Pretty Oyster Plates Aplenty

From huge antique collection in Kilmarnock to modern collector's items

by | Mar 1, 2023

Little England Mercantile

Photo above: Collector’s items Oyster plates from Little England Mercantile.

Dating to the Victorian era, when oysters on the half shell became a popular delicacy for affluent hosts in Europe and beyond, decorative oyster plates—both modern and antique—have become sought-after collectors’ items, some fetching price tags in the thousands of dollars. But did you know that one of the largest known collections of these elegant objects in the U.S. can be found for sale in the town of Kilmarnock, Virginia, on the Northern Neck?

The Oyster Plate Lady’s treasures number in the hundreds, have been featured by many national and local media outlets including Southern Living, and are housed inside of the 22,000 square foot Kilmarnock Antique Gallery owned by Steve and Lynn Bonner. Featuring hand painted motifs and unique color patterns, oyster plates can be made of porcelain or other materials and come in three main shapes: turkey, geometric and kidney.

Modern takes on oyster plates, such as those pictured below from Little England Mercantile in Gloucester and Virginia Beach, are also popular gifts and collector’s item

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