Saturday, December 29, 2012

Antiques 101: SPODE

Dinner Plate in the Blue Room Garden Collection(mixed Color) pattern by Spode China
Spode, "Jasmine, Turquoise and Black"

Spode is a brand of ceramics and fine bone china based in Stoke on Trent, England, founded in 1767. That means, yes, Grandmas have been collecting Spode since the mid to late 1700s.  Josiah Spode was renowned for his technique of blue transferware, underglaze pottery.  My mother and grandmother both LOVED the Blue Willow Spode pattern, possibly the most well know and most popular of them all. They have countless patterns, popular for the past 250 years.
But I think there is a SPODE pattern for just about anyone.  There are countless colors, patterns and motifs of SPODE china. The originals are sought after, but they have new reproductions as well as new patterns. Interestingly, SPODE today is owned by the Portmerion Group (Portmerion being the manufacturer of another example of highly collected pottery).

Some collectible notes: Anything after 1833 is considered "Late SPODE".  The company changed hands at this time and for collectors that is a designation.  You can find old and new SPODE just about anywhere; it is typically at flea markets and antique shops, yard sales, ebay.  Its popularity has continued through the ages, so popular still that it is currently sold at Amazon, Macy's, Nieman Marcus, Horchow and don't be surprised if you see a SPODE Christmas pattern even at TJ Maxx.

If you love a pattern and see it at TJ Maxx, good for you, you have a special piece and you can call it an heirloom.
If you're thinking of collecting SPODE check out this little SPODE starter roundup. The new "Archive Collection" is a series of reproductions of popular antique patterns.  The back of the place will clearly state is an "Archive Collection" piece. Therefore, if you are buying ANYTHING on line, you should always ask to have a picture of the back of the plate for reference.  This could make a difference of paying $35 for an Archive Collection set as apposed to $200+ for an original set. (see below for examples).

Here are the markings on the back of the plates/dish that will tell you when your piece was produced.
Spode 1.JPG
Spode 3.JPG

The Look:
Like I said, there are COUNTLESS patterns, colors and motifs.  Here are just a few.

One of the earliest Spode patterns, this fluted tea cup,  in "Two Figures" pattern,  1785-1795
1815 Spode "Tower Pattern"
Early 19th Century English Regency Spode Platter, handpainted enamels in the Peacock Pattern,
valued at $1250.00
A Large Blue Willow Deep Spode Platter, Early 20th Century
Spode "Blue Willow" Platter

north carolina interior designer kathryn greeley presents spode holiday china
 Spode "Indian Tree Orange"
Jade and Gold, Spode Copeland's, 1891-1900

Victorian Aesthetic Movement Brown Turquoise Transferware Plate Spode W T Copeland Birds Nest Butterfly Daisies and Wildflowers
Spode Victorian Aesthetic Movement ,"Butterflies and Daisies" Chocolate Brown, robins egg blue, yellow
Copeland  Spode Canadian Centennial Alberta
Spode Canadian Centenial "Alberta"

Gray and silver "Coral", 1964

spode nectar
One of the recently manufactered patterns, Spode "Nectar", now discontinued and sure to be a collector's item

spode woodland
Spode "Woodland Theme: Winter Elk"
Spode Christmas Tree Pattern (I love the mistletoe and holly circling the inside of the cup and the saucer).
{If you don't know the story of the Spode Christmas tree, it is a pretty cute one. In the 1930s, one of the designers for the British ceramic company's dinnerware was asked to create a Christmas tree design. The man had never seen an American Christmas tree before and at first drew the tree with presents hanging off the branches! Upon learning that this was not how the presents were placed, he moved them to their traditional spot underneath the tree and drew the tree with decorations of ornaments.  He also didn't know what trees were topped with, hence the Santa Claus figurine drawn atop the tree where a star or angel would normally go.}

I've always wanted to travel to take a look at the Spode Museum's pattern book.  You can visit their factory and museum and take a peek into Spode's amazing living history. 
Here is my favorite! Maybe you recognize the one below from my last post about coconut cupcakes?!
Spode "Jasmine, Mint and Brown"

XXXOOO.

2 comments:

  1. Love the story about the Christmas Spode - especially why Santa is on the tree! My mom has over time given me 12 place settings plus some serving pieces and glasses through the years of the Christmas Spode.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How special to have them as a gift from your mom, Jamie. Truly an heirloom! Hope you had a Merry Christmas and got to use some of your Spode :) My mom has a few of the Christmas pieces, too. Timeless and lovely!

    ReplyDelete