13 May 2015

Spode and Cracked Ice and Prunus

Barrel Scent Jar in Cracked Ice and Prunus pattern c1821
Spode's early 19th century pattern Cracked Ice and Prunus was derived from an 18th century Chinese porcelain design. The design represents the coming of spring. The elements of the design show cherry blossom petals (prunus) falling on to the background of thawing ice.
To the left of the Barrel Scent Jar is a covered dish in Chinese porcelain
The earliest record of the design in the Spode pattern books, in the Spode archive, is pattern number 3667 first recorded in about 1821. The pattern was printed in underglaze blue in an all-over design known as a sheet pattern. It is known on plain shapes and on moulded edge pieces such as Gadroon shape. Early examples can be found in earthenware but the design was also used on stone china which Spode II developed to match Chinese export porcelain. Dinner and some teawares were produced; decorative and unusual shapes are rarely seen at this period in the early 1800s.
Specially commissioned service printed & hand coloured border, central coat of arms for Smallpeace of Whitby, c1830s
The design was popular during the Spode period up to 1833 and was produced later by Copeland & Garrett (the name of the company from 1833-1847). In the early 1900s the pattern was revived as rim decoration with plain centres, for example on Camilla shape with pattern number 2/6663. It was also combined with various other patterns which were used as the centre design such as Peacock, Trophies, Chinese Figures and Vienna Bird.
Tableware from 1938 earthenware catalogue
Trophies Marble on Gadroon shape, pattern B111 c 1826
The pattern was produced on both bone china and earthenware in the 20th century. There were various other versions with the 'cracks' gilded or the prunus painted. A toilet ware set was produced on the elegant Queen Anne shape. In one form or another it was in almost continuous production through to the 1930s.

The names Marble and Mosaic have also been used for the design and are thought to refer to the use of the background of Cracked Ice without the prunus blossom. A version of Tumbledown Dick pattern uses Marble or Mosaic as the background to the bird and foliage design and a variant of Willis pattern has it as the rim border decoration.
Tumbledown Dick pattern on Marble sheet c1823 (detail)