05 December 2016

Spode, Christmas Tree and New Information

As Spode's iconic 20th Century pattern, Christmas Tree, is one of the most commercially successful patterns ever produced by the company I always try to write something about it at this time of year.

I have already written a lot about Spode & Christmas. The subject even has its own page on this blog - click here>.
Plate, Christmas Tree, pattern number S2133 1939
So I do wonder sometimes if I am going to find anything else to say but that reckons without my dear readers. Thank you to those who have sent me information and images to add to the story.

This time I am indebted to Paul Hanson of Philadelphia who not only has given me new information about Spode's Christmas Tree pattern but has also shared details of a delightful Victorian Christmas plate. The latter is worthy of its own blog post which I will do at a later date.

What's new about the history of Christmas Tree pattern?

It was always thought that, although there was no documentary evidence, after the initial introduction of the pattern in 1938, the inscription on the reverse 'Wishing You a Merry Christmas' usually followed by the date, was omitted.

This is part of what I wrote in 2010 on this blog:

"After the revision of the design a ten inch plate was produced with the wording 'Wishing You a Merry Christmas 1938' printed on the back of the plate. The salesmen were swamped with orders. The inscription was discontinued after 1938 but over the following years Christmas Tree pattern developed into whole table services and extra serving pieces." Click here for the full 2010 blog post.

However Paul Hanson, a collector of Christmas Tree pattern, has a plate with 'Wishing You a Merry Christmas 1939' on the back.
Backstamp with 1939 greeting, the factory mark &the pattern number
Whether this was a special commission from Spode for the American agent or for an individual customer is not known. But I love it when new information comes to my attention as it all adds to the history of Spode patterns, designs, shapes and customers, the full story of which was rarely recorded in its minutiae at the factory.

I have also seen a backstamp on a plate in this design which includes the greeting but the date omitted. This was on a plate which had an impressed datemark for 1940 or 1941. The datemark was hard to decipher.
Backstamp on a Christmas Tree plate dated 1940 or 1941
Thanks to Paul Hanson and other collectors for sharing their knowledge and images.
Detail of Christmas Tree pattern with Santa, toys & baubles