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Spode

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Spode is a well-known English brand of pottery and homewares produced by the company of the same name which is based in Stoke-on-Trent.Spode is a Stoke-on-Trent based pottery company that was founded by Josiah Spode (1733–1797) in 1770. Josiah Spode earned renown for perfecting under-glaze blue transfer printing in 1783–1784 – a development that led to the launch in 1816 of Spode’s Blue Italian range which has remained in production ever since.

Josiah Spode is also often credited with developing a successful formula for fine bone china. Whether this is true or not, his son, Josiah Spode II, was certainly responsible for the successful marketing of English bone china.

Today Spode is owned by Portmeirion Group, a pottery and homewares company based in Stoke-on-Trent. Many items in Spode’s Blue Italian and Woodland ranges are made at Portmeirion Group’s factory in Stoke-on-Trent.Josiah Spode is known to have worked for Thomas Whieldon from the age of 16 until he was 21. He then worked in a number of partnerships until he went into business for himself, renting a small potworks in the town of Stoke-on-Trent in 1767; in 1776 he completed the purchase of what became the Spode factory until 2008. His early products comprised earthenwares such as creamware (a fine cream-coloured earthenware) and pearlware (a fine earthenware with a bluish glaze) as well as a range of stonewares including black basalt, caneware, and jasper which had been popularised by Josiah Wedgwood. The history and products of the Spode factory have inspired generations of historians and collectors, and a useful interactive online exhibition was launched in October 2010.


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