|Part toy teaset & tray, pattern 3157, c1821|
To give you some idea of size of this toy set, the tray itself is about the size of the postcard! This set, in pattern number 3157, is fully handpainted and gilded in proportion to its tiny size. Just look at the lovely gilding on the teapot spout too. The design is adapted from the pattern designed for full-size teawares recorded in the Spode pattern book. These toys could be marked in a similar way to full-sized pieces often a red, painted pattern number and/or Spode. Usually the most expensive patterns were selected for the toy designs such as pattern number 1166.
|Spode Shape Book, 1820|
Spode's toys were usually of very high quality. They were made of Spode's finest bone china and decorated in the most expensive patterns, usually fully handpainted and gilded and almost always in proportion to the full-sized pieces they imitated. It is thought that toys were sold to or given as presents to ladies of wealth rather than made as playthings. They were more likely to be kept carefully and displayed as a sign of good taste as well as of wealth. These were not toys as we would interpret the word today. On the other hand I suspect if you were of great wealth then perhaps you wouldn't mind letting your children play with these exquisite little objects.
|Basket, pattern 4054, c1825|
|Toy ewer and basin, pattern 3993, c1824|
|Miniature cup & saucer, c1910|
|Miniature Kettle from the Spode's Gems range|
Toys and miniatures were made by the Spode company over a period of 200 years or so and whatever date and style they are they do have great charm.