

Lot 318, a 19th century pearlware char dish, estimate £300-500

 

With an encyclopaedic knowledge of fishing facts and more than twenty-three years’ worth of experience writing fishing-related columns for The Independent, Keith has become a respected authority in the field, often adding comment and debate to the unusual stories that emerge from the waves and championing the preservation of endangered fish, most notably as head of the Mahseer Trust. However, he is also an avid collector of piscatoriana, and his char dishes have sat alongside all manner of related books, papers and mementoes in his home, The Old Anchor, for many years before floating to Sworders.

 

 

For the uninitiated, a char dish serves as the vessel for the popular English delicacy known as 'potted char,' once beloved from the early-18th to the mid-19th century. The char - a freshwater salmon species prevalent in British waters such as Lake Windermere in Cumbria and the deep lakes of Wales and Scotland - lends its name to the dishes. Crafted from creamware and pearlware, these pots boast a whimsical charm, adorned with cartoonish and vibrant illustrations of aquatic life, and while they now predominantly serve as delightful decor pieces, one example in the collection (lot 308) still offers a tantalising glimpse into history, featuring a label with a ‘recipe for potted char from Sir Francis Colchester’, affixed to the inside.

 

Lot 308, two pearlware char dishes, estimate £400-600

 


 

Tuesday 19 & Wednesday 20 March | 10am

fineinteriors@sworder.co.uk | 01279 817778

 

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