Famous Potters of Stoke-on-Trent

Other relevant links

Josiah Spode II

While his father (Josiah Spode I) ran and developed the pottery works in Stoke Josiah Spode II trained as a potter and ran the firm's warehouse in London.

Spode II led the development of bone china, which became the standard English porcelain body from about 1800 onwards.

Josiah Spode II, 17541827, took over the pottery factory from his father in 1797. He is credited with having introduced feldspar into Spode ware and for producing pottery of a high technical excellence.

Under his direction the blue and white ware was noted for the novelty of its designs; these included genre scenes of an exotic character, such as tiger hunting in India.

The inclusion of bone ash in porcelain had long been known to have a stabilizing effect during firing: small proportions had been used at Bow as early as 1748 and subsequently at many factories both in England and on the Continent. True bone china was produced by mixing as much as 50 per cent bone ash to the china clay and china stone porcelain mixture. The first porcelain of this type may have been produced by James Neale of Hanley in the 1780s, but Josiah Spode II developed and marketed bone china with outstanding success. The lead-glazed body was not only fine, white, and translucent, but also cheap to produce and eminently attractive to the buying public. Within a few years, the majority of porcelain manufacturers were following his lead in making bone china.

Spode remained at the forefront of bone china and stone china production until 1833, when the factory was acquired by William Taylor Copeland and Thomas Garrett: it remained under their names until 1847, when Copeland became the sole owner.


Other relevant links

Josiah Spode I
Spode ware
Spode's pottery in Stoke - pictures
Identifying marks on Spode ware
Identifying marks on Copeland & Garrett ware

Spode's own Internet site: www.spode.co.uk


John Bedford, Old Spode China (1969);
L. R. Whiter, Spode: A History of the Family, Factory and Wares from 1733 to 1833 (1970).



questions / comments? email: Steve Birks