Iconic Spode China Patterns - Our Top 5

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Spode, is a name synonymous with exquisite ceramics and fine bone china, and has a rich heritage spanning over two centuries. Spode has evolved into a global brand from its humble beginnings as a family business in the heart of England's pottery industry. We explore the history of Spode and 5 of its most iconic Spode china patterns: Blue Italian, Christmas Tree, Woodland, Fleur de Lys Gold, and Stafford Flowers, each with its own unique story and design.

The Birth of Spode

Spode was founded by Josiah Spode in 1770 in Stoke-on-Trent, England, a region renowned for its pottery industry. Josiah Spode was an innovative potter and a skilled businessman. He quickly established a reputation for producing high-quality ceramics. One of his significant contributions to the pottery industry was the development of the formula for fine bone china. This new type of porcelain contained bone ash, which made it stronger, whiter, and more translucent than traditional porcelain.

Continuing his father's legacy, Josiah Spode II played a pivotal role in the success of the company. He perfected the bone china formula and introduced the revolutionary blue underglaze printing technique. This technique, which allowed intricate designs to be transferred onto ceramics, became a hallmark of Spode's products, setting them apart in the industry.

Josiah Spode II's blue underglaze printing technique involved transferring engravings onto the ceramics before firing them. This process allowed for more detailed and consistent patterns than hand-painting, significantly enhancing the products' aesthetic appeal.

Exploring Iconic Spode China Patterns

Over the years, Spode has introduced numerous patterns that have become cherished by collectors and enthusiasts. Each pattern is a testament to the brand's rich heritage and the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into every piece. While there are many gorgeous patterns, there are our top 5 iconic Spode patterns, each with a unique story and a reflection of the artistry and craftsmanship that define the Spode brand.

Blue Italian

Introduced in 1816, the Blue Italian  Spode china pattern is perhaps the most iconic of all Spode patterns. The design features a picturesque Italianate scene surrounded by an intricate floral border. The pattern's rich cobalt blue colour and delicate detailing have made it a favourite among collectors for over two centuries.

The inspiration for Blue Italian came from the grand tours of Europe that were popular among the British aristocracy in the 18th and 19th centuries. These tours often included visits to Italy, where travellers would marvel at the classical ruins, beautiful landscapes, and exquisite art. The scenic views and classical architecture captured in the design evoke the charm and elegance of the Italian countryside. The pastoral scenes often feature idyllic landscapes with ruins, temples, and figures dressed in classical attire, all meticulously detailed.

Blue Italian, introduced in 1816, has remained in continuous production, a testament to its timeless appeal and enduring popularity. This pattern's versatility makes it suitable for both everyday use and special occasions, adding a touch of elegance to any meal. Collectors value Blue Italian for its beauty and historical significance. It was one of the first patterns to use the blue underglaze printing technique, perfected by Josiah Spode II. This enduring popularity is a testament to the lasting legacy of Spode.

Christmas Tree

The Christmas Tree Spode china pattern, introduced in 1938, is a beloved holiday classic. The design features a beautifully decorated Christmas tree topped with a Santa Claus figure, surrounded by gifts and ornaments. The festive colours and cheerful imagery have made it a staple of holiday table settings for generations.

The Christmas Tree pattern was created by Harold Holdway, a Spode designer who wanted to create a pattern specifically for the American market. His whimsical and festive design captured the spirit of Christmas and quickly became a hit. Holdway's original design included Santa Claus atop the tree, a distinctive feature that set it apart from other Christmas-themed patterns. Interestingly, Holdway had never seen a decorated Christmas tree when he designed the pattern, relying instead on descriptions and illustrations.

The success of the Christmas Tree pattern can be attributed to its nostalgic charm and universal appeal. It evokes the joy and warmth of the holiday season, making it a cherished addition to many families' holiday traditions. Over the years, Spode has expanded the Christmas Tree collection to include a wide range of items, from dinnerware to ornaments, ensuring that the festive spirit can be celebrated throughout the home.

Today, Christmas Tree is one of Spode's best-selling patterns, and it continues to bring joy to holiday celebrations around the world. Collectors eagerly anticipate new additions to the collection each year, making it a dynamic and ever-evolving series.


Introduced in 1990, the Spode china pattern, Woodland, celebrates the beauty of the British countryside. The design features various game animals, such as pheasants, deer, and rabbits, set against a backdrop of scenic landscapes. The rich colours and detailed illustrations make this pattern a favourite among nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The Woodland pattern was inspired by the traditional game plates that were popular in the 19th century. These plates were often used during hunting season and featured detailed depictions of game animals. Spode's Woodland pattern captures the essence of these traditional designs while adding a modern touch. Each piece in the Woodland collection showcases a different animal, depicted with lifelike accuracy and surrounded by an intricate floral border.

Woodland has become a popular choice for both casual and formal dining settings. Its rustic charm and detailed artwork make it perfect for country homes and nature-themed decor. The pattern also appeals to collectors, who appreciate the skill and artistry involved in creating such detailed and lifelike illustrations. Spode has expanded the Woodland collection over the years, adding new animals and scenes to keep the pattern fresh and exciting for collectors.

Fleur de Lys Gold

Fleur de Lys Gold is a Spode china pattern that exudes luxury and sophistication. Introduced in the early 20th century, this design features the classic fleur de lys motif rendered in elegant gold against a pristine white background. The pattern's intricate detailing and lavish use of gold make it a standout choice for formal occasions and special celebrations.

The fleur de lys is a symbol with a rich history, often associated with French royalty and nobility. Its three-petaled design is thought to represent purity, light, and perfection. Spode's interpretation of this classic motif reflects the brand's commitment to blending tradition with innovation. The Fleur de Lys Gold pattern showcases the meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail that have become hallmarks of Spode's products.

Each piece in the Fleur de Lys Gold collection is hand-decorated with delicate gold accents, adding a touch of opulence to any table setting. The pattern's timeless elegance makes it a favourite for weddings, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Collectors value Fleur de Lys Gold for its beauty and connection to a rich heritage of luxury and refinement.

Stafford Flowers

The Stafford Flowers pattern celebrates floral beauty. Introduced in the early 19th century, this design features a variety of hand-painted flowers in vibrant colours. Each piece showcases a different arrangement of blooms, creating a charming and diverse collection.

Stafford Flowers was inspired by the lush gardens and botanical illustrations popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. The pattern captures the delicate beauty of these flowers, with each petal and leaf rendered in exquisite detail. Stafford Flowers showcases Spode's mastery of hand-painting techniques, with each piece requiring the skill and precision of a talented artist.

The Stafford Flowers pattern's bright colours and intricate designs make it a favourite for spring and summer table settings. Its cheerful and vibrant aesthetic brings a touch of nature's beauty indoors, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Collectors appreciate the uniqueness of each piece in the Stafford Flowers collection, as the hand-painted designs ensure that no two pieces are exactly alike.

Iconic Spode China Patterns - Final Thoughts

Spode's rich history and commitment to quality have made it a beloved name in the world of fine china and ceramics. From its innovative beginnings in Stoke-on-Trent to its global recognition today, Spode has consistently produced beautiful, high-quality products.

 Spode China Pattern at Around the Block

Are you a fan of Spode? Are you looking to start or add to a collection? At Around the Block Consignment in Toronto, you can explore an impressive array of previously owned Spode china that will elevate your collection or make a thoughtful and unique gift for someone special. Our selection of preowned fine china, which includes esteemed brands like Wedgwood, Royal Crown Derby, Aynsley, Royal Albert, and more, offers the perfect blend of elegance and tradition for your dining experiences. Visit us online to see a small selection of our vast inventory, or visit us in person to find your new favourite china pattern today. 

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