This large platter was purchased by our founder and CEO, Bob Page, on a buying trip in Pasadena, CA. Intrigued by the beauty and very large size of this piece (22 inches long!), and the distinctive Gadroon shape that was used in its production, Bob brought it to Replacements and had our research department give it the full treatment. Our resourceful researchers used the Spode backstamp inscribed on the back of the platter to determine that it was produced in limited quantities in 1956. In 1956, the platter retailed for approximately $124, a sizable amount of money for the time. The platter was produced to accompany a set of 12 game bird plates. Thus far, we have been unable to locate the twelve plates that were made to accompany this platter, but we are looking, and we are tenacious (as many of you know)!
Our passion for Spode China is similar to that of the company’s founder, Josiah Spode I, the son of a pauper who became a business and tableware visionary. Late in the eighteenth century, chinaware from the Orient was becoming more and more scarce. Coupled with the fact that British revenue from the highly unpopular tax on tea was significantly reduced, Britain needed new sources for revenue, and dinnerware! Josiah Spode answered the call. Josiah Spode I apprenticed, at the age of 16, to master potter Thomas Whieldon. Remaining with Whieldon until his 21st year, Spode learned much about pottery production and design; however, it was not until 1780 that Josiah Spode opened the doors to his own porcelain factory. The Spode factory, under the careful guidance of Josiah, was responsible for two of the most important breakthroughs in English ceramics. The first was the formula for bone china that is still used today. The second, even more important achievement was that of perfecting the "underglaze" decorating process for earthenware. This process is also still in use today. Using this new process, many intricate designs could be applied to pieces that would last for years without chipping, scratching, or fading. Word spread rapidly of Spode's beautiful dinnerware designs and durable underglaze prints. Reaching as far as the settlers in the “New World,” Spode dinnerware reminded the settlers of a proud heritage that was based, in many ways, in pottery. Josiah Spode II would take control of the company upon his father's death in 1797. The tradition continued with Josiah Spode III. Following a tragic accident in 1829 that claimed the life of Josiah III, the business was sold and eventually ended up in the hands of the Copeland family where it remained (under the Copeland banner) until the mid-sixties. After merging with Royal Worcester to form Royal Worcester Spode, the Spode name was resurrected in 1970 to celebrate the company's 200th anniversary.
Replacements is always looking to acquire new and interesting pieces for our inventory as well as our museum. If you have pieces that you would like to sell to Replacements, then please call us at 1-800-737-5223. Our purchasing department is open from 8am to 9pm ET, seven days a week. Click here to read an interesting history of the Spode Co. If you are looking for other game bird patterns, then you may want to try Spode’s Tower Pink Game Birds or Lynn Chase’s Winter Game Bird .