We are currently building a Gazetteer about the engravers, printers, and makers of ceramics mentioned in this online exhibition. Click on the first letter of the surname you are looking for, if the name isn't in the list, check back again we will be updating this section regularly.


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Spode (Maker)

Printer-friendly version

spodeIn 1776  Josiah Spode became the owner of a pottery factory in the town of Stoke-upon-Trent,Staffordshire. In 1797 he was succeeded by his son Josiah II. When he died in 1827,  his son Josiah Spode III inherited the business but died suddenly two years later there was no heir old enough to take charge of the business and in 1833 it passed into the hands of two men who had a long association with the company, William Copeland and Thomas Garret, by 1847 the company had passed completely into the hands of the Copeland family.

Blue printed earthenware
Josiah Spode I was the first potter to commercially produce underglaze blue printed earthenware
 which was introduced in about1784-85. A combination of technology and artistic talent had Spode producing the first underglaze blue-printed earthenware in Stoke-upon-Trent by 1785.  The early Chinese-style blue printed patterns such as “Buffalo” and “Mandarin” of the 1780s, “Willow” and “Forest Landscape” of the 1790s gradually gave way to new fashions.  In 1806 Spode introduced both “Bamboo” and “Greek” patterns. By the 1810s western topographical views were also popular – “Rome” appeared  in 1811,  “Indian Sporting” by 1815 and “Blue Italian” in 1816. Pottery fashions constantly change.  Many of those new designs last only a few years, but several of the patterns Josiah Spode I and II introduced remained popular into the present century. for more information click here

Bat printed bone china
It seems likely that Josiah Spode I was experimenting with bone ash as an ingredient in porcelain making before his sudden death in 1797.  A year earlier, in 1796, Spode I had invoiced William Tatton for  “Queensware” and “English China.” Perhaps he had begun to discover  a workable formula. On Spode II’s return to the Staffordshire pottery he continued his father’s work,  by 1800  he was marketing bone china. One of the most characteristic decorations of Spode bone china also was the   delicate, subtle grey prints applied over the glaze using the bat printing method.  

For more information on Spode ceramics click here


For printed wares by Spode click here