01 May 2020

Spode and May

Plate, Fruit and Flowers pattern c1826
So why am I blogging about and showing an image of a pattern called Fruit and Flowers when the title of this post is Spode and May?

Read on...

Fruit and Flowers pattern has its first record in a pattern book in the B Book where it is recorded as pattern number B139. This is thought to date from c1826. It is possible B139 had extra colour added to the print but the record is not clear. It is likely that the introduction of a plain print i.e. no added colour was around this date too. This is what is seen in the picture of a plate, above, where it is printed underglaze in blue.

If you look at the design you tend to focus on the centre featuring the vase but the fruit and flowers are in the border design.
Border detail
The pattern remained popular throughout the 19th century. The name change came at the end of the 1800s. On 14th December 1892 the original Fruit and Flowers pattern was registered with the British Patent Office under the name of May. It had the registered number 204192. Some registration number records are now online on the National Archives website.

The pattern was also produced in the first half of the 20th century. It was later reintroduced as part of Spode's Blue Room Collection in the late 1990s as one of the Regency Dresser Plates as well as on an oval teapot in 1998. Many of Spode's old blue printed patterns and some of the old shapes from the early 1800s enjoyed a revival in the 1990s.
Backstamp, dated 2000
Oval teapot, May pattern 1998
Blue Room booklet, front 1990s
Blue Room booklet, back 1990s
The booklet about the Blue Room Collection was rather beautifully produced and the range was strongly marketed... although not everything included in the text was historically correct!

N.B. The name of this pattern can be confusing! The Fruit and Flowers name was also re-used to describe other patterns which were entirely different in design.

05 April 2020

Spode and April

It is April 2020 and the world is in the middle of a terrible pandemic of a coronavirus known as COVID-19.

But I am still blogging about Spode and will try to do a short post each month.

So, for the month of April what better than to choose April shape?

This was a fairly short-lived shape design. It was introduced in about 1964 and probably discontinued in the early 1970s or even before that.
Plate, Hamilton pattern c1964
Hamilton pattern is one of the best known on April shape. It has pattern number S3379 and was first introduced in 1964. It is on a two-tone earthenware made from the English Lavender and Imperial (ivory) bodies. The pattern was printed in black and coloured underglaze in blue and purple.
Cup, saucer & plate, Hamilton pattern
Backstamp on saucer
Backstamp on plate
April shape was developed from two other existing shapes: Gerrard shape flatware and Tean shape hollow ware.
Catalogue page, English Lavender, showing Gerrard & Tean shapes 1959
Teasets in Hamilton pattern were promoted as 'premium gifts' by the UK manufacturer of the washing-up liquid called Ola. The pattern has registered number 915427 which registered the design with the British Patent Office on 3rd March 1964. It is registered as a design for Colgate-Palmolive.

(There was also another pattern called Hamilton in the 1920s which was different from the 1964 version).
Barbecue pattern, Tricorn shape, pattern S3244 c1957
April shape sometimes replaced the modern looking Tricorn shape which sold well in the UK but not overseas. This happened, for example, in the more traditional Australian and New Zealand markets. The example shown here is for Barbecue pattern but on another round shape called Coupe shape.
Barbecue pattern on a round shape (sorry, black & white photo)