|Trade Card, 1825 British Museum, Department of Prints & Drawings|
I have written about the Spode company's London business on this blog before, in a post about the company's showrooms. You can find it here: Spode and Showing Off. But there is more detail to discover about the London business with this trade card.
Josiah Spode II (1755-1827) set up Spode's London business in 1778. Josiah Spode II was the eldest son of the company's founder, Josiah Spode I (1733-1797).*
|Josiah Spode II (1755-1827)|
|Spode's Portugal Street premises|
By the date of this card, 1825, the business was called 'Spode, Copeland & Son'. I found this very interesting because of the style of the company name. Who exactly are these individuals involved with Spode's London business?
'Spode' is Josiah Spode II (1755-1827).
In 1825 he was back in Stoke running the manufactory and his eldest son, William Spode, had been running the London business with William Copeland. However William Spode had retired in 1811 - a wealthy young man - and Spode II had taken over his son's role in the partnership with William Copeland in 1812. It is Copeland who would have had most of the responsibility in London whilst Josiah Spode II concentrated on Stoke.
'Copeland' is the William Copeland (1765-1826) mentioned above, who had worked, from a young age, for Spode II in London, from about 1784.
He probably began as a traveller or salesman in tea - a perfect link to pottery and porcelain. He rose through the business to eventually become a partner and to be a trusted friend of the Spodes. From a humble background, he too became wealthy from his hard work which had led to success and respect in the business. He was ambitious and wealthy enough to eventually purchase the Leyton estate.
'Son' is William Taylor Copeland (1797-1868) who was the son of William Copeland mentioned above. William Taylor Copeland was admitted into the London business in 1824.
William Copeland (the father) died in January 1826. Following this Spode II and William Taylor Copeland entered into partnership in April 1826.
On the trade card you may also have noticed that the company is described as 'Porcelain, Earthenware and Glass Manufacturers'. Spode manufactured porcelain, now known as bone china, and earthenware but it is not thought they ever manufactured glass. This would have been bought in from a reputable manufacturer/supplier to sell on to their customers.
There is also the important fact that they were 'Porcelain, Earthenware and Glass Manufacturers TO THE KING'. Great marketing! This was HM George IV and the Spode company had also supplied him with wares of all sorts prior to his coronation whilst he was HRH Prince of Wales.
|Reverse of the trade card British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings|
I wonder what Spode goodies Mrs Chandos Leigh bought? Here are some of the wares which Spode produced in the 1820s which Mrs Chandos Leigh may have seen in London. They include designs for teawares (full size and miniature or 'toy'), dessert wares, dinner wares and ornamental wares.
|Part toy teaset & tray, pattern 3157, c1821|
|Dessert tureen stand, Felspar porcelain, pattern 4130 c1825|
|Incense Burner, bone china, pattern 3798, c1824|
|'New Shape French Jar', bone china, c1823|
|Dish, earthenware, Geranium pattern, transfer printed c1818|
|Jug, sprigged stoneware c1820|
*Many people seem to merge all the Josiah Spodes plus Spode, the company, into one - it can get very confusing... and to me seems a little unfair on the individuals.
Of course in their lifetimes the several Josiah Spodes were never known by the suffixes I, II, III & IV. For example they were referred to as Spode the elder and Spode the younger. On the death of Spode the elder this suffix would shift...
Please see my blogpost A Confusion of Spodes for a little more clarification on the various Josiah Spodes.
**The London Encyclopaedia
Thanks as ever to Robert Copeland and Peter Roden - see my booklist.