02 June 2012

Spode and Derby Day

Plate, (detail) 1847
It's Derby Day in June. This is an important day in the racing calendar which in 2012 was given added excitement as part of the celebrations for HM Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

I know what you are thinking: can there possibly be a Spode connection? Yes, there is. A great design which features Epsom Racecourse on Derby Day!

Here you can see the detail of the design from 1847 which shows the great skill of the Spode engravers. Produced at Spode under W. T. Copeland (operating as Copeland & Garrett) it features the crowds, most in top hats, watching the races in and around the extended stand at the new racecourse which I believe were laid out that year. It was also the year the first direct rail link reached the town.

It is fitting the design was produced at Spode under the ownership of W. T. Copeland as, amongst his many interests, he was a racehorse owner and breeder. One of his horses was called Prime Warden unashamedly celebrating the fact he served as Prime Warden of Goldsmiths' Company. I wonder if he had a horse running at Epsom that year?

The pattern was printed in green on earthenware with the pretty border design of Field Sports pattern.