Noritake From the Beginning

I hope you have been enjoying this summer. Well, here it is summer. It’s been very hot and humid this year in southern New Hampshire, but life is good. Since we only really have three or four months of warm weather, I’ll take it!

As always, I have been on the hunt for new things to add to the Vintage Eve’s shop this summer. I’ve come across some nice pieces, too! I am definitely drawn to fine china. It’s part of my obsession with vintage kitchen stuff (as if you couldn’t tell from reading this blog), but that’s why I have the shop — to support my habit, which in turn allows me to buy more. It’s a circle.

I happen to have a few pieces by Noritake and I was wondering the other day how long they have been in business. So, here we go.

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Noritake Vegetable Serving Bowl in Pasadena Pattern circa 1960s

Noritake started as a trading company in 1876. According to it was the baby of the Morimura brothers. Ichizaemon Morimura decided to open an export business, mainly to keep money flowing into his country, and he sent his brother, Toyo, to New York to open Morimura Brothers, an import business. Very smart really. Morimura Brothers imported china and other items for sale in the U.S., exported by the other brother, Ichizaemon (

In Noritake, a small suburb of Nagoya, Japan, a factory was created in 1904, particularly to create fine porcelain dinnerware to export to the United States. It didn’t happen until 1914, though, that they were able to accomplish this feat. There was a lot of trial and error to get a dinnerware line that could be exported.

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Noritake Cho Cho San Gravy Boat circa 1950s

Most of their designs were hand-painted in the beginning with a liberal addition of gold embellishment. As they grew, they perfected their manufacturing techniques and Noritake took off. Noritake china is now sold world-wide. Originally, the brand was called “Nippon Toki Gomei Kaisha,” which eventually became Noritake Company, Limited.

Flat Boullion Cups Rochambeau Pattern circa 1920s


Their backstamps, or porcelain marks, vary greatly. The earliest one is a circle with a “Maruki Mark,” dating to 1902. There is also a “Royal Sometuke NIPPON” mark that dates to 1906. One registered mark in 1908 is an “RC” underlined over a fulcrum with “Noritake” underneath. There is an extensive list of marks with pictures at Check them out.

Noritake Cho Cho San Trio circa 1950s

It was very interesting that two brothers started this company, and that it is still in business. The company managed to diversify into many different fields, which served them well. Along with fine china, the company currently creates grinding wheels for various industries, their printing and color mixing techniques are used in technology, including automobiles, and their engineering techniques are used in yet other areas of industry. They survived during the Occupation years after WWII, and continued to create and diversify into present day.

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Noritake Fine China Back Stamp circa 1950s

I hope you enjoyed learning about this company with its rich history. Japan itself is a beautiful country. My daughter recently returned from a school trip there, and her pictures are amazing.

I hope that you enjoy the rest of your summer (if it’s summer where you are!). I will enjoy the roughly 60 days before it turns colder here, although, I’m more a fan of Autumn in New Hampshire, anyway. If you’ve never experienced a Fall in New Hampshire, with the burst of oranges, golds, and reds, it’s amazing, and only lasts a month, maybe a month and a half if you’re lucky. I’m hoping for a long Autumn before the snow flies. Have a great week!


By Royal Decree

One of the things I love to find while I’m hunting for treasures is egg coddlers. A few months back I did a post on them which you can read in the archives. They are lots of fun and I love using my own set. They make a good egg! I’ve got my cooking time mastered to give me a nice soft yolk egg. Just the way I like them. One of the makers of these egg coddlers is Royal Worcester. They don’t just make egg coddlers though, they have a long history of making porcelain.

Royal Worcester Egg Coddlers (available at Vintage Eve’s)

They actually started in 1751. According to Mallams, It was started by 13 local businessmen at the time and was originally called just Worcester Porcelain. They were successful from the beginning with their first showroom opening in 1754 on Aldersgate Street, London.

Lovely Victorian Royal Worcester Reticulated Plate (available at Feltham Antiques)

In 1756 they were one of the first to use a transfer printing process. Robert Hancock had joined the company and pioneered this process. The original pieces had all been hand painted in blue paint under the glaze. This, of course, increased their productivity. They were still Worcester Porcelain at this point.

Royal Worcester Vase c 1887 (available at DeeBird’s Nest)

The company’s founding fathers eventually retired and the company was bought by Thomas Flight who purchased the company for his sons, Joseph and John in 1783. Then in 1789 they got the Royal warrant by George III for making the first Royal Dinner service for the Duke of Gloucester, George’s brother. That was when they added the “Royal” to their name and became Royal Worcester.

Royal Worcester Little Miss Muffett c. 1940 (available at Christie’s Curios)

They had a number of big orders for the Royal Family and some other notables such as Admiral Nelson in 1802. They created a book of 400 designs for the Prince Regent and the coronation service for King William IV.

Royal Worcester Indian Tree Tea Cup and Saucer (available at All You Can Tea)

Royal Worcester was bought by Richard William Binns and William Henry Kerr in 1851. From that year to 1887 the Severn Street factory grew from 70 employees to 700. I would say that was a huge amount of growth!!

Royal Worcester Palissy Divided Dish c. 1970 (available at Rachel’s Vintage Retro)

In the early 1900s, Royal Worcester began making hard porcelain items for hospitals, labs and schools across England. During that time they were also branching out successfully into the U.S. At least they were until the Great Depression. They barely escaped with their shirts but they were able to remain open, due in part to innovation, with the development of fireproof porcelain.

Royal Worcester Coffee Pot and Creamer (available at Corner of 4th and Main)

The company was also part of the war effort creating electrical resistors and spark plugs. After the war they continued producing and growing and are still in business today. They opened a museum in 1951 which has over 10,000 pieces. According to Mallams, even though they mostly print on porcelain, they still have some designs that are hand-painted.

Royal Worcester Vitreous Covered Server c. late 1800s (available at Chased Vintage)

It’s nice to see a company with such a long history still in business. So many companies, as we’ve seen, weren’t able to compete with cheap imports but Royal Worcester is still going strong!

I hope you have enjoyed this look at Royal Worcester and will join me at the link parties on the right. Have a great week!


Coddle Your Eggs

This weekend I found an estate sale around the corner from me. It was next door actually to one I had been to a few months back. I love going through those old houses; they have some really cool bones. This one had some unique features, too. There was a nice built in cabinet with sliding doors in the pantry. There wasn’t much left by the time I got there but there were some nice pieces. I found this neat covered aluminum buffet dish with a Pyrex divided dish inside.


BW Buenilum & Pyrex Covered Dish Found at Estate Sale

Also hidden in that sweet little cabinet were these egg coddlers. I have a set like them of my own except mine are Royal Worcester. I got these to sell at the Vintage Eve’s shop. They are Wedgwood and have the Wild Strawberry pattern on them from the mid-1960s. Aren’t they pretty! And useful!

Wedgwood Egg Coddlers (Available at Vintage Eve’s)

I like stuff that is useful and these are very useful. Egg Coddlers, near as anyone can tell were invented sometime around the end of the 1800s. The first time anyone seems to have seen these is when they were produced by Grainger China Works in the 1880s for Royal Worcester (Museum of Royal Worcester).

1930s Egg Coddler by Bauhaus Designer Wilhem Wagenfeld (available at Room 606)

Apparently, the first ones were made of earthenware and fired at a very high temperature. They had a flat cover, without the lifting ring that we are used to seeing on the coddlers and were plain white or simply decorated.

Set of 5 Early Victorian Egg Coddlers by Syracuse China (photo courtesy of Nick Haus Vintage Antiques)

According to the Museum of Royal Worcester, from about 1910 to 1928 these were listed in the Royal Worcester factory ledgers as “Premier Egg Cups.” They have a patent number of 561564. Their two most popular patterns were Worcester Willow and Pekin.

Adorable Egg Coddler circa 1960s (available at Lynnie McGoogins)

On the Museum of Royal Worcester website there is a useful list of marks to help date the Royal Worcester coddlers. Wedgwood coddlers have a different look than the Royal Worcester line. They have a smaller pedestal than the Royal Worcester and they have a more convex shape. says that Wedgwood coddlers have a very distinctive lip that sticks out a few millimeters from the body. You can see that lip below.

Wedgwood Beatrix Potter Double-Egg Egg Coddlers (available at Gidget’s Vintage Finds)

The rings on the Wedgwoods are different, too. They have a thicker, flat piece of metal on the top where the Royal Worcester coddlers have more of a thin lifter ring. The Wedgwood ones also come in two sizes known as single and double. The double is 4 1/2″ tall and 2 7/8″ in diameter (

Royal Worcester 1-egg and 2-egg Egg Coddlers (available at Loose Ends Vintage)

Max Roesler or Rosler was another company that made egg coddlers. Their’s were porcelain with a flat porcelain lid that screwed on.

Vintage Egg Coddler (available at The Freckled Berry)

So what do we do with coddlers? We make coddled eggs! Butter the inside of the coddler, crack an egg into the coddler, screw on the lid and put it in water up to where the lid is screwed on. Boil it for about 5 minutes and you will have a nice soft boiled egg. You can add all kinds of things before you close the lid, bacon, cream, chives, salt, pepper and more. There’s lots of recipes out there.

Royal Worcester Egg Coddler (available at Birdy Coconut)
Royal Worcester Egg Coddler Instructions (available at Birdy Coconut)

Well, I hope you have learned a little about the egg coddler. They are unique little items. As always, I will be partying at the links on the right this week — take a second and check them out. Have a wonderful week!





It’s All in The Family

As I’ve been in business with my Etsy store, Vintage Eve’s, for about a year now, I’ve come across any number of pieces marked Johnson Brothers. Today I listed a pair of pretty square bowls done by the Johnson Brothers Company in the Minuet pattern which I love.

Johnson Brothers Minuet Ironstone Square Cereal Bowl (available at Vintage Eve’s)

These bowls are not just pretty but I like their squareness, too! They are also marked Ironstone. Although these particular bowls are from mid-century 1960s to early 1970s, Johnson Brothers started back in the late 1800s.

1900 Johnson Brothers Semi Porcelain Covered Soap Dish (available at Cooba’s Cool Collectibles & Antiques)

Collectors Weekly says that Johnson Brothers was started in 1883 by Federick and Alfred Johnson (so they really were brothers!). They were in Staffordshire which is known to have been a hub for pottery at that time. They wanted to produce a type of earthenware called “White Granite” and they marked those pieces “Semi Porcelain.”

Johnson Brothers Covered Dish Semi-Porcelain (available at From the Seller)

White Granite “looked like china but was as tough as ironstone” (Collectors Weekly). It turns out, however, that they were better known for their transferware than their White Granite.

Johnson Bros. Flow Blue Gravy Boat (available at Vintageway Furniture)

By 1888 their older brother, Henry, had joined the company. Collectors Weekly states that a fourth brother, Robert, opened a satellite office in New York. By 1900 there were 5 potteries altogether. With Robert selling the family pottery in America, the Johnson Brothers company went into the new century in the black.

Johnson Bros. Friendly Village Tea Pot (available at Little Log House Antiques)

Their transferware and flow blue porcelain (which is highly collectible) were very popular. They made excellent quality products but kept the mid-range price which ensured that most people could afford it.

Johnson Bros. Black and Pink Rose (available at Blind Dog Vintage)

The family continued to grow with the brothers’ sons joining the company followed by grandsons. During the 1920s, Johnson Brothers introduced a colored clay called “Dawn” which came in gray, rose, green, and gold.

Johnson Bros. Rosedawn (available at PoshPedestal)

Their  transferware continued, however to be one of their most popular products. The company is most identified with pictures of wild turkeys and scenes in their Historic America series. Summer Chintz was a popular pattern and Old Britain Castles, too.

Johnson Bros. Old Britain Castles Soup Bowl (available at Homecoming Dining Room)

During the Depression, they closed their original factory on Charles Street and took some time to modernize their factories. Their Friendly Village pattern became highly collected after World War II as were their Christmas Plates.

Johnson Bros. Christmas Pattern Divided Plate (available at All That’s Vintage56)

During the time of World War II, they continued to stay afloat with their American division. After the war, they opened plants in England, Australia and Canada to decorate, glaze and fire the pieces and they did well for quite awhile until about 1968 when, in a bid to stay competitive in the world market, they joined the Wedgwood Group.

Johnson Bros. Game Birds Small Bowls (available at Replacements4U)

The Wedgwood Group, according to website, includes the following potteries: Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd., Royal Tuscan,  Coalport, Susie Cooper, Johnson Bros., William Adams, J & G Meakin, Midwinter, Mason’s Ironstone China, and Crown Staffordshire China.

Johnson Bros. Chippendale Green Tea Pot (available at Treasures From The UK)

What I’ve learned over almost a year of blogging about my finds, is that if you don’t adapt, you don’t survive especially in the pottery business! Well, that is it for now on the Johnson Brothers. Thank you so much for letting me share with you!

I will be partying at the links on the right this week, if you have a second, check them out and have a great week!



Know Your Knowles

I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I started this blog! I started it in October of 2015. Posting once a week, I have posted 44 articles talking about different companies and types of vintage collectibles. Each week I think “What am I going to write about this week?” and then something interesting pops up! There are so many neat collectibles to discover that there always seems to be something to investigate. This week it is the Edwin M. Knowles company (read a little further and find out why I got really excited this week).

EM Knowles Cake Plate (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

See this item above? It totally attracted me during one of my jaunts. I love the orange and white poppies with the yellow edging. The raised flourishes are really pretty, too. It is a cake plate, you can tell by the 2 tab-handles on the side. Well, as I was on which is a huge database of patterns, looking for the name of the pattern on the cake plate, sifting through page after page of Knowles patterns, lo and behold I found a pattern I had given up ever finding the name to! The one below.

E.M. Knowles Coral Pine! (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

I had purchased these plates awhile back for the Vintage Eve’s shop and because they are not marked, could not find the pattern. And, trust me, I looked! I asked around … no one knew. Turns out it is an Edwin M. Knowles and it’s called Coral Pine. Finally! A name! I don’t know if you share my pain here, but it drives me crazy when I can’t identify a pattern!

EM Knowles 22K Plates from 1940s (photo courtesy of RetroDoodads)

So where did the Knowles Company originate? Who were they? Let’s find out! I went to my trusty pottery book to find out some good information. I’ve referenced this book before and probably will again, “Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay” by Lois Lehner. The link will take you to Amazon if you want to purchase your own from any number of sellers which is where I got mine.

EM Knowles Relish Dish 1920s (photo courtesy of Vintage Attitudes)

So she says that Edwin M. Knowles Company was in business from 1900 to 1963. A pretty good run compared to others like Ohme who was only in business for about 30 years. The business was started in 1900 and a major plant opened in 1913. It was located in Chester, Virginia. This plant became one of the “most modern and best equipped plants in the industry” (Lehner, 1988, p. 237).

EM Knowles Sugar Bowl, Creamer & S&P Set in Puritan Pattern (photo courtesy of LuRu Uniques)

They also had a factory from 1913 to 1963 in Newell, W. Virginia. This factory became the one factory when they sold the Chester plant to Harker Pottery in 1931. There was another company that began earlier than Edwin’s company; Knowles, Taylor, Knowles out of Ohio but don’t confuse them because they are 2 separate companies. There was also another company called Knowles, Homer, Pottery Company. This company was connected to Knowles, Taylor, Knowles but NOT the Edwin M. Knowles Company.

EM Knowles in Ebonette Pattern (photo courtesy of Our Leftovers)

Another blog that talks about this company, has more information than I had in the book. She says that Edwin was the son of the original founder of Knowles, Taylor, Knowles. He must have branched out on his own. He definitely found his own way as he was in business throughout the Depression when his father’s company did not make it.

EM Knowles Serving Platter (photo courtesy of Fugitive Kat Kreations)

Edwin’s company in fact grew. The Edwin M. Knowles Company became known for making the finest semi-vitreous ware in the industry. According to, two of their more popular designs were Yorktown (very art deco) and Potomac (simple shape in 7 colors).

EM Knowles Yorktown Gravy Boat (photo courtesy of Wizard of Vintage)


EM Knowles Potomac Line (photo courtesy of Laurel Hollow Park)

The company continued after Edwin’s death in 1943, passing to Frederick Blackmore Lawrence and then William A. Harris, Jr. into the 1960s. The company finally closed it’s doors in 1962 due in large part to cheap imports. This happened to a large number of U.S. potteries during that time like Spaulding, Purinton, and others. Another company bought the rights to the Knowles name and produced some plates during the 1980s and 1990s but it was not the original Edwin M. Knowles Company.

EM Knowles Serving Dish (photo courtesy of Nona’s Finds)

So that is the story of the Edwin M. Knowles Company. I find this stuff fascinating, how they are all interconnected. For a look at the different backstamps this company used and to research year of production, check out My Granny’s Attic Antiques (another great resource).

EM Knowles Casserole Server (photo courtesy of Polka Dot Rose)

I hope you have a great week! Join me this week at the link parties listed on the right. And be sure to follow me by email or on BlogLovin’ where you can keep all your blogs together in one spot.




Ohme – Oh My!

This past week I was cruising around one of my local thrift stores and was kind of disappointed. I found one item that I could use but absolutely nothing for my shop. I usually find at least something! But it was not to be. I paid the cashier at the desk and headed outside. As I exited, I happened to look to my left, and boy am I glad I did! There was a little canopy sitting over a table of bins. Well,  I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but I love bins. They are like a treasure hunt and I found treasure!

Ohme Old Ivory Saucers and Soup Plates (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

Look at what I found above. These are old hand-painted plates stamped on the back “Old Ivory Silesea.” They have a cool matte finish around the edge but the center is glossy. The painting is beautiful and they are in mint condition. It always surprises me that items over 100 years old, stuck in a bin, clanking around, can come out unscathed when my own dishes at home can’t seem to survive my own 2 teenage daughters! Our plates have enough chips in them, that if you found all the chips you could probably make a whole new set!

Ohme Silesea Porcelain Plate (photo courtesy of The Old Hound Antiques)

But I digress…I did really like these little plates. A quick search on my phone gave me an idea of what they were so I purchased them. Then when I went to list them in the shop, I finished my research. What I found is that these plates were produced by a manufacturer in Germany called Hermann Ohme. There is not a lot known about this company but I found some interesting facts to put together for this post.

Ohme Old Ivory Antique Porcelain Toothpick Holder (photo courtesy of Barb’s Vintage Finds)

There is a website called the “Society for Old Ivory and Ohme Porcelains” that I used for some of this information. Apparently, the Ohme company was in business from 1882 to 1930. Not a long run comparatively in the porcelain/china business when you look at Spode or Watt.

Ohme Old Ivory Silesea Lidded Sugar and Creamer Set (photo courtesy of Fabulous Flawed Finds)

SOIOP’s information says that Ohme was located in “Niedersalzbrunn, Silesia, Germany (now the town of Walbrzych in Western Poland).” But a different source states they were actually located in Nieder-Salzbruss (today Sczawienko) ( and that the Niedersalzbrunn plant was a decorating plant.

Hermann Ohme Decorative Dish (photo courtesy of On Point Collectibles)

They only produced 2 types of porcelain glazes, Old Ivory being one and the other being a clear glaze. The Old Ivory glaze was an extra glaze that gave the piece a distinctive matte look and feel like the dishes I found.

Ohme Porcelain Biscuit Jar Worcester Mold (photo courtesy of Christie’s Curios)

The clear glaze pieces were purchased by other manufacturers all over the world to decorate in their own style. Ohme produced full dinner sets with accessories in both glazes but the clear glazed ones that other companies could buy, were known as blanks. They actually had at least 50 blanks in different shapes and sizes that the company produced.

Ohme Cup and Saucer circa 1920 (photo courtesy of Blanc Bonheur)

The Old Ivory pieces were originally marketed to retail outfits and billed as “affordable china and elegant dinnerware” (SOIOP). Eventually they were used as free promotional gifts.

Ohme Serving Bowls circa 1910 (photo courtesy of The China Girl)

Kovels has much of the same information but they add that the mark you will find on these pieces is “a crown, the cipher OH, and the word Silesia.” Like this image below.

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Ohme Porcelain Mark – Glaze Type and Style Number

The pattern number is usually on there, too. There were some blanks in the Old Ivory glaze that were unmarked as such and were manufactured for the British Market.

Ohme Creamer with Blue Poppies (photo courtesy of Lindsay Jane’s Cottage)

So why the short run for this company? According to the Porcelain Marks and More website, the company was owned in 1913 by 3 people, Hermann Ohme, Hermann Ohme, Jr. and E.M. Bauer. They decided that year to increase production for the export market.

Ohme Cup and Saucer Iridescent Porcelain (photo courtesy of Junk Savant)

They really pushed those exports missing the beginning signs that pointed to the financial crises that was to come. When the bottom dropped out of the export business shortly after the collapse of the stock market in October of 1929 beginning a world wide economic collapse, they were forced to file for bankruptcy in 1930.

Ohme Carmen Pattern Serving Bowl (photo courtesy of Bedford Hill Vintage)

So, while theirs was a short run in the biz, they actually produced some quality stuff that has stood the test of time! I hope you enjoyed this little peek at Ohme Porcelain and seeing some examples of their wonderful pieces. You can click on any of the examples to go to the shop listing to learn more about that specific piece. Also, visit the Porcelain Marks and More website for examples of the marks to look for which can date your pieces.

Have a great week and party with me at the great link ups listed on the right!


From Here to There – Transferware

I was cruising around one of the local thrift stores I like to poke around in on Wednesday this past week. I tend to linger because as I’m shopping, they keep putting stuff out. So it’s hard to leave because I think I’m going to miss something! I think that is their diabolical plan and it’s totally working.

Transferware Creamer Royal China Colonial Homestead (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

Well, I was about done after I thought I had seen everything when I spotted the cute creamer above. It was nasty with dirt and grease but in great shape otherwise. It reminded me of my Noni’s house so I couldn’t resist. I brought it home, cleaned it up and put it in the shop.  It’s a piece of ceramic ware called transferware.

Transferware Compotier (photo courtesy of My Vintage Provence)

If you’re not familiar with transferware it’s created by transferring a print from an inked, engraved plate to a sheet of paper which is then applied to the unfired clay. Some sources state the paper is tissue paper. The clay or china, or whatever you are working with, absorbs the ink and after the paper is removed, the piece is then glazed and fired (Collector’s Weekly). Viola, transferware!

Charlottesville Hardware Company Purple Transferware Plate (photo courtesy of Sue’s Antique Wonderland)

It’s an interesting process that started around 1760. I would have thought that that was sort of advanced for the 1700s but they were really doing some innovative things at that time. It began in Staffordshire, England, which, according to Collector’s Weekly has been a center for fine ceramics for a long time.

Brown Tinturn Transferware Pitcher by Alfred Meakin (photo courtesy of Intrinsic Vintage)

Transferware allowed the ceramic houses to produce pieces faster than hand painting everything. Wedgwood and Spode were already doing that and doing it well.

French Ironstone Transferware Plates (photo courtesy of Themison)

Italian scenes and blue-and-white were very popular. Patterns such as Willow became iconic in reference to the art. Collector’s Weekly says that a company called Ridgeway produced a series known as “Old Blue” but was actually called “Beauties of America” in a bid to catch the American market. They depicted important U.S. buildings at the time.

Blue Transferware Old North Church (photo courtesy of Cottage Garden Vintage)

There was a particular glaze technique that sprung up around 1830 called “flown.” It was created by adding lime or ammonia to the kiln during firing the blue-and-white pieces and this made the glaze run or flow. Hence the name “flown.” You can check Collector’s Weekly for some manufacturers of this type of glaze.

Flow Blue T Walker Cup and Saucer (photo courtesy of Sexy Southern Yankee)

Many collectors today tend to collect based on certain attributes of the transfer such as flowers or a particular border. And of course many people collect based on what it is. Some people are into collecting kitchen stuff (ahem, I might know someone who collects these) or some people are into teapots or jugs. Whatever type of transferware you collect, there’s excellent examples out there.

Transferware Chamber Pot (photo courtesy of Surrender Dorothy)

I also happened to find this blog,  Nancy’s Daily Dish, that shows the steps of creating transferware in great detail . Check it out, it’s really cool!

Do you collect any transferware or remember it from a parent or grandparent’s house? I’d lover to hear about it. Have a great week!

You can follow me on Bloglovin’ or by email!






I’m Gonna Ex-Spode!

Look at this amazing set of Copeland Spode I found while thrifting the other day! It’s so pretty!

Copeland Spode Saucer and Cup Set circa 1940s (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

Now, Spode has been around since the late 1700s when Josiah Spode opened his Spode Pottery in 1776. He opened at Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire England where there were a bunch of other potteries (Collectors Weekly). Because there were so many other potteries, Spode needed to find a way to stand out.

Spode Tower Vintage Egg Cups (photo courtesy of Gwen and Almas)

The Spode Museum website states that Josiah Spode’s company “developed the technique of underglaze transfer printing on earthenware” around 1784.

Transferware Pitcher India Tree (photo courtesy of Gizmo and HooHa)

Collectors Weekly says Spode’s first success came in the 1790s when they began producing a line of blue-on-pearl china designed by Thomas Minton. Spode found a way to stand out by the richness of their blue cobalt hues.

Copeland Spode Herring Hunt Set (photo courtesy of Decades Antiques)

Early on the patterns were usually designated as a number on the bottom of the piece along with the Spode name. They started at number 1 in the 1800s and by 1833 they had more than 5,000.

Copeland Spode Queen’s Bird Teapot (photo courtesy of EMOharra)

Joshia Spode passed away and his son Josiah Spode II took over in 1797. It was he who finally perfected the proportions of bone ash to porcelain to create some of the finest porcelain in the world. Collectors Weekly says the mix was “between 33 and 50 percent burnt animal bone, plus equal amounts of feldspar and quartz, yielded porcelain that was extremely white, strong, cheap to produce, and translucent.”

Spode Chelsea Wicker (photo courtesy of Sweet Water’s Antiques)

That formula became the “forerunner of all modern English Bone China” (Spode Museum website) which is saying a lot. Some popular designs were Willow, Tower, Camilla and London. They also did imitation Chinese pieces.

Spode Camilla Blue Sugar Bowl (photo courtesy of Minnie’s Flea)

Josiah Spode II died in 1827 and  William Taylor Copeland took over at Spode when Josiah Spode III died in 1833. The company became Copeland and Garrett which then became W.T. Copeland and then W.T. Copeland and Sons by 1867.

Spode Indian Tree Plate (photo courtesy of Jo’s China Shop)

From 1870 to 1970 the Copeland name was used in many different forms. Many times it was combined with the Spode name. That would create the name that my lovely set featured at the top of this post has as a backstamp, Copeland Spode.

Copeland Spode Teapot in Fairy Dell (photo courtesy of Ye Olde Swap Shop)

One of the most successful of the Copeland Spode designs was The Christmas Tree pattern. It was designed by Harold Holdway in 1938 according to the Spode Museum website. It was originally marked 1938 on the back but they dropped that in subsequent years.

Spode Christmas Tree Set Incl. Coffee Pot, Creamer, Sugar and Serving Set (photo courtesy of Meadow Lane Vintage)

The Christmas Tree pattern was one of the transfer prints they were famous for that took a lot of skill to create. Before computerization, each copper-plate that was created for the design took around 6 man-weeks to produce and multiple sizes were needed for the different pieces within a set.

Spode Ivanhoe Set (photo courtesy of Wendy Hunter’s Window)

In 1970 the name went back to Spode Ltd. which then became Royal Worcester Spode Ltd. in 1976 (Collectors Weekly). So the company definitely went though a number of changes. As you know, when you are the best everyone copies you. It may be the “sincerest form of flattery” to be copied, but in business, it’s devastating. They went out of business in 2009 filing for bankruptcy. Cheap knockoffs killed the pottery star in this case.

Spode Teacup 893 Georgian circa 1805 (photo courtesy of One Baker Street)

So that is the history of Spode in a tiny nutshell. Visit the sources I’ve cited in this post for more in-depth information. Clicking on the pictures will take you to the shops featured in this post.

If you have a chance, leave me a message! I love to hear from my readers.


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Dressed in Dresden

Most people have heard of Dresden porcelain china. They know it is a high-end porcelain, it’s pretty and collectible. That is about what most people know about it, me included until I became curious when I ran into this little number below that I listed in my shop recently. It is quite pretty, hand-decorated and over a hundred years old. I hope I look this good at 100!

Dresden Chocolate Pot
Dresden Chocolate Pot circa 1910

I love this little chocolate pot. I dug around and this is what I found out about Dresden porcelain. According to Kovel’s, Dresden refers to the place the porcelain is made not the type of porcelain it is.

dresden bowl
Dresden Center Bowl

Collector’s Weekly states that Dresden, Germany is where the factory of an alchemist by the name of Johann Friedrich Böttger was founded in 1708. Although porcelain had been discovered by the Chinese as early as 100 B.C., the western world had still not been able to recreate the delicate white substance.  Böttger finally discovered a way to make a hard-paste porcelain made from a local mud mix of “Kaolin and Clay” ( which he began to produce in Meissen, Germany around 1710, where the factory had moved. 

Dresden Serving Dish
Dresden Serving Dish circa 180os

So the actual Dresden porcelain was produced in Meissen and these two names get mixed up. You will see the Meissen porcelain mark (crossed swords) and Dresden porcelain mark (crown) but both will be called Dresden. Since its creation, it began to be loved and desired by collectors. Once people knew the “recipe” it began to be made in other places. You will see West Germany, Bavaria, even Ireland Dresden.

During the war, most of the porcelain producers were completely destroyed in Germany and needed to be rebuilt. Collector’s Weekly says that Dresden kept over 200 porcelain-decorating  shops busy during World War II.

dresden couple2
Dresden Couple 

One of the more famous techniques that Dresden created was dipping real lace into liquid porcelain. They would then attach it to a figure and fire it. The real lace would burn up but leave behind an intricate and delicate porcelain lace. Dresses and clothing were imitated in this way making the pieces very detailed although a bit fragile.

Dresden porcelain is still highly collectible. It commands high prices as it has been synonymous with quality since its creation.

dresden plate
Dresden Place Settings

Unfortunately, when you are good, there are many forgers waiting to capitalize on your name.

Dresden dancers


Dresden is no exception. The crossed swords and AR mark have been among the most forged marks in the world. You need to check all the marks on your pieces to be sure you have Dresden porcelain.



I hope you have enjoyed learning about Dresden porcelain this week. Stop by Vintage Eve’s  and enjoy a little look into the past and say hi.

Have a great week!