Hostess Tableware Designs, John Russell
Hostess Tableware Staffordshire Designs by John Russell
These designs are stunning. British design at its best. They were all created by top British ceramics designer John Russell c1970s for a company called Hostess Tableware Staffordshire.
He designed a number of patterns for this company, but these are the standouts I think.
The company was formed by the merger of Royal Stafford China and British Anchor Pottery c 1970, which as far as I can discover, closed in the 1990s.
John Russell is primarily known for his designs at Midwinter Pottery, where he created Midwinter “Riverside”and numerous other Midwinter designs in the 1960s. These however are far much more impressive, bold, clean and resolved designs to me, than any of his Midwinter designs.
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The Black Velvet design is beautiful. The pattern can be wonky on some items but I rather like that. I have a complete, perfect coffee set and recently added six side plates, five cereal/soup bowls and three cake plates (used as dinner plates). I’m still on the hunt for the missing items I need to complete a set of six table placings.
In an age of overconsumption I find the smaller size of this fine crockery appealing and a reminder of when people ate and drank more sensible amounts, and sat down together at a table to do so with a touch more elegance and connectedness than having a huge plate of junk food on our laps in front of the telly stuffing it in while largely ignoring each other and the food itself.
I couldnt agree more….this designs and pieces like it come from a time when both food and what it was served on was important and appreciated….not just looked on as a mass consumer item. I see the Black Velvet design from time to time online in small amounts – but it seems to be quite a hard one to get hold of any quantity of pieces now.