29 October 2014

Spode and Leaves

The autumn colours where I live are so beautiful this year. I wondered if there was a Spode connection to this season. Of course there is! I have already written a post Spode and Autumn which you can visit here. It relates specifically to a Spode pattern called Autumn.

But there are more leafy connections. The most relevant to the autumn season is probably the pattern Fallen Leaves. This was registered as a design with the British Patent office in 1919 and a version on earthenware has pattern number 2/7613 which was introduced in about 1922. Look closely and you will also see butterflies amongst the fallen leaves. This pattern is printed and then hand coloured. A version produced on bone china has pattern number R6869 and was first recorded in about 1919.
Salad bowl, Fallen Leaves, pattern 2/7613 c1922
Fallen Leaves bowl's backstamp
The backstamp to this bowl has the Spode company mark, the pattern number, just visible painted in blue, and also the addition of a special mark Fishmonger's Company. Spode produced special commissions from the very start of its existence in the late 1700s to about 2006. It was an important part of its business. The great livery companies of the City of London were amongst Spode's most important customers. Some continued to purchase wares of the finest quality from Spode for their dinner services, tea and coffee wares etc for over 200 years.

The Fishmongers' Company was one of Spode's customers - note the Spode engravers get the apostrophe in the wrong place in the engraving for this backstamp. You can find out more about The Fishmongers' Company here.
Leaf-shaped dish, and mould (left). Note the vein detailing
There are so many 'Spode leaves' connections that this blogpost would be never ending. There are pickle leaves produced in the late 1700s into the 1800s and revived in the mid-20th century (more often then as an ashtray not for pickle!) There are leaf-shaped dishes of all shapes and sizes decorated in every possible way - printed, painted and moulded. There are cabbage patterns and shapes - you can find out about those here and also on my Spode ABC under S for Savoy. There are ferns and foliage; sprigs and sprays; oriental style and English style. In fact you may find yourself looking for leaves of all sorts next time you look at an old pot...
Garden Pots 1881
Dessert Ware 1881
Ewer from a toilet set, pattern 3000 c1820
Dessert plate, handpainted, pattern 286 c1802
Unexpected back of pattern 286 in Chinese porcelain style, c1802
Dessert plate, bone china, Exeter shape, 1949

The Exeter shape dessert plate illustrated here features a study of two New Zealand ferns, Polypodium cunninghamii and Pteris tremula, painted by Roy Trigg. It is from a beautiful and very well-researched design for a service of dessert ware. Each item depicted two ferns. It was commissioned by the Government of New Zealand in 1949 for the planned  Royal Tour by their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth which was sadly cancelled owing to the King's ill health. The design has pattern number Y7071.

...and finally bringing us (almost) up to date...a modern bone china pattern from the last years of the Spode factory called New England comprising different leaf shaped items to 'mix and match'. The design was based on Spode archive material researched by me!
Cup and saucer in leaf shapes, New England pattern c2003