Jo Hammond

Oyster Tendle - Jo Hammond


The oyster tendle is an ancient and very special basket indigenous to the East Anglian estuaries, last known to be made on Mersea Island, Essex for its original purpose. Woven entirely from wild hedgerow elm, it’s a shallow, almost rectangular frame basket used to carry oysters picked from the estuary mud. Elm is really strong and tough, said to be resistant to salt water- and it’s certainly hefty stuff to weave with. The ropelike loop (called a grommet) that gathers together frame hoops and ribs is thought to be unique.

”My baskets feature English Elm for the handle, rim hoops and ribs, Wych Elm for ribs and weavers… and having sussed out good foraging spots I can collect all the materials on foot.”

NB – Elm is an extremely common hedgerow plant in East Anglia; although very few large trees remain, elm is surviving strongly. Because it spreads via suckers, the rootstock can live and reproduce even after the tree above ground has been struck down with elm disease. In a regularly-cut hedge, the plant doesn’t get tall enough to attract the elm bark beetles that carry the disease, and it thrives. So have no fear that I’m cutting rare plants that should be left alone!

‘You can go for a walk in the country with no other equipment than a sharp knife and come back with a basket’ (John Seymour, Self Sufficiency 1976)


Large - 50 x 35 cm

Extra Large - 60 x 40 cm

We aim to make ordering from us as straightforward as possible.

Once your online transaction has been completed your order will be confirmed by email within 24 hours. If your order is placed on a Friday, or over the weekend, your item will be shipped within 3 days from the Monday.

Using Royal Mail our shipping rates are calculated based on the estimated weight and size of the items. 

You have the option of First Class Delivery (which cannot be tracked), or Tracked delivery ( to enable you to track your package through all stages of the delivery process)


Please allow 3-5 working days for delivery in the UK. In most cases it will be less.


We do ship outside of the UK and are delighted to do so, but we ask you to email,, so we may give you an accurate shipping cost to your destination.

Any customs or import duties are charged once the parcel reaches its destination country. These charges must be paid by the recipient of the parcel. Unfortunately, we have no control over these charges, and cannot tell you what the cost would be, as customs policies and import duties vary widely from country to country.


We recommend contacting your local customs office for current charges before you order, so you are not surprised by charges you were not expecting.

Please be aware that your parcel can be also delayed by customs and subsequent charges can be applied. We have no control over this, and cannot supply any details why or for how long your parcel will be delayed.

If you wish to return a purchase please notify us at

If you are unhappy with our products in any way, they can be returned provided they are in saleable condition.

If you wish to return your item and receive a full refund items need to posted/couriered back to us within 7 days of being received by you.

Please note refunds to Debit/Credit Cards normally clear in 1/2 days after receipt of the returned goods.

Returns received outside the above time frame will not be accepted. For all returns you will be required to arrange and pay for the return of the products to us.

We will only accept returns provided the goods are received by us in the condition they were in when delivered to you.


Please returns items to: 

The Merchant’s Table
10 Church Street
Suffolk IP12 1DH

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In the market town of WOODBRIDGE, SUFFOLK, on CHURCH STREET is a double fronted Georgian shop, fronting a 16th Century merchant’s house. Within this beautiful building, layered with merchant’s tales and trading, we opened The Merchant’s Table.

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