BRIEF HISTORY OF SPODE
A plate in the Woodland pattern showing pheasants. This pattern was originally produced in the 1980s and like many classic Spode patterns has evolved from earlier patterns. Since it was first introduced a large variety of woodland creatures has been portrayed, from game birds, to deer and rabbits and birds of prey.
Above, a plate from a new pattern, Delamere Rural, similar to Woodland, but printed in pale grey, emulating the bat printed wares produced by Spode in the early 1800s.
Below, another new pattern, Delemere Lakeside, again with the border design from Woodland but printed in pale blue.
The Present Day
In April 2009 the Spode brand was acquired by Portmeirion Group PLC, whose factory in Stoke is a short walk from the original Spode works. Much of the production of Spode wares which had been outsourced to the Far East was returned to the UK and the quality of the items produced returned to the high levels it had been prior to outsourcing.
Some of the most popular patterns from the pre-2008 days continue in production: Blue Italian, Woodland, Christmas Tree and the Blue Room Series. New patterns, such as Delamere Bouquet, Delamere Lakeside and Delamere Rural have also been designed featuring elements taken from earlier Spode designs in the same way that many Spode patterns have evolved over the centuries.
A Blue Italian pattern teacup and saucer from the first production run back in the UK in 2009. The pattern was first produced in 1816 and has been used to decorate almost every conceivable household object. In 1989 a late 17th century pen and wash drawing by an unknown artist thought to be the inspiration for the Italian pattern was purchased for the Spode Museum Trust Collection.
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A plate from the Blue Room Series of reproductions of patterns first produced by Spode in the early 1800s. This plate shows one of the Caramanian patterns, dating from c.1809.
Glen Lodge is a contempory pattern by Spode. The pattern includes several designs based on a Highland theme with either a tartan border as the plate above or gold coloured fleur de lys border as seen below. The designs features pheasants and stags.