Josiah Spode founded his Spode pottery around 1770 at Stroke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. Even before Spode arrived, this area was well known as “The Potteries,” one of Britain’s most important districts for the production of porcelain.

In 1785, Spode began producing its line of blue-on-pearl china, which was to become its first success thanks to the skill of designer Thomas Minton in the early 1790s. Spode’s pieces were distinctive for the depth and richness of their blue color—the pottery refined its own cobalt to achieve the effect. This blue-and-white china remained one of Spode’s most distinctive products for decades to come, though Spode also produced a variety of unglazed lines, including basalts, redwares, and canewares.

When Josiah Spode passed away, his son, Josiah Spode II, took over the business in 1797. Spode II continued the research his father had begun into bone-ash porcelain. Potteries had experimented with adding burnt animal bone to their porcelain for a few decades, but Spode II perfected the proportions of this mix between 1797 and 1798.

A mix of between 33 and 50 percent burnt animal bone, plus equal amounts of feldspar and quartz, yielded porcelain that was extremely white, strong, cheap to produce, and translucent. This bone-ash, or soft-paste, porcelain soon spread to other British potteries, giving England the boost it needed to stay competitive in the international market. By 1820, Spode’s approach to porcelain became the standard formula for bone china. Spode’s porcelain pieces often featured elaborate painted decorations, sometimes with exotic or foreign characters in novel scenes.

With the popularity of its bone-ash porcelain, Spode became the most successful Staffordshire pottery from 1800 to 1833. Its pieces had few flaws compared to the products of other companies—its glaze did not craze, its colors did not flake. Spode produced a wide variety of lines, including tea wares, dinner wares, and dessert wares, alongside incense burners, pen trays, cabinet pieces, and more. Master decorator Henry Daniel fostered high-quality designs on Spode’s polychromatic and gilded pieces, and C. F. Hürten painted many exquisite vases.

Each Spode piece was marked with the family name alongside a pattern number in red. This pattern number started at 1 in 1800—by 1833, it had reached 5000. Pattern #1166 is particularly noteworthy for its elaborate decoration. Other noteworthy pattern lines included Willow, which was first developed by Josiah Spode I around 1790; Tower; Camilla; and London, which was copied by many other makers between 1815 and 1825. Spode also produced imitation Chinese wares. Before 1805, these pieces featured a “Spode Stone China” mark alongside a fake Chinese seal.

In 1833, William Taylor Copeland took the reins at Spode after Josiah Spode III died, and he renamed the company Copeland and Garrett. In 1847, Copeland and Garrett became W. T. ...

These small-scale figures were inspired by (and sometimes simply replicated) classical sculptures from ancient Greece and Rome, and they were finished to resemble marble. These affordable pieces allowed the general public to bring fine classical art into their homes. Copeland displayed these figures at the 1851 London Great Exhibition, where they were extremely successful and popular. Alongside the Parian figures, Copeland continued to produce fine bone china and earthenware.

Copeland’s production facilities remained at Spode’s original Staffordshire location. In 1970, the company’s name changed back to Spode Ltd., which became Royal Worcester Spode Ltd. in 1976. Royal Worcester Spode experienced severe financial difficulties in the 2000s and was purchased by Portmeirion in April 2009. Portmeirion has continued to use the Royal Worcester Spode name in its product line.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Thepotteries.org

Thepotteries.org

Steve Birks' super deep site is a tribute to a bygone era, chronicling how a pottery center of excellence (they did… [read review or visit site]

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

This gallery showcases highlights from the 5,000 items in the museum's ceramics collection dating from 1500-1900. I… [read review or visit site]

Ceramics at The V&A

Ceramics at The V&A

A great reference on ceramics from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Learn about different ceramics techniques and st… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Spode England #c1816 Italian Camilla Blue Round Cheese Dome & 11 1/4" UnderplateSpode Christmas Tree Dessert/cereal Bowl Set Green Trim 4 Pc Set EnglandSpode Christmas Tree Dessert/cereal Bowl Set Green Trim 4 Pc Set EnglandVintage Blue And White Spode Italian Hors D'oeuvres Dish Older Makers MarkSpode Christmas Tree Snack Sandwich Tray Plate W/cup China 2 Sets EnglandCopeland Spode Christmas Tree Cake Plate Or Plaque A1 Condition Never UsedSpode 24" Christmas Tree Teleflora Gift Brand New, UnopenedSpode Christmas Tree 3" Butter Pats - Set Of 32 Spode Christmas Tree Soup Plates Bowls Spode, Blue Italian, England, Tea Pot, C 1816 Stamp Spode Christmas Tree Teapot, Hand Painted - No Reserve!Spode, Blue Italian, England, Sugar Bowl And Creamer, C 1816 Stamp 19th Century Copeland Spode Italian Tureen & StandSpode Christmas Tree( 4) Butter Pads S3324-e Nice Gently Used ConditionSpode England Christmas Tree Pattern Set Of 4 Dinner PlatesCopeland Spode Florence China Pitcher Spode, Blue Italian, England, Coffee Pot, C 1816 4 Spode Christmas Tree Coffee Mugs Cups Made In EnglandSpode, Blue Italian, England, Candlestick Holder,12"h,6"w, Square Base, C 1816,Spode Blue Italian Set Of Three Cereal Bowls England NewSpode Christmas Tree Ornament Shaped Decorative Cookie Canape PlateSpode Christmas Tree Santa Claus Hinged Trinket Box Ornament W/boxSpode Christmas Tree Sugar Bowl With Lid S3324-l And Creamer S3324-q 3 Piece SetSpode Disney Christmas Tree Liverpool JugOld Antique Copeland Spode India Tree Porcelain China Tea Pot TeapotSet Of 10 Spode Christmas Tree Coffee Cups & Saucers - 2 1/2" - Beautiful !!!New - Spode Stafford Flowers Bread Plate - Tachiadenus EnglandSpode Christmas Tree EnglandSpode Christmas Tree Tablecloth Round 70"4 Pieces Copeland Spode's Tower Teapot Creamjug Sugarbowl Tray Old MarkSpode Town Hall Tea Pot, Part Of Christmas Tree Village - No Reserve!Spode Christmas Tree Pedestal Goblets W/gold Rim Set Of 4 New In BoxVintage Spode England S3324 P Small Christmas Tree Milk Juice Pitcher.Spode Christmas Tree Two Section Bowl Serving DishSpode Christmas Tree Sleigh Made In England 9 3/4"Spode, Toast Rack, Blue Italian Pattern, Nib With Chip Spode Christmas Tree Sweet Jar, 6-inch Spode England Stafford Flowers 8 In Plate Lida & Acacia Set (4) Williams Sonoma Spode St. Nick Dessert~salad~luncheon PlatesSpode Christmas Tree Dessert Plates - Set Of FiveSpode Christmas Tree Series Ladle Made In England S3324-a4Vintage Spode Christmas Tree England Pimpernel LotSpode Christmas Tree Plate 1994 - Limited Edition!Spode Christmas Tree Jack In Box Santa Ornament,,mintSpode Christmas Tree Depot Snow Globe Ornament,Spode England Copeland's China Antique Rare Pheasant Very ColorfulSpode Christmas Tree Set/12 Rim Soup BowlsSpode Christmas Tree Set/8 Rim Soup BowlsSpode Christmas Tree Dessert Plates - Set Of SixSpode Queens Bird 8 Soup Bowls Fine Stone England Y4973-cSpode Copeland Florence Pattern ~ Dinner Plates ~ 10 1/2" DiameterVery Rare Spode Christmas Tree Steak Knives €Spode Christmas Tree China SetSpode Christmas Tree Covered Butter Dish & Salt Pepper EnglandOld Mark Copeland **pink Spodes Tower ** Square Salad Plate Spode Copeland Florence Dinner Plate 9" England, Brown And Orange Floral DesignSpode Christmas Tree Tom & Jerry Mug Set Of 4 In Box EnglandSpode Summer Palace Teapot Made In England S3588Stunning Vintage Handpainted Copeland Spode Cup,saucer & Side Plate TrioOld Antique Copeland Spode India Tree Porcelain China 15 Inch Platter

Recent News: Spode China

Source: Google News

Tried-and-true holiday decorating
Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 13th

Silver and gold: Hinschberger mixes old (antique stemware, silver nut cups and butter pats) with new (gold chargers from Target) on his dining-room table set with classic Spode “Christmas Tree” china. For the centerpiece, a candle glows inside an...Read more

Scarcity drives prices on World's Fair collectibles
Arizona Daily Star, December 13th

A: Some English factories used burned animal bones to make china. Bone china was 50 percent bones combined with equal parts of quartz and feldspar. The result was a strong, translucent product. The process, invented by Josiah Spode, started in 1800...Read more

Around Alamo: AAUW Holiday Home Tour tomorrow, Saturday
Ft. Bragg Advocate-News, December 11th

surrounding valley views from all the rooms in the house. A Christmas tree covered in handmade ornaments, similar to those made for Judy's children over the years, along with a table set with Spode china, sets the mood for a colorful and nostalgic...Read more

Earlville House Walk to usher in the holidays
Mendota Reporter, December 10th

Photos have been taken down and Christmas pictures put up. Her collections of Lenox Holiday China, Spode Christmas Tree China and Waterford Crystal are on display. There is also a collection of animated decorations. “Our grandchildren enjoy them so we ...Read more

PARTY LINE: Here comes 'da judge!
Walton Sun, December 10th

I was thrilled to be asked to judge Butler Elementary Christmas trees this year and had a great time observing, inspecting, and getting ideas. I was really surprised (I don't know why) to see the huge amount of creativity that came out in those trees...Read more

She helps set your table for company
Boston Globe, December 9th

Hedtler began collecting when she was 18 and she discovered Spode earthenware from England (the name Devonia is for her favorite Spode pattern). Collecting is a ... A. I first started when I took over my mom's china-matching business. I would go on the ...Read more

Everyone's going potty for dainty British ceramics - even Lady Mary
Daily Mail, November 28th

So while in Downton Abbey Lady Mary sipped coffee from Spode's gold-trimmed Sheffield bone china, the brown patterned Woodland cups featuring woodland creatures, also by Spode, looked equally at home on the local farmer's more rustic table...Read more

My favorite dish: Readers share stories of their holiday kitchen treasures
The State, November 25th

This is a beloved Spode platter given by my husband's mother. Why do I love ... A few years ago – I was fortunate to work with a company to investigate the origin of the China, manufacturer, and to see if any pieces of the pattern were still available...Read more