Kidsday reporter Cora Cooper collects fish plates.

Kidsday reporter Cora Cooper collects fish plates. Credit: Cooper family

My mom and I have always had a passion for the ocean, and we love seeing beautiful fish and other creatures. Since it is too cold in the winter to go swimming or surfing, my mom and I decided to collect antique plates and prints with fish and other sea creatures on them. For example, we have plates featuring octopus, puffer fish, bass, goldfish and stingrays. This collection is very important to my mother and me because it’s a bond we share — we both truly admire the ocean.

We have been collecting fish plates for as long as I can remember. We have large porcelain platters with fish on them. Some of them are from Germany after World War II. Some of them are just lines of gold and others are full drawings of fish that we haven’t identified. They’re all hand-painted and beautifully crafted.

Our favorite plates are the ones made by Limoges. According to the website, the highest-quality pieces were produced between the late 1700s and the 1930s. After 1930, the quality dropped and the styles became much more basic. Although they are old, most of those plates are hand-painted and come in vibrant colors. They are all collectibles, and I hope to share them with my children one day.

Meagan Miller’s students, Ivy League School, Smithtown

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