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    

Mint Set Of 6 Spode Blue Italian Spice Jars In Display BoxSpode Christmas Tree England Lidded Sugar Bowl No SpoonThe Spode Blue Room Collecton "geranium" Jumbo Cup & Saucer PlateCopeland Spode's Italian England Blue And White Creamer/pitcher/jugSpode Christmas Tree Sauce Boat With Lid & Under Plate Gravy Tureen Rare SetRare Antique Copeland Spode England Brown & Orange "greek" Plate 10 Plates 7 Spode England Christmas Tree Holiday S3324 Plates 1- 2 Tier PlateSpode Blue Italian Gourmet Vinegar Pourer With StopperSpode Christmas Tree (green Trim) Egg Cups - 3Set (8) Copeland Spode's Seasons Blue & White Transferware Cabinet Dinner PlatesSpode Blue Room Signature Collection Jug Huge Lidded Indian SportingSpode Blue Room Signature PottingerSpode Christmas Tree - 4 Dessert /salad Bowls - 9" - England - S3324Spode Christmas Tree (green Trim) Set Of Four Butter PatsBeautiful Antique Copeland Spode Tidbit Dish With Birds - Waring & Gillow Ltd.Vintage Spode Blue & White Geranium Creamer And Covered Sugar England Spode Italian Pattern Blue And White Coverded Cheese Dish1 Spode China Copeland Buttercup Cranberry Rice Bowl! 5 1/8"! Old Mark!Antique Copeland Spode Jasperware Cracker JarSpode Blue Room Signature Mini Temple JarSpode Woodland Set Of 8 Salad Plates Spode Porcelain Blue And White Octagonal Dish With Stopper #s3682-aoSpode Christmas Tree Stick Butter Dish & CoverVintage Copeland Blue Spode's Tower Demitasse Cup & SaucerSpode Christmas Tree OrnamentSpode Woodland Set Of 4 Salad Plates Spode Christmas Tree Stick Butter Dish & Cover England S3324 SVintage China Spode Sugar Bowl With Lid, Christmas Rose PatternSpode Bone China Creamer,octagon Shape, With 'dragons First' Pattern.1822-1826.Mandarin Spode Copeland England Platter 16" Red Pagoda Boat RiverVintage Hammersley Spode Bone China Cup & Saucer – Strawberry Ripe PatternSpode Christmas Tree England Nut Bowl New In Box !!!91 Piece Set Or 6, 8, 12 Piece Item Spode Cowslip English China Perfect ConditioSpode's Tower Teapot Small- PinkCopeland Spode, Cobalt Blue, Snipe No 28 Dinner Plate In Wild Bird SeriesSpode Teapot Copeland Great Britain GainsboroughSpode Christmas Tree Rectangular Covered Butter Dish EnglandSpode Christmas Tree Large Water/ice Tea Pitcher - Glass2 X Spode Woodland 27cm Dinner Plates Wood Duck England New2 Vintage Spode's Jewel Cream Soup Sets Heath & Rose Copeland Spode4 Spode England Holly&red Berry Christmas Tree Napkin Ring Holders Green Trim1879 Copeland Spode Large Covered Tureen & Under Plate Flow Blue Floral VinesAntique (?) Flow Blue Copeland Spode Italian England C & S Countryside SceneSpode Christmas Tree --- Candy Dish Spode Blue Room Garden Collection British Flowers "poppy" Collector PlatePair Of Rare Dessert/ Fruit Bowls " Billingsley Rose " By SpodeSpode Blue Room Garden Collection British Flowers "jasmine" Collector Plate Spoke Pitcher Marked Fortuna On The Bottom -england K 916 Fox Hunt Scene4 Spode Christmas Tree Coffee Mugs New In Box $64.00Spode Mayflower 9 3/8" Lunch Plate Older Mark #1Spode Fleur De Lys Dinner Plates In Red - Set Of 4Spode Christmas TreeSpode's Jewel Copeland Billingsley Rose Demitasse And Saucer Set Of 4Spode Christmas Tree Green Trim 8 Dinner Plates 10 3/4" Spode Woodland Lapwing Dinner PlateSpode Gray Plate Archive Collection 3 Large 4 Small. No Chips. Hanging On WallSpode Christmas Tree Cups And SaucersSpode Floral Haven 5" Sugar BowlSpode Christmas Tree Fabric Placemats (4) - Multiple Trees NwtSpode Christmas Tree Sweetener Holder, Red, Green

Recent News: Spode China

Source: Google News

PERSONALLY SPEAKING: Why World of Wedgwood is helping to make the pottery ...
Stoke Sentinel, September 1st

Josiah Spode, Thomas Minton and their ilk were familiar to me from looking at glass case after glass case of pieces of pot. It didn't excite me. I much preferred the gallery of stuffed animals, and even the skeleton which used to scare the living...Read more

Portmeirion Group PLC To Go Ex-Dividend on September 3rd (PMP)
The Legacy, August 29th

The Company encompasses four brands Portmeirion, Spode, Royal Worcester and Pimpernel. Portmeirion ranges Agapanthus, Ambiance, Arthur Goodfellow and Friends, Botanic Blue, Botanic Garden, Botanic Garden Birds, Exotic Botanic Garden, Christmas Wish...Read more

Tuesday Morning Downgraded by Zacks to Strong Sell (TUES)
Financial Wisdom Works, August 29th

Lauren bed linens, Waterman pens, Limoges hand-decorated boxes, Steinbach collectible nutcrackers, Steiff stuffed animals, Royal Dalton china and giftware, Farberware cookware, Martex bathtowels, Samsonite luggage, Spode china, Madame Alexander ...Read more

Way We Were: Mining memories still strong for former Coal Board worker Jim Worgan
Stoke Sentinel, August 28th

NORTH Staffordshire is, of course, globally renowned for its pottery industry, but the fine wares of Royal Doulton, Spode and others could not have flourished internationally without other key trades. From the basket weavers who made the crates to...Read more

Zacks Lowers Tuesday Morning to Strong Sell (TUES)
Dakota Financial News, August 25th

Lauren bed linens, Waterman pens, Limoges hand-decorated boxes, Steinbach collectible nutcrackers, Steiff stuffed animals, Royal Dalton china and giftware, Farberware cookware, Martex bathtowels, Samsonite luggage, Spode china, Madame Alexander ...Read more

Tuesday Morning Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks (TUES)
Dakota Financial News, August 20th

Lauren bed linens, Waterman pens, Limoges hand-decorated boxes, Steinbach collectible nutcrackers, Steiff stuffed animals, Royal Dalton china and giftware, Farberware cookware, Martex bathtowels, Samsonite luggage, Spode china, Madame Alexander ...Read more

Four decor ideas for the dog days of summer
SunHerald.com, August 13th

When Spode came out with a line of transferware dishes that depicted hunting dogs, I fell in love. These richly colored pieces are ... Do you have a pretty container in your china cabinet you can fill with dog food or treats? Apothecary jars are...Read more

STYLE AT HOME: 4 dog decor ideas for the dog days of summer
Duluth News Tribune, August 10th

When Spode came out with a line of transferware dishes that depicted hunting dogs, I fell in love. These richly colored pieces are ... Do you have a pretty container in your china cabinet you can fill with dog food or treats? Apothecary jars are...Read more