English Porcelain Factories - Coatport, Spode


This Shropshire factory, known first as Coalbrookdale, was started by John Rose in 1796, and three years later merged with the nearby Caughley works. Some of its best-known productions are heavily encrusted with flowers in relief; inkstands, vases, dishes and even teapots were decorated in this manner. The Coalport factory made china of good quality throughout the nineteenth century, and some of its imitations of early Sevres were good enough to deceive experts for many years. Copies of Chelsea, including the famous goat-and-bee jug, are slightly less dangerous but sometimes catch people off their guard. After many vicissitudes the factory was removed to Staffordshire. Modern pieces bear a mark incorporating the date 1750, which leads many owners into thinking that they were made in that year.


Josiah Spode carried on a pottery started by his father of the same name, and in or about 1800 began to make porcelain. Josiah Spode II is credited with the introduction and popularization of bone china, which shortly became the standard ware for most English factories. Spode's porcelain was of excellent quality, but heavily decorated and gilt; much use was made of a dark underglaze blue, an effective background for elaborate tracery in gold.

The business eventually came into the ownership of the partner of Josiah Spode III, William Taylor Copeland, later became Cope-land and Garrett, and is continued today as Copeland's by direct descendants. The firm is said to have been the first to introduce the off-white smooth biscuit ware known as Parian, from its resemblance to the marble of Paros, an island in the Aegean Sea, used by the ancient Greeks. The Parian china was used to make statuettes after the work of contemporary sculptors, and was extremely popular. Examples were shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851, and manufacture continued for many years after that date. Many pieces bear the word 'SPODE', painted, printed or impressed.

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