Few ceramic wares have aroused so much interest
and affection as Spode blue. Books are written about it, learned papers and ceramic
societies devoted to it and collectors throughout the world eagerly seek and treasure
For over 200 years, ever since Josiah Spode first perfected the process of blue underglaze
printing, Spode's original blue and white designs have become some of the most collectable
and sought after in the history of ceramics.
Today, using techniques and designs from a wealth of authentic engravings and moulds
carefully preserved in the Spode archives, many of these same designs and items are again
being produced to the delight of collectors and connoisseurs.
Its continuing appeal is not surprising. Because, apart from its intrinsic beauty, the
history of Spode blue is a fascinating story.
From poor beginnings, the young Josiah Spode soon proved his ability as an apprentice to
become one of the most skilled potters. He quickly demonstrated not only his unique
creativity, but also his acumen in recognising a market opportunity, with the development
that was to transform the pottery industry forever.
From 1773 the East India Company had begun to reduce their imports of chinaware, making it
difficult for families to obtain replacements and additions. Then in 1784, the enormous
tax on tea was dramatically reduced, significantly increasing the frequency and enjoyment
of tea drinking, which in turn, increased the demand for tea services and pots.
It was in 1784, that Josiah Spode I perfected the process of blue underglaze printing on
earthenware from hand-engraved copper plates. This not only assured his fame and the
future prosperity of his company, but was essential to the phenomenal growth of the
English tableware industry.
The Blue Room Collection
For many years the wonderful collection of antique blue printed
wares has given great pleasure to the thousands of visitors to Spode.
Now, using traditional techniques and designs from a wealth
of authentic engravings and moulds carefully preserved in the Spode
archives, the same original blue and white designs first produced in
the eighteenth century are being produced today, in addition to the Spode
blue dinnerware patterns which have been in continuous production since
the early 1800's.
Absolutely faithful to the Spode blue tradition, these will become treasured
heirlooms for future generations.
Blue Room PRICELIST
Initially, the patterns were reproductions of the Chinese porcelain designs,
firmly establishing the popularity of blue and white themes, but others soon followed,
including the earliest blue florals. Three original patterns from the period 1790 to 1820
- Blue Italian, Tower Blue and Willow - are still produced at Spode today.
These designs were not only popular in Britain, but were also being exported to the New
World. Evidently Spode blue was one of the early settlers' cherished reminders of home,
travelling across the great plains in covered wagons and adding a sophisticated touch to
the drawing rooms of New York and Boston.
Inspired by Spodes' success with blue transfer printing, others were quick to follow. But
Spode blue was and is, the original.