21 November 2015

Spode and a Teapot

Stoneware teapot, grey 1920s
This teapot was made in the 1920s and is from the Spode factory under the ownership of W. T. Copeland & Sons. It is made from stoneware - a pottery body which is hard, vitreous and opaque. Stonewares can be made in many different colours. This one is grey; although I think it sometimes looks like a pale blue-green. The shape of the teapot is referred to as number S1857 which is illustrated on a catalogue page and decorated in a different way - sprigging - in a catalogue of about 1900.
Catalogue page, S1857 right, 2nd row, c1900
I love the decorative detail on my teapot which is produced by a technique called rouletting, using a tool called a roulette.... but is nothing to do with gambling.

The roulette is a hand tool. It has a small decorative metal wheel attached to a wooden handle. Different patterns and different widths were available to produce a variety of decorative beads. A combination of designs was often used together. The roulette was pressed into the 'green', or leather hard, clay as the pot was rotated. This is called 'running a bead'. (An illustration of the process can be found in 'Manufacturing Processes of Tableware during the Eighteenth & Nineteenth Centuries' by Robert Copeland, page 110. Click HERE> for full details on my booklist.)
Many years ago whilst I was curator at Gladstone Pottery Museum, I accepted a gift of rouletting tools into the collection. I had never seen them before and thought they were rather beautiful. I was delighted to find some rouletting tools on the excellent website Staffordshire Past Track. Even more delighted to find that they were the very same tools I had received as I recognised the collection number done in my writing!
Teapot base with backstamps, printed and impressed
There is 1 backstamp on the teapot lid and 3 backstamps on the teapot base. The one on the lid is simply part of the printed backstamp which is used on the base. The full mark would not have fitted on the lid.

On the base there is a factory mark printed in brown which was used from about 1920 to 1957. This teapot is from the 1920s. Another factory mark which is impressed; and a 30 which indicates the size of the piece. This teapot was made in about 4 sizes. According to the 1900 catalogue size 30 held a pint and half. I just tested it and it does.
Teapot lid with backstamp, printed in brown.
You can find more rouletted patterns HERE> on my Sprigged Stoneware page; and HERE> on wares from the early 1800s decorated in pattern 1166.