20 February 2017

Spode and a Coffee Cup & Saucer

Spode coffee cup, earthenware, London shape Cracked Ice and Prunus c1821
Cracked Ice and Prunus is the name of a pattern produced by Spode in the early 1800s. It was derived from an 18th century Chinese porcelain design. The earliest pieces from Spode were probably those transfer printed, underglaze, in one colour - blue.
Detail of Spode's pattern, transfer printed in blue c1821
The oldest written record of this pattern from Spode was first detailed in about 1821. The pattern books in the Spode archive record several versions of this design - different colour combinations, a bit of gilding, sometimes not as an 'all-over' design, or sheet pattern, but simply as a border.

The coffee cup and saucer illustrated here is printed in grey and then hand coloured in blue. It was found in a charity (thrift) shop by Andrew Goff from the USA. He kindly provided me with the photos. And we both love it!

I think the soft colour combination is very elegant and, combined with Spode's very beautifully-proportioned London shape, makes for a gorgeous piece.
Backstamps on coffee cup
The only other piece I have seen in this colourway is elsewhere on this, my very my own blog! I first wrote about the pattern Cracked Ice and Prunus for a blog post in May 2015. The design represents the coming of spring. The elements of the design show cherry blossom petals (prunus) falling on to the background of thawing ice.
Saucer to the coffee cup
Backstamps on saucer
The backstamps show the Spode company name which, in this style, was used up to 1833; a workman's mark for the printing team; a workman's mark for the person who painted the blue; and, in the case of the saucer, an impressed 4 which would have indicated which workman made the piece from the clay.

You can find more about Spode's Cracked Ice and Prunus pattern history and more images by clicking here>.
Barrel Scent Jar with a pierced cover over a (not visible) flat lid to hold pot pourri c1821